ZydecoThe Zydeco Project is investigating how to support students as they engage in science inquiry activities across formal and informal environments (e.g. classrooms and museums) using mobile technologies. Zydeco enables teachers and students to create science investigations by defining goals, questions, and labels in order to annotate, organize, and reflect on multimodal data (e.g., photos, videos, audio, text). These data can be collected in any environment, such as museums, parks, or at home, and is stored in the cloud. This enables students and teachers to access the annotated information later through the Zydeco website or iPad application, which supports the building of scientific explanations addressing the questions they are investigating.

Numerous field studies have been conducted with classes of students (ages 10-17) from a variety of school districts visiting different informal environments. These trials have been conducted with over 1,000 students visiting museums, such as The Henry Ford MuseumThe Field Museum, the Michigan Science Center, and the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History, as well as parks and wildlife preserves. Zydeco is available as a free download on the App Store, and is being used by educators and establishments nationwide.

This project was initially funded by Grant Opportunities [Collaborative Spaces] through the University of Michigan Digital Media Commons and is currently funded by NSF Grant No. DRL-102002.


ColibriColibri is an iOS application designed to help you rapidly build German vocabulary knowledge. The application uses spaced repetition to optimize learning speed and provides analytics of your progress over time.

It differs from other vocabulary learning software in that professionally curated word sets with example sentences can be bought for varying skill levels. Colibri also includes important contextual information, including verb forms and noun articles/plurals, and color-codes nouns by gender as a memory aid. Try it out for free on the App Store.

ScenicWordsWireframesScenic Words is a project I am working on with researchers at the University of Maryland that is aimed at aiding children with foreign language learning by incorporating movement into micro-learning activities on mobile devices. We are exploring this question through the use of peepholes, an interaction technique where a mobile device can be a lens into a virtual world.

Big Presentation TimerThis app is an elegant, cheeky timer designed to keep presentations and meetings running on schedule!

Set the timer, face it toward the presenter, and let it keep the presentation on track: multiple warnings will give the presenter no excuses if they go overtime! And if all else fails, you can have the app taunt the presenter in Shakespearean and Monty Python style humor. Available for the iPad on the App Store.

StoryTimeStoryTime is an iPhone application which was designed to investigate how to support children to write sentences on a mobile touch device. Running from 2008 to 2009, the goal of the project was to assist struggling writers early on in elementary school by making it simple and fun to write sentences.

Pix-Mix!Pix-Mix! created a quick way to combine photos with phrases and show them off to your friends. It could be used to easily combine your pictures with ones from Flickr and add a personal note before uploading them to Facebook, emailing them, or adding them to your photo collection.

Match MovesMatch Moves was a two-player game for iPad that promoted learning through making associations. Users could flick a matching piece into their goal to increase their points and power, and fill their power bar to gain special abilities. Match moves was prototyped with learning math and foreign language words, and could be played as a standalone game.