Tag Archives: Augmented Reality

The Education of Tomorow

Infographic – The education of tomorrow

Infographics are great, when they have something worthwhile to say, and show the data in a worthwhile way. This is one of the better ones – The Education of Tomorrow.

Here are some of the headline details from the infographic:

  • 90% of college students and high school seniors (yes, another US centric dataset) see tablets as valuable educational tools.
  • 63% of college students and high school seniors believe tablets will transform the way college students learn in the future.
  • 60% of college students prefer digital formats when reading books inside or outside of class.
  • Continue reading
Association for Learning Technology

ALT Community: Tech Tales #edtech

ALT has produced a series of short films to give you an inside view of who we are (learning Technologists), who they are (ALT), what we do, and why members enjoy being part of our community. Announced on the ALT website earlier this week the videos are of, from, and about the ALT membership who are “making innovative use of learning technology in education about what it means to be part of the community.”

The three videos, embedded below, are:

  • Using Augmented Reality to Enhance Learning and Teaching
  • The Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL)
  • Seeing the Connections: Twitter Community Exploration with TAGSExplorer  Continue reading
The Connected Age

Learning Technology at the core of The Connected Age? #LTHE

Enjoy this video from Educause. I hope you can see where I am coming from and why I’ve added this video to the #LTHE project as I see the Learning Technologist as an enabler, facilitator, manager, specialist, and even student in these ‘connected age’ Education settings:

“Higher Education is a connected community, and connections can do transformative things. When education is connected it forms a pathway; formal and informal learning are no longer separated. Learners can connect to an ever-widening circle of mentors, peers, experience, knowledge, games, simulations, collaborations tools, and augmented reality can help learners connect the dots in ways never before possible.”

The Connected Age from Educause on Vimeo.

The rise of human-computer co-operation #edtech

As technology becomes more ingrained into our daily lives, and our reliance on it for tasks and information increases, so the competition of ‘man vs. machine’ debate hots up. However, Shyam Sankar looks not at this future not as ‘man vs. machine’ but man + machine’:

YouTube: The rise of human-computer cooperation

“Isn’t it supposed to be about man vs machine? Instead it’s about co-operation, and the right type of co-operation. We’ve been paying a lot of attention to Marvin Minsky‘s vision for Artificial Intelligence over the last 50 years. It’s a sexy vision for sure, many have embraced it, it has become the dominant school of thought in computer science. Continue reading

QR Codes – oh no!

While searching and researching QR Codes, for an eBook I might write, I found this video. I thought / hoped it would be a good resource to link and share … but was sorely disappointed.

Called ’37 Examples of using QR Codes’ it could have been so good – showing innovate ways a QR Code can be used for different purposes: medical, arts, marketing, education, etc. What it turned out to be was just 37 places you can put a QR Code, and some of the actual codes are awful. While it could be a viewed as good introduction to ‘where’ to put a code, it does nothing to help or describe what code could be used for, hence my disappointment at the title that clearly states ‘using QR Codes’.

YouTube: 37 Examples of using QR Codes

Examples from the video and why I’m critical … QR Code on a:

  • Dog sweater? When does a dog stand still long enough for a stranger to scan its back?
  • Tattoo? Continue reading

The Technology of Touch (video)

“As we move through the world, we have an innate sense of how things feel — the sensations they produce on our skin and how our bodies orient to them. Can technology leverage this? In this fun, fascinating TED-Ed lesson, learn about the field of haptics, and how it could change everything from the way we shop online to how dentists learn the telltale feel of a cavity.”

YouTube: Haptography: Digitizing our sense of touch

There there are those of us (me included) moan about the march of technological innovation over function, development for the sake of it. Few can argue that bringing technology into the fore for those with disadvantages is a bad thing, that developing and using technology to enable.

While Katherine shows a couple of uses and examples in the video what else can we do with this, how can this be used in education? By introducing touch in this way you can bring any substance or texture to the classroom where it would not be possible (or safe) to do so. What does moon rock feel like? What does hard enamel tell you about the integrity of a tooth? What does the surface of a scarf feel like when it’s frozen in liquid nitrogen? How do you spot a possible failure in an engine block when it’s running at 9000 rpm. To experience these things can bring the subject, the science, the learning alive where you would not always be able to?

What do you think, a worthwhile use of enhanced technology and something that can ‘add value’ to a classroom experience?

Google Glass – ‘the view from up here’ #ifihadglass

YouTube: Google Glass

Google have released this video in an attempt to try and show how their Google Glass will work. Obviously we’re talking about technology that will rely heavily on good network signal, which is always very dicey whenever I need one to check emails, calendar, directions, etc. when I’m 0ut-and-about. With the right development of technology and backing software (apps?) this could be utilised in classroom environments to enhance learning materials and the ability for students to create and share their own experiences, all based around a chosen topic, subject, purpose?

What do you think – is there scope and future for this? As a wearer of glasses already I don’t relish the idea of trying to wear two pairs at the same time, but if it is something that could retro fitted to my existing frames … could be good!


Reflection on the ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC, Wk.2 #edcmooc

EDCMOOCOn to the second of the five weeks Coursera / University of Edinburgh MOOC: ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’. This week is centred around looking to the future, the “future-focused visions of technology and education” whilst building on the previous utopian/dystopian ‘discourse’.

Having to watch, and comment/analyse, films introduced as “evocative and sometimes disturbing visions of what the future of information technology might hold” is always going to get your attention.

“Who is set to benefit from the personal, constant attentions of information technology, and who might lose out?”

Isn’t this the question we ask, in one form or another, each time Apple releases a new device? Isn’t this what causes the backlash each and every time Facebook changes it’s privacy policy? Isn’t this the current question educators around the world are asking since to the rise of the MOOC and it’s much lauded ‘saviour’ of Universities?

  • How is education being visualised in “A Day Made of Glass”? You could argue that most of these ‘tools’ are already available in one form or another in society and that schools already do most of what is shown here – maybe not exactly as shown, but some of it: smart boards, NearPod App (teacher presents to student device), tablets, etc. What is shown isn’t as far fetched as you may think, it’s just the way in which it is presented rather than what is presented that is different. How the technology is used outside of the classroom is more ‘futuristic’ and is where you could argue its worth – should children be given space (in or outside) that is free from technology, free for them to experience the world as it is and not through some sanitised technology that reveals the real world through a camera lens?
  • Continue reading

Is Augmented Reality really the answer? #edtech #AR

Following on from previous posts on Augmented Reality (Does it have a place/future in education? and Augmented Reality on campus) I’ve spent a little time trying, and enjoying, the experience of using and creating Aurasmas, but have not got anywhere past the stage of just trying it out. So, if you plan it properly for a classroom environment, what can you do? Well, this TED Talk has some great examples, all it takes is an imagination and some planning, and proper implementation into a learning object:

YouTube: Matt Mills: Image recognition that triggers augmented reality

So, what place does augmented reality (AR) have in the classroom? Here are a few ideas – if you have any of your own (or even already done some) then please leave a comment below):

  • Place posters on your walls of historical figures, writers, influential (local, national, international) people and have Aurasma overlays (Auras) of video material either from YouTube of those people or performances, record your own, or have your class record the introduction.
  • Record messages for parents and place the posters in the windows for parents to scan while they wait (hint: change them regularly, keep them guessing and coming back for more!) at the end of the day, or at parents evening.
  • Extra materials for a science project or presentation to augment the materials provided.
  • Learn a language by using an audio aura onto the word(s).
  • AR treasure hunt.
  • Immersive worksheets.
  • Personal messages from each student in their Year Book.
  • School newsletter with personal message(s) from the Head and/or staff.
  • If you present posters at conferences or teaching/learning events then a well placed AR / Aurasma Aura on your poster could be a way to bring moving images, graphical models, or recorded introductions to your work.

There is, however, one downside to AR that I can see right now – that we’re developing resources that encourage us to spend our time looking at the world through the lens on our smart phones.

For me it’s about time developments in technology like this are put to better use – by this I mean for information and learning and not basic mass-produced marketing and advertising: there is nothing particularly clever or innovative about how it’s being used there, it’s just an ad agency using something ‘neat’ for another way to say ‘buy this’ … and here’s a perfect example: O2/Telefonica in the UK has signed up as a commercial partner with Aurasma. This is good news as it mean that more people will be aware of AR (and subjected to it), so could become more widely known, and used. Is this enough to help it gain momentum for classroom use (look what happened to QR Codes)?

Is this using technology for the sake of it … have we just been shown “this is what you ‘can’ do, now work out why” instead of “I want to do xyz, how can I do it?”

Answers on a postcard please to …

QR Code Reader and Scanner

QR Code Reader Apps #QRCode

I have tried a number of Apps to read/scan QR Codes (all bar one tested were free) and I have to say that there isn’t one that stands out above the rest, so I’ll review the ones I end up using more than others below.

QR Code Reader and Scanner (iPhone/iPad/iPod): Scan QR Codes you find on your travels, in magazines, on posters, etc with this useful and free app. Use the history feature to view/review your past scans but make sure the codes are on a flat surface and in a well lit area (and not on a glossy finished page, it’ll prove difficult to scan).

QR Code Reader and Scanner (free) : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/qr-code-reader-and-scanner/id388175979

Scan (iPhone/iPad/iPod): Billed as the “the fastest, simplest and most user-friendly QR Code and barcode scanner available” it’s certainly the quickest to be ready to scan a code from launch, but is not always able to scan the code if you don’t hold the camera square on to the code, and in good light.

Scan (free) : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scan/id411206394?mt=8

Quickmark (iPhone/iPad/iPod): This one is not free (£0.69) but it is by far the most powerful of all the apps I use, enabling you to scan and create codes on your device (based on URLs, contact details, plain text, etc) or you can use a photo you’ve saved in your camera roll to scan after the event, if you’re in a hurry. It is also worth checking out the Quickmark website if you use other types of mobiles as they have developed the app to work on other OS too, as well as a QR Code reader desktop solution! For the price it is well worth it, in fact if it could only recognise the code quicker and start quicker then this would be the best app I’ve downloaded.

Quickmark (£0.69) : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/quickmark-qr-code-reader/id384883554?mt=8

BeeTag (iPhone/iPad/iPod): BeeTag will scan a QR Code as well as a normal code (as do the others above) but this app also acts as a price checker on normal barcodes. There is no history feature with this app but the list of available options when you scan a code is impressive, giving you the option to view the code, view/show the URL, save or send the URL to an email or SMS recipient, or save it to a favourite list (is this the history feature?).

BeeTag Reader (free) : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/beetagg-qr-reader/id313157282?mt=8

Unfurlr (iPhone/iPad/iPod): This is a new one to me and I’m still trying it out but so far it’s quite good. It’s quick to launch and only has one function: to scan the code. The advantage of this app though is that it traces the codes path “so you know whether or not it’s safe before visiting the underlying web site.” I’m not sure how it does this, or based on what it makes the %age analysis of trustworthiness, reliability, privacy, and child safety, but it is a good reaction to some comments about QR Code ‘honesty’ that are doing the rounds at the moment (Mashable: QR Code Security).

Unfurlr (free) : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unfurlr/id522402427?mt=8

This is not an exhaustive list or accurate survey of the apps, or of those that are available, but just the ones I’ve downloaded, kept, and use.

If you use one not mentioned above than please leave a comment below and review it (link as well if you like) for others so they can see whether it is worth downloading, or not!