Experimental Software System Supporting Ad Hoc, Private Videoconferences
Countless educational conferences have had to go virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one of the biggest benefits of real-world conferences has been lost: the casual meetings with other educators that often produce new ideas and opportunities. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management and Northeastern University are testing a new video chat service called Minglr that lets online conference-goers bump into each other virtually. Users simply sign up at the Minglr website, list their interests, and declare their willingness to chat with all comers. Visitors to the site see the icons and names of other users, along with a few words describing their primary interests. If a Minglr user sees someone online who seems interesting, he or she clicks or taps the icon. If the other party is interested, the two enter a one-on-one video meeting room run by Jitsi, a free open-source conferencing service. Presently Minglr supports only one-on-one meetings; an upcoming upgrade will allow for larger get-togethers. Also in the works is a feature to let users home in on strangers who are interested in talking about specific topics. Also planned is a random-matching feature that would connect likeminded people by sheer chance.
Back to school may look a little different this year, but one thing hasn’t changed: teachers are still finding innovative ways to improve student learning and they need funding in order to execute their ideas. To help you fund your classroom dreams this year, we’ve compiled a list of funding opportunities for the classroom:
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Phyto Heroes is a game about phytoplankton, tiny creatures invisible to the human eye that make half of the world’s oxygen while also feeding the ocean’s creatures. Through simple touch activities, children learn how their everyday actions, such as turning off the lights, can affect carbon levels, pH balance, and temperature.