Patricia Diaz

the world not only as it is, but as it could be

en español

Years of research in neuroscience, organizational learning and other disciplines have given us great insight into how humans learn, while advances in technology, particularly information and communication technologies, allow for better ways to process information and generate new knowledge.

This is a meeting point for ideas that aim to enhance learning taking advantage of innovations in education and focusing on the design of learning environments. Below are some concrete efforts that show the potential or this endeavor.

SoundStage, a project developed with Jennifer Carlile, gives the user a unique and creative way to look at color as related to sound, fostering a new appreciation for everyday sights and sounds. For a small taste check out the Sound Palette.

An initial exploration of a global online community for youth that I've worked with for 9 years "The Computer Clubhouse Village: a virtual meeting place for an emerging community of learners" was published in the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (abstract).

In 2007, Maciej Sudra and I envisioned the future of textbooks and built a prototype to show the potential. It is now possible to create an interactive multimedia textbook and collaborative notebook at once, that feeds from online content from multiple sources and is presented in a self-contained library that is easy to update. See the details in our paper "Textbooks for the 21st Century".

Using mainly Legos in a playful one month Robotics Design course, Rachel Schwartz and I designed a Touchlator as a solution to the very complex problem of communicating with a person going blind and deaf at the same time.

Knowledge and great ideas are not enough. What makes a difference in countless lives are the changes that are actually implemented. In "Possibilities at the Convergence of Government, Industry, Academia, and Society, Enabled by 21st Century ICT Policies" I analyze a successful initiative to bring Manizales, a medium sized city in Colombia, into the knowledge economy. I also suggest a social learning framework useful to identify precise points where good intentioned policies fail to have the desired impact so that corrections can be made over time to bring policies back on track.

In 2012 I wrote "The Possible Change in Education" a chapter for the book "Learning and Educating with 21st Century Technologies" published by Corporación Colombia Digital where I argue that new technologies have had such an impact in society that education needs not only to adopt them but to be restructured from the base in order to adapt to the new paradigms.