“How will new mobile phones, technology such as Google Glass – the wearable gadget that searches for whatever we look at – and social networks like Facebook and Twitter influence our searches? Should we be concerned that sensitive personal information is being filtered through a small number of companies?”
“The future of search could have more of an effect on us than we think.”
In the fast-paced world of Internet start-ups and social media companies Pinterest has been around for a couple of years already. It has however gained a lot of interest in the past few months after high profile names start using it, and a slightly dubious legal issue it needs to address (more later).
But, what is Pinterest? Well … “Pinterest is a virtual pinboard to organize and share the things you love.” Does that make sense? I should know better than to turn to Wikipedia for help but this does explain it quite well – Pinterest is
“a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website that is designed for users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more.”
You must first ask (and wait) for an invitation. Once you get one you can sign-up and get started. The welcome email provides some helpful netiquette tips too, these being:
Be Creative. The best pinboards mix products, art, recipes and images from all across the web. Try not to pin everything from a single source.
Give Credit. If you blog about an item you found on Pinterest, it’s nice to credit your fellow pinners by linking back to the original pin.”
Here is a great video introduction to Pinterest too:
But what of the issue about copyright? There have been some articles and blog posts about this in recent weeks (The Reason I Just Deleted My Pinterest Account and ) and here is why – the Pinterest T&Cs state that by pinning the image you are saying you have the copyright or intellectual property on that image.
Here’s another quote from the volume of stories about Pinterest – you can make your own mind up (as I am doing):
“While we maintain that sharing a link on Facebook (praised by content producers) is the same as sharing a link on Pinterest (feared by content producers), it should be noted that for people leaving the site… the proverbial cat is out of the bag and any content a user puts on the site may continue to display and be re-pinned, even after their account is deleted.” – Pinterest: what happens when you close your account
“To further avoid more of these copyright issues and encourage users to “be authentic” without having to worry about their creative content being sold by the site, Pinterest also deleted a Pin Etiquette principle telling users “not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion”.” – Pinterest Terms Of Service Get Updated
Ignoring these legal ‘hiccups’ (?) how could Pinterest be used in education and the classroom?
Plan: create a board for each lesson, project, event, assignment, etc, and use this with students who can re-pin and add these resources to their own boards.
Inspire: follow boards created by other users (and follow them too), revisit your boards (especially if you allow others to collaborate with you on it), you’ll soon find other resources you weren’t aware of before.
Share: with Pinterest being a ‘social’ network the whole sharing thing is a given, it will only be of use if you share. As with the lesson plan, encouraging students (and faculty staff) to create and share resources will benefit those with whom it is shared.
Structure: use different boards for different subjects, projects, events, activities, etc. Organise them properly at the start and it will be easier to maintain, pin, and share.
Visualise: use the boards as a graphical diary (blog) for the project, print them out, tag and pin people, videos, audio, etc and make it interactive.
Collaborate: invite the students to collaborate on your boards, ask them to contribute to the board and to the project, subject, etc.
Further links, resources, and quotes can be found on the Mashable website.
What do you think, is there a future for Pinterest and classroom activities (faculty and/or student)? Are you using it already, want to share you experiences, then please leave a comment with links to your Pinterest boards and/or write-up of your project.
As always, there’s an “infographic for that”, and here is one you can find on the TechCrunch website.
It’s taken me awhile to find this (thanks to Ignatia on Twitter for the tweet to the PetaPixel website), but how good is this … “Streetmuseum is a new (and free) augmented reality iPhone app created by the Museum of London that allows you to browse historical photographs in various parts of the city”.
“The [iPhone] app leads you to various locations around London using either the map or GPS. Once you’re there, click the “3D View” button, and the app will recognize the location and overlay the historical photograph over the live video feed of the real world, giving you a brief glimpse into how the past looked.”
And it’s not just the Museum of London, even National Geographic are looking into the possibilities of Augmented Reality. At last, the possibilities are being explored by the kind of people and organisations who have the ability to lead.
I was reading the post by @universityboy this morning and then I thought … blimey, what will out children do when they leave School? Will they go to University .. or even will there be Universities for them to go to?
Anyway, there were sections of the post that really made me think, see if they strike a chord with you too;
“But concrete does not a university make. It takes time to turn a smart school leaver into a plausible junior lecturer, and it takes time for research departments in the western model to mature and bed in. The old ‘first world’ model of the university will be hard pressed to scale to accommodate the surge of the new middle class youth of what used to be called the third world. Out of need, something new will take its place. The new ‘gigaversities’ of China, India and Brazil might not command much respect in the staff common rooms of the old NUI, but they will rise to meet that need. In time, they will enter first world markets with degrees that are faster and cheaper than anything we can deliver.”
“The death of distance as a factor in education has been predicted since the telephone was invented, but only now are remote classroom tools becoming usable, though fully immersive environments like Second Life are still fringe. Growth in bandwidth and processing power will move these tools into the mainstream over the next ten years, as telepresence suites currently sold to corporates as alternatives to private jets price down into the mass market.”
“Institutions reliant on local students and without a global draw will find themselves relegated, their reputation slowly crumbling as the cream of the crop goes elsewhere.”
And finally …
“The university my daughter attends may prepare her for a job no one today has thought of yet, working at the centre of a network of increasingly intelligent tools and services. But there is no law that says that new technology will keep creating new jobs for humans as it has in the past. It is an open question whether the university my granddaughter goes to will be able to prepare her for any job at all.”
I think (hope) that, on the whole, there will be Universities and our children will be able to attend them. I am planning that my children will have the same opportunities I was lucky enough to have … the option to take up Higher Education, even if they don’t want it!
Last year I left my 4gb USB stick in the socket of a PC that was sat on the floor (I know, silly me, but I was in the middle of a presentation). As I walked past I clipped the stick and bent the ‘sticky-out’ bit right back … damn!
The case broke and my heart sank – I use that for work and personal files to transport them between work and home (and friends, etc). I got home and was about to drop it in the bin when I thought I’d plug it in and see if it still worked. It did!
I taped the case back up, bent it straight again, and have been using it regularly since then. Until last week when something broke. And that was that (I’d expected it for a while so I’ve been using my iPod and iPhone for data back-up of the really important stuff).
So, instead of buying another I looked at online storage solutions and came across Dropbox. The free account gives you 2gb of online, secure storage (which you can get an additional 250mb for if you follow the simple steps during install and setup).
So now I have an online storage solution, available on work and home PCs, and on the iPhone (although I really only use this option to review files, other mobile devices are coming soon), and I can easily share and store files or folders with colleagues, friends, etc.
Here is a presentation I’ve put together on how to install and use it.
Augmented Reality (AR) is still in its infancy, but as people like me look further afield to find interesting technology to use in (and out of) the classroom, it has been on my radar a bit recently. So, what is it?
“Unlike Virtual Reality (VR) that aims at replacing the perception of the world with an artificial one, Augmented Reality (AR) has the goal of enhancing a person’s perception of the surrounding world. Being partly virtual and real, the new interface technology of AR which is able to display relevant information at the appropriate time and location, offers many potential applications; these include aiding in education, training, repair or maintenance, manufacturing, medicine, battlefield, games and entertainment.”
Source: Asia Research News, Augmented Reality: The Future of Education Technology
Check out this YouTube video that demonstrates AR from the SMLXL blog;
It is also worth watching this video, this time from TED Talks: “Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos augmented-reality maps“. Here Blaise shows a new Microsoft online mapping enterprise called Bing Maps, which is amazing (dependent, I would think, on the quality of your Internet connection?) in the implementation and scope for it’s uses. How about a virtual tour around a museum, a building, or even an archaeological dig by a member of the team or organisation involved (in a different country?) while the class stays in the classroom but interacts and even directs the proceedings – bring the field into the classroom:
But what of AR in the classroom? The wiki from Trends in EdTech for “Classroom Learning with AR” (currently) lists the following applications for Augmented Reality in the classroom environment;
Learning styles: rich examples of complex phenomena (engineering, earth sciences, medicine, environmental applications to name a few) while being engaging.
Authentic Learning: AR can tremendously enhance vocational studies for those wishing to enter the trades: auto and aviation mechanics, electricians, carpenters, etc… The ability to annotate real elements and the ability to add to reality by superimposing virtual aids, will aid in instruction and learning for those disciplines where a specific spatial configuration of elements must be learned and remembered (auto mechanics, medicine, chemistry).
Realistic models: AR provides a means of “seeing” phenomena in 3D, thereby bringing the contextual three dimensional nature of the real world to the their learning. Textual and pictorial information in the typical 2 dimensional print-based resources loses much of the richness of the “real” world elements, and involves an element of interpretation that is difficult for some students.
Engagement/Interactivity: Illustrations in books can come to life with AR technology and can captivate readers of all ages.
“… that using AR apps is unrealistic given the current reality of school board policies and certain teacher attitudes concerning the use of cell phones for learning. Granted, if students are not allowed to use their cell phone to help them learn then AR apps are useless.”
We have a huge shift in expectations to overcome before technologies such as AR, game-based learning, simulations, etc are accepted in anything more than a fad or ‘suck-it and see’ mentality.
This video, forwarded to me by ShellTerrell on Twitter, is something that many of us already understand, but many administrative individuals do not. Those of us who work ‘in’ education understand these concepts (“the death of education, the dawn of learning” as Stephen Heppell says), but those who work ‘for’ education (administrators, planners, managers, chancellors, etc) may not yet have had the time to grasp these concepts.
“Every turned-off device [phone, netbook, etc] is potentially a turned-off child [learner]” Stephen Heppell.
“… it’s the death of education but it’s the dawn of learning, and that makes me very happy.” Stephen Heppell.
There are some very excellent quotes from this video, too many to write here, so please watch this video and take from it what suits you and your interests.
“There’s a shift happening and its all around us. We may not be a part of that shift yet, but I’m sure each one of us will soon be. We might want to think that technology is changing the way we collaborate and yes that’s true! But there’s a lot changing in the way we think as well. Managers are starting to think differently, staff definitely has a mind of their own and are more empowered each day and the focus on collaboration is much more than we saw even 3-4 years back.”
Jane Hart (Twitter: @C4LPT) is keeping her Learning Technology Directory up to date. The Tools the directory “enable and support all kinds of learning – formal structured learning, personal learning, group learning and intra-organisational learning”.
The directory has been reorganised into the following comprehensive categories;
Document and presentation tools,
Blogging, web and wiki tools,
Image, audio and video tools,
Social networking and collaboration spaces,
Personal productivity tools,
Browsers, players and readers,
So, get on over there and find something new to try out. Even better, see if your favourite tool is listed and, if not, ask to get it listed.
This is great, the use of animated flip-charts is a nice touch.
However, if you watch this from the beginning try looking at it like this … the first 1 minute and 50 seconds (or there about) sounds like a trailer for some new disaster movie that will see Keanu Reeves save the human race from the marauding machines. It’s nothing of the sort, it’s just the Web 3.0 or Semantic Web being explained. Stick with it, it’s good.