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Star Trek classroom  (Source: Eurekalert)
Star Trek classroom helps kids learn math

Researchers have been hard at work designing and testing a so-called “Star Trek” classroom. The project, whose official name is SynergyNet, has spanned three years and over 400 students between 8 and 10 years of age have participated in the experiments. The researchers have found that multi-touch, multi-user desks are able to boost mathematics skills in children.

Using the multi-touch desks students were able to work together in new ways to solve unanswered questions and problems using new innovative solutions. The researchers say that by seeing what other students were doing and being able to test great group activities, new learning ideas were formed. The researchers believe the SynergyNet classroom could also help encourage learning and other subjects as well.

The team reports that 45% of the students who use the NumberNet functions increased the number of unique mathematical expressions they created after using the system compared to 16% of students when using traditional paper-based activities.

The multi-touch desks used in the project are network and linked to a main smartboard. The system allows the multi-touch desks to be both screens and keyboards allowing several students to use the desk at anyone time.

The researchers acknowledge that this high-tech classroom is a long way off from being used regularly in schools around the world. The obvious reasons cited are set up costs and the level of support needed to keep the systems functioning.
The research team does state, however, that over the last three years major improvements in the technology and a reduction in costs has been realized.

Source: Eurekalert

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Star Trek
By FITCraparo on 11/23/2012 4:43:09 PM , Rating: 5
Everything in technology takes cues from Star Trek, just look at the iPad

Roddenberry was a true visionary

RE: Star Trek
By StevoLincolnite on 11/23/2012 8:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's what Sci-Fi is all about and not just Roddenberry.

RE: Star Trek
By kyee7k on 11/23/2012 10:11:23 PM , Rating: 3
The NASA consultants and scientific advisors to the show were visionary.

RE: Star Trek
By superstition on 11/24/2012 7:56:41 PM , Rating: 4
That's not fair to Roddenberry. Take a look at his 1970s pilot and compare the way he wrote that android to Data.

He wasn't just a stenographer for a bunch of NASA guys.

RE: Star Trek
By superstition on 11/24/2012 7:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
But now we have Abrams, who isn't visionary at all. It's not like he's the first person to come up with the idea of neuTrek (bad Star Wars masquerading as Trek).

RE: Star Trek
By maugrimtr on 11/26/2012 10:23:45 AM , Rating: 4
We all know the new Star Trek is all glitz and no substance... It's good as an entertaining movie but it makes no sense and is full of plot holes and improbabilities (the idea of a supernova wiping out the Romulus ignores the concept of such an event only travelling at the speed of light - i.e. evacuating the planet would have years to commence).

Abrams is not visionary in the slightest.

RE: Star Trek
By superstition on 11/26/2012 4:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't entertained at all. It was the film equivalent of aspartame. The review "Set Phasers to Dumb for Trek" summed it up, although it was too kind.
Director J.J. Abrams goes where no Trekkie has gone before by "re-imagining" the classic 1960s series "Star Trek" as a bombastic, action-packed, "Star Wars"-esque -- and ultimately dumbed-down -- movie that is anything but true "Trek." The original crew of the Enterprise is re-cast with "Melrose Place"-like young hunks and hotties, and the action is ramped up for new audiences.

What it lacks is the flavor, spirit, intelligence and character bonding of the original series. Newcomers will appreciate the glossy style, but diehard original series fans will cringe at the deliberate breakaway from the classic canon to create the movie's own set of rules (through a time-travel storyline that obliterates the original series' timeline). Beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life here. C+ -- Vince Horiuchi

RE: Star Trek
By freedom4556 on 11/27/2012 5:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life here. C+
While that's about what I felt about the movie I don't think that review is entirely fair. Having seen it a few times after getting pissed about things like "red matter" and Scotty being a comedic character, I feel like some interesting writing is going on in that movie. I particularly liked their exploration into the other side of the Spock duality that they often explored the other way in the past cannon. Here they emphasize his human side over his cold logic, it's an interesting perspective on that character. And you have to admit that the whole "I'm getting to old for this sh!t" shtick that Shatner had been doing for Kirk the whole TOS movie series was old hat. I also enjoyed the darker, snarkier version of Bones. I do get a kick out of the "younger edgier versions of the crew" as being hilarious (Stargate called it) but yes, I did feel alienated as a Trekkie. However, the movie was not totally without value.

sign me up
By GulWestfale on 11/23/2012 12:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
i wanna "study" with keiko o'brien...

RE: sign me up
By MegaHustler on 11/23/2012 6:29:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure Seven of Nine could teach you a thing or two about bodies in motion and quantum entanglement...

RE: sign me up
By GulWestfale on 11/23/2012 7:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
but she wouldn't enjoy it.

RE: sign me up
By inperfectdarkness on 11/23/2012 9:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sure. Right after B'elanna shows me how to access her dilithium chamber.

RE: sign me up
By delphinus100 on 11/24/2012 9:09:52 PM , Rating: 2
Resistance is still futile...!

RE: sign me up
By kattanna on 11/26/2012 11:43:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure Seven of Nine

personally.. I always called her six of nine

Classroom of the future?
By Shig on 11/23/2012 12:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
This technology is like years behind compared to what kids have now.

Oh and I think the TI-83 needs an update.

RE: Classroom of the future?
By GulWestfale on 11/23/2012 12:53:08 PM , Rating: 1
you know, like, oh my, like, god?
like, totally.

By FITCamaro on 11/26/2012 7:35:12 AM , Rating: 2
Engineers without hand held calculators or computers really were able to be trained well enough to design things like the SR-71 using only basic mathematical tools.

The problem isn't in the classroom tools, its in the parenting and students. No amount of technology is going to make lazy kids learn or lazy parents parent.

Watching Star Trek
By BryanBechtol on 11/25/2012 12:13:35 AM , Rating: 1
This is so Ironic how Stan Waltz and I booth love to watch Star Trek. We would solve problems togeather and made a great team. We also came up with the Radius Ruler that is accessable to all school systems, math teachers and students for free on the web. And created a great song for Navy Vets. Sailors Death you can watch.

just costs?
By TSS on 11/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: just costs?
By deksman2 on 11/23/2012 7:02:43 PM , Rating: 5
My apologies for saying this, but I don't think you have the correct information.

Humans don't learn things well they have no interest in.
As for 'learning should not be fun'... wrong on so many levels its not even funny.
Most of the things Humans take interest in and develop a real affinity for is BECAUSE its fun for us to do and therefore we actually ENJOY doing it.

Regarding kids not focusing...
That's just a byproduct of a bad environmental influence and/or parenting.

Why make things worse and tedious by sucking out the 'fun' factor out of learning when science itself demonstrated that its one of the most efficient ways of learning?

Education in its current form (industrialized) that doesn't prompt people to think, nor is it engaging or encourage problem solving is exactly the problem.
The system we have now is good for training people to work on jobs and following orders (a waste of time and effort because we have long surpassed the necessary level to automate practically the entire global workforce and eliminate the need for 'human labor' in the first place).

Gamification of life is one of the better ways of encouraging learning as opposed to how its done now.

As for the article... I do agree its technologically relatively outdated, but so is everything else in Capitalism (by about 60 to 100 years compared to our scientific knowledge)... however, it is 'cost efficient' or 'affordable' from a monetary view.

RE: just costs?
By ritualm on 11/24/2012 3:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
The best part about the current learning process is that you are forced to write off everything you have learned in the past 15-20 years the moment you start working on your first full-time job. That's 15-20 years wasted on something just slightly less monotonous than the assembly-line work at Ford Motor Company circa 1920.

If learning and fun cannot coexist at the same time, I'd rather procrastinate and play Black Ops 2 online instead of reading how Hamlet killed the King of Denmark. Seriously.

RE: just costs?
By drycrust3 on 11/24/2012 8:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
Like a class of only 16 kids, that's never gonna happen. Nor are they going to be well behaved.

I remember seeing some new idea for teaching maths on TV, and saying to those around me that it wasn't any good because they were only teaching the bright sparks. Bright sparks don't need computers and what not, they will learn with anything, even the "olde fashioned log book" style stuff.
If this project uses bright sparks to test it, what do they expect? Every student to pass with flying colours? Of course! And what's the worst that could happen? Every student would pass with flying colours! This is like road testing a car on a straight smooth level road: you won't learn much.

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