Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement

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Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement
Founded 1998
Founder Michael Douma
Type Non-Profit Organization
Focus mobile apps, education
Origins Rockville, MD
Slogan Fresh ideas to advance scientific and cultural literacy.

The Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement ( is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization working in the area of scientific and cultural literacy. The organization was established in 1998 and incorporated in 2002, and has collaborated with museums, schools, nonprofit organizations, and public service projects.[1][2][3]


  • WebExhibits virtual museum – In 1999, IDEA founded the WebExhibits virtual museum, an interactive, virtual museum of science, humanities, and culture that uses information, virtual experiments, and hands-on activities that prompt visitors to think, to formulate questions, and to explore topics from a variety of angles. IDEA published research on exhibit design and usability, and advocated for the format as an effective approach to draw in visitors to complex, multidisciplinary topics.
  • SpicyNodes - Is an presentation method for visually browsing hierarchical information, similar to concept mapping. Several implementations of SpicyNodes have been developed by IDEA, including a web-based version built on Adobe Flash which is available as a Software as a service web site with both free and paid versions; and as multitouch version for the iPad released in Spring 2011 as part of the "WikiNodes" app. The web-based implementation received a "Best Website for Teaching and Learning" award in 2011 from American Association of School Librarians (AASL),[4] and was voted #edchat's 35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools in 2010.[5] It has been a subject of instruction in several schools.[6] It has been recommended as a teaching tool (e.g. students use SpicyNodes to create presentations and projects, and organize their ideas).[7] The product is used in a broad number of disciplines,[8] and has an open API,[9] allowing developers to use it for visualization tasks as well as to create mashups.[10]
  • WikiNodes is an app for the Apple iPad which uses the SpicyNodes visualization method. It is the first tablet app for browsing Wikipedia using a radial tree approach to visualize how articles and subsections of articles are interrelated.[11]
  • ColoRotate is a project started in January 2006 to explain to the public, students, and graphic professionals the three-dimensional nature of color vision in the eye and mind. It is related to the color-related exhibits in the WebExhibit museum. It consists of a 3D color space within which users can see color points, and manipulate them. There are several implementations of the ColoRotate approach, including a free web site, a Photoshop plugin, a web widget, and an iPad app.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]
  • Research - Via its SpicyNodes project, IDEA researched ways for the public to author and use radial maps to display hierarchical information.[21][22] IDEA sponsored a 2008 study on how people find information, which was widely cited in the blogosphere.[23][24][25] The key finding was the designers and communication directors overestimate the ease with which users can find information online, and they tend to underestimate the value of basic qualities like current information and engaging writing. Additionally, IDEA researched culturally appropriate ways to collect information from diverse populations. IDEA has collaborated with cancer researchers to make prostate cancer prognosis tools available to the general public,[26] and to bridge the gap of underserved, Native American communities dealing with cancer.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guidestar report
  2. ^ Librarians' Internet Index record
  3. ^ Philanthropy News Digest
  4. ^ AASL. June 2011. Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning.
  5. ^, "The 35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You" (August July 2010).
  6. ^ University of California, Davis ECS 272 Information Visualization, Worcester Polytechnic Institute HU 3900: Media Tools & Support
  7. ^ Johnson, S. 'Digital Tools for Teaching: 30 E-tools for Collaborating, Creating'. Gainesville, Fla.: Maupin House Publishing. January 2011.; Wiki from Ed*Tech, an educational technology resource for Canadian educators developed at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. ; Andrade, D. 'Spicynodes - visualize and organize information and resources' in his blog, Educational Technology Guy. ; Hawksey, M. 'Entice with a bit of Spice: SpicyNodes Mind Mapping and Visualisation Tool' in his blog 'MASHe' ; 'Web 2.0 Tools — A SpicyNodes' in the well-regarded Teachnologist blog. ; 'Spicy Nodes Online Graphic Organizer' by Jennifer Malone, principal of Eaton Elementary School in Lenoir City, Tennessee. ; 'Teaching Strategies' Raymond Walters College, Blue Ash, Ohio
  8. ^ online gallery with thousands of examples of usage by different authors.]
  9. ^ Spicynodes API at ProgrammableWeb
  10. ^ Create a Mashup Between SpicyNodes and Google Maps
  11. ^ Wikipedia's 'The Signpost' 13 June 2011, In the news.
  12. ^ Site review at App Appeal -
  13. ^ Hathaway, Jay. "ColoRotate: 3D color palette creator and CS4 plugin" May 15, 2009.
  14. ^ Gaigg, Michael. "ColoRotate: 3D color scheme generator with social component" 15-Jun-2009.
  15. ^ A Single Function Site.
  16. ^ "ColoRotate, a colour picker based on human perception of colours". 21-March-2010. IT-Enquirer.
  17. ^ Featured in March 2010 issue of Photoshop User magazine. Print.
  18. ^ Gates, Stephen. "ColoRotate – rethinking the color picker." JUNE 18, 2009.
  19. ^ Palmer, Jessica. "ColoRotate: A new interface for picking color palettes". February 6, 2010. BioEphemera.
  20. ^ Barth, Christopher. "Internet Resource of the Week: Colorotate" Library and Information Services at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
  21. ^ Douma, M., Ligierko, G., and Romano, J. "Concept Maps for On-line Exhibits: Using SpicyNodes". In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2010. Consulted July 21, 2011.
  22. ^ SpicyNodes Radial Map Engine Douma, M.; Ligierko, G.; Angelov, I. APPLICATIONS OF MATHEMATICS IN ENGINEERING AND ECONOMICS: Proceedings of the 34th Conference on Applications of Mathematics in Engineering and Economics (AMEE '08). AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1067, pp. 209-220 (2008).
  23. ^ "New study on factors that improve online experiences" Tue, 2008-07-29
  24. ^ Blog posting on by Nicholas MacGowan von Holstein
  25. ^ Results of a Study about Online Experience,
  26. ^ DE Soto, S Glaser, RH Roberts, MJ Schipper, PW, "Impact of Common Iliac Nodal Treatment on Radiation Outcomes in Localized Prostate Cancer". Urology, 2008.
  27. ^ UICC World Cancer Congress 2006 Bridging the Gap: Transforming Knowledge into Action July 8–12, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

External links[edit]