Cognitive Science and Computing

How can the growth of data and mobile computing deepen students' engagement with their interests?

Helping students visualize their opportunities more clearly.

  • Role Cognitive Science Researcher and Work Flow Analyst
  • For Gesture Studies, Why Learn This, Distributed Cognition and HCI Lab, Active Campus, and San Diego Supercomputer Center
  • Date 2000-2003
  • Type Applied Research
  • URL See pics.

In column 2.2.1, from UC San Diego I joined cognition researchers from the world’s leading institutions to present as well as learn at the Academic Congress of the International Society of Gesture Studies.

From the Cognitive Science Department, I participated in this 2001 technological-social experiment in pervasive information environments. My role related to student engagement with the information technolgoy design –

I studied at the Distributed Cognition and Human Computer Interaction Lab. This is where my presentation at ISGS was based from. I was also a T.A. for the courses, “Everyday Cognition," "Distributed Cognition," and "Human Computer Interaction.”

I was one of the student lab-member founders of the Digital Ethnographer’s Workbench.

I composed copy for the WhyLearnThis and MoneyShift platform.

Tom Palka is founder of Why Learn This! and maker of the games The Money Shift and the Savvy Shopper. He is a financial planning professional with a heart and a vision. Today we go up close and personal with Tom.

As the youth discover more and more each day, the rest of the real world isn’t exactly the same as their school. How can they glimpse, and even experience, the incredible ways people use their talents?

Tom and his team love encouraging kids to ask one question: Whatever it is that you want to do with the rest of your life, why should you learn a certain skill?

Through Why Learn This, youth discover a world of ways they can play this game called life… How hot new technical skills and classical human soft skills come together to create possibilities, open doors to more choices and alternatives, and even introduce ways to play the game of creating yourself into who you desire to be.

Interviews from the youth’s perspective make our web experience a virtual field trip, taking you closer to the professionals in their practice and the worksites than ever was possible.

Every few months, the amount of information there is online doubles, which can cause an incredible amount of info overload. Getting to hear “straight from the horse’s mouth”—the employees, the companies, and the professionals themselves—about what’s happening in the real world of careers is a huge advantage when you’re sorting through the massive information base out there, and really finding out what resonates for you!

Being young and having the privilege of a career guidance center and/or school is some good nourishment for a teen’s life, but remember the youth want to grow beyond school into the right form of work that helps make their desires possible—everything from having a home, to vacations, opportunities for self-expression, hobbies and recreation!

WhyLearnThis is dedicated to fanning the fire of your curiosity and desire to succeed in the career realm of a fulfilling life.

No metric more so than the rate of engaged, motivated students validates what school systems are teaching, so we are able to raise that key bar for schools. With 13 million kids in school and a $95 billion Department of Education, raising motivation and engagement with training and career goals makes a true difference.

As we aim to provide youth with the gift of forming their goals, we are based in the Bay Area, where there is every career in the world, everything from tech innovation, to Bay Bridge construction and deconstruction, from creative design to management.

Our request for funding goes to creating the videos, editing them with clarity and fun, and implementing the website.

We will use an abundance of talent in making the videos, from scheduling meeting with the professionals and employees at their workplaces, to generating an engaging video pace.

So thanks for your support of WhyLearnThis!

I composed copy for the WhyLearnThis and MoneyShift platform.

I helped model the concept of the multiple stakeholders in the IRWM approach.

Using GIS mapping and visualization technologies, I helped generate the graphics and labeling for the presentations used by the IRWM.