Category Archives: Content

Cachalot is Live!

Hard work pays off and it certainly paid off on Monday night.  On Monday August 29th, Cachalot was launched on the iTunes store making it available to anyone with an iPad free of charge.  We even made it onto the Nicholas School front page.

With all of this we encourage all of you to go to the store and download the application and if you don’t have an iPad tell a friend or family member with one to download it for you and check it out. It was launched with two megafauna, Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins and Leopard Seals and every week we will debut a new “Megafauna of the Week.”  These megafauna of the week will include octopus, albatross, dolphins and turtles.

So of course there are a lot of people to thank here.  So I am sending out a big thank you to everyone who worked so hard on this application. Whether you helped fund it, program it, write it, submitted a photo, a video or just cheered us on along the way, thank you.

Have fun with it and stay tuned, common dolphins coming soon!

Cachalot at the NMEA!

Today I presented the Cachalot application at the National Marine Educators Association conference at Northeastern University in Boston. This is a very interesting meeting, focused primarily at the middle/high school level. I think that there are possibilities for Cachalot in those environments as well, so it has been really useful seeing some of the talks that make use of new technology.

Getting ready to roll!

Heather here. I have been working on the Cachalot app for about a month now and have some exciting updates. My official title is Student Content Manager but as I see it, my job is something of an artist, a recruiter, a cheerleader, an author and a content manager all rolled into one.

Artist: I first had to create a set of proposals that I could send out to the best and brightest marine megafauna experts. But I knew that these couldn’t be just your run of the mill proposals. They needed to be flashy!  So my goal was simple, make them so cool and so appealing that basically no one could even think about saying no!

Recruiter and Cheerleader: So after getting my “beautiful” proposals done (yes someone said they were beautiful, no it wasn’t my mother) my task became Cachalot recruiter and this is where the cheerleading comes in. I have had to write e-mails about the project and pitch the project in a way that gets everyone else excited about it.  I have sent tens of e-mails out to the best and the brightest marine megafuana experts to get their help with the set of 52 species profiles to be part of the public part of the Cachalot app.  I am asking them to help me write the text portion and provide me with photos, videos and animations. And it seems my art-work, recruiting skills and cheerleading is paying off! Everyone who has responded thus far has been thrilled about it.  The experts have called the app cool and interesting and have thanked me for asking them to be a part of it! As Dave would say, Awesomesauce!

Author and Content Manager: As the information from my fearless experts starts rolling in I will become an author as I take what they give me and “massage” the information into something “less sciency.” I will take out science jargon, use simple examples and generally make the profiles easy and fun to read.

As if all of that wasn’t exciting enough Dave is getting ready to use the application in his summer Marine Mammals course. The course starts July 11th and runs through to the middle of August.

And we’re preparing to launch the official application soon!  So stay tuned…

Cachalot over Duke Telepresence

Last week I had the opportunity to demo the current version of Cachalot for two groups on main campus. The interesting thing was that I did it all from a room about three doors down from my office at Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort!

We demoed the app across the new telepresence system for the OIT telepresence celebration meeting (including showing it off for the Provost and the CIO of Duke) and for the Nicholas School Board meeting. The app performed well, and I used the iPad 2 to mirror the screen and send content over the telepresence connection to users in Durham. The app streamed video efficiently, and it was relayed seamlessly to Durham without a stutter. It was fun to see the lifesize smiles in that remote room as we showed off the functionality of the app.

Below is a Duke communications video that includes part of the demonstration of the app, including a bit of handwaving by yours truly…

Success! We’ve got some programmers!

[image title=”From the pitch…” size=”medium” align=”right” icon=”zoom” lightbox=”true” autoHeight=”true”]http://sites.nicholas.duke.edu/digital/files/2011/01/CmpSciPitch.9.jpg[/image]This week I learned that the students in CompSci 196.3 have chosen to take up our Digital Seamonsters idea as their programming project for the semester. I’ve only met with two of the team so far, but they seem eager to get things going.

The group of students is:

  • Sophia Cui
  • Tony Thomas
  • Adam Cue
  • James Wu
  • Nancy Chen