AR & VR

AR or augmented reality is “the blending of interactive digital elements- like dazzling visual overlays, buzzy haptic feedback, or other sensory projections- into our real-world environments” (from
https://computer.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm). An example of AR is the popular game “Pokemon Go”.

You can download apps such as HP Reveal onto your phone to create interactive digital elements. All you need to do is take a photo of what you want to be your background and chose which digital element you want to project onto your background. The next time your camera detects that background it will project the visual on your screen. With the HP studio you can edit those elements to create links to videos and websites.

An example of using AR for educational purposes

VR or virtual reality can also be used for educational purposes! For example, you can buy these cardboard VR glasses for $15.00 to use with your phone. All you need to do is download the Insignia VR app and students are able to take virtual tours of different cities and environments.

The University of Victoria has it’s own VR Room called Oculus Rift that can be booked at https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/dsc/vr/

For health reasons it is recommended that students under 13 do not use VR and students over 13 only use it for 30 minutes maximum.

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QR Codes

QR or “Quick Response” codes are readable bar code that can store alphanumeric data. Usually companies would use these codes for easy access to their website or contact information but QR codes can also be beneficial for educational purposes!

(Image retrieved from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code)

My Professor for my EDCI 336 class outlined these examples of QR Codes for Educational Purposes:

  • Bulletin Boards
    • parents can look up more information about their child’s work or the project
  • Professional Development Connections
  • Worksheets
    • Links to tutorials for just-in-time help
    • Links to audio or video files (have a book read to you, watch an experiment, etc.
    • Links to answer keys

To create a QR code visit https://www.qrstuff.com/, enter your information and then download the image to use!

Manifesting Your Dream Life

Before Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes in 1954, nobody thought that it was possible. After he accomplished this, people all around the world began to break the 4-minute mile because they believed that it was possible.

One of Dr. Dweck’s central themes in her book Mindset is “the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life”. So if you life your life believing that you are always going to have the same boring job and live in the same boring apartment because you are incapable of success, that is a fixed mindset that will impact every decision you have in your life.

Day dreaming is actually helpful because it allows you to envision or manifest the life that you want. Before I knew about manifestation, I never thought that day dreaming could actually be a good use of my time! Manifesting your dreams allows your subconscious brain to kick into gear & begin to impact every decision you make to get you closer to that dream. Although a large component of manifesting is envisioning, it does require YOU to take action to achieve that life. Knowing what actions to take though become more clear the more you view how you want your life to be.

So start manifesting, start day dreaming, start becoming what you believe!

For more information on manifestation I highly recommend these podcasts & articles…

Distributed Learning

What is it?

From whatis.techtarget.com, distributed learning is a multi-media method of instructional learning that allows students to learn outside of the classroom. There are many ways to incorporate distributed learning into your classroom to best benefit your students. The most common are video conferencing, web-based video/audio instruction and online assignments.

My Experience

I have not had too much experience with distributed learning in the past, but luckily that is because I have not needed to. If I ever missed a day at school I would just get notes from one of my peers or ask the teacher for the homework questions. Unfortunately not many students are as lucky as I was in my schooling experience, but there are many forms of distributed learning accessible today for them to use.

Retrieved from
https://unsplash.com/photos/PHIgYUGQPvU

Why is Distributed Learning Important?

Distributed Learning provides students with a lot more opportunities in life to find a learning plan that works best for them. Not all students work best in a classroom or are unable to be at a school for 7 hours a day/5 days a week. Distributed learning works well for students with anxiety or other health problems, or for students with hectic schedules. It also can be beneficial for schools in remote/rural areas that struggle to keep enrollment up because they can teach students from anywhere. Providing students with distributed learning opportunities gives them the best chance of succeeding in school because it allows their education to follow them instead of holding them back.

What is the Role of Modality & Presence in K-12 Learning?

I think that modality & presence is very important during the early years of a child’s education. Behaviour techniques and important life skills such as empathy and social skills can not be taught over a computer. However, in high school distributed learning can be an asset to a student’s education since teenagers have already gained an understanding of how the school system works and have developed good work ethic.

How Can a Teacher Practice Distributed Learning in Their Classroom?

Start by reflecting on how you currently
communicate resources for students who are absent. Are you just relying on students to obtain the resources by themselves by asking their peers or approaching you? Instead, try an online calendar or blog for students to review before/after class. This can also help students with anxiety who need to prepare for the day when they do go to school.

Graphic Design in Schools

By now, if you have been following our posts, you will be an expert in graphic design (or at least very close)! As educators, we must ask the question- how can we use graphic design in the classroom?

Broadly, graphic design can be used to teach students how to visually express themselves so that others can understand their ideas. Graphic design can be found anywhere in the classroom- from posters to power-point presentations to info-graphics. It also can be used to set up our students for the future by helping them create resumes and cover letters for employers. If students are able to present themselves in a visually appealing manner, they are more likely to get jobs in the future. If an employer is deciding between giving an interview to someone with a poorly designed/unorganized resume or someone who is demonstrating organizational and design skills, who do you think they would give it to?

Graphic design can also be used by teachers to create concept maps and info-graphics to help enhance student learning. Teachers can also use it to create flyers for school events to send home to parents/guardians. Parents/guardians receive so many flyers from schools that they rarely read all of them. If you want your idea/event to stand out above others you need to design a flyer that does that.

Week #10

After 1 week of meditating, I was hoping to feel like a completely new person- completely mindful & not stressful or anxious at all. That did not happen. Instead, I found the week very frustrating because meditating seemed like a job that I was forcing myself to do and so I constantly found myself procrastinating it. Then, when I did meditate I found it very difficult to keep my mind clear and thoughts would constantly flood through my brain. I started the week with a guided meditation video and as the week progressed I also tried to meditate by myself. I found the tips from my last blog post really helped me when meditating without a video, especially when you count your breaths to help keep your mind clear.

I never realized how difficult the meditation practice is. I always thought that it would be easy to think about nothing for 5 minutes, but I even struggled with that. Now that I have acknowledged my struggles, I am going to try setting a smaller goal. My next goal is to meditating at least 3 times a week and only when my body & mind feels ready to meditate. This is a SMART goal because it is more attainable than my last one. My limiting belief is that I will not be able to accomplish even this small goal and will remain frustrated and unable to meditate. Now that I have identified my limiting belief, I am able to address it by reminding myself that I am aware of the benefits of meditation, so my sub-conscious brain will keep pushing me to meditate. I also need to remember that I am a beginner, and it will be difficult to meditate at first but with practice anything is possible.

If you are ever struggling with accomplishing your goals I encourage you to identify & address your limiting beliefs. Once they are out of your way, there is nothing stopping you from success!

Twine

Twine is a website where you can design “choose your own adventure” stories. The website is very easy to use and everything is saved onto your browser so you don’t have to worry about your work being on the cloud or creating an account for twine. For any black mirror fans- Bandersnatch was actually designed 1st on twine!

This website is perfect for a middle school English class or a beginner assignment for coding. In order to change the background colour, font, or size of text for your story you need to have a basic understanding of coding first. I have no background knowledge coding but with a little extra help I was able to figure it out very quickly. I definitely will be using Twine as a resource in my classroom and I encourage all of you to give it a shot as well!

Sketch-noting

Today in my EDCI 336 class we discussed the many benefits of Sketch-noting. In the presentation by Rich McCue, he explained how laptop note takers remember less than their pen & paper counterparts because they are processing lecture content at shallower levels & therefore remember less. When students take notes with a pen & paper they are having to condense the material and put it into their own words because they are unable to keep up with the lecturer otherwise. This method helps move information from short to long term memory very effectively. On the other hand, laptop note takers have more difficulty recalling information because they are not summarizing it but writing it down word-for-word off the lecturer’s slides

  • Sketch-noting
    • engages your whole mind
    • creates a visual map
    • helps w/ concentration
    • taps your visual language
    • 70% of people remember material if they draw a picture while only 30% of people remember it by just writing it down
  • Tips
    • use google image search for inspiration
    • patterns- linear, radial, vertical, path, modular, skyscraper, popcorn
    • make your drawings in 4 seconds or less- no detail needed
  • Process
    • start w/ a title &/or drawn photo of speaker or topic
    • proceed with your notes

I personally think that sketch-noting has many benefits but it would take a lot of practice to use effectively in a classroom setting. I also am a perfectionist so creating 4-second pictures would be difficult for me to do, whereas writing down notes is quick & simple in my mind. I can easily write down words without worrying about what they look like because I have so much practice note-taking. I would like to change up my note-taking to incorporate more sketch-noting techniques because I am prone to just copying down word-for-word what is on my professor’s slides. I think that it will be a learning curve but I am excited to see how it helps with moving my learning into my long-term memory.

Branding & Identity

This week to further our learning of how we can use graphic design, we watched and learned from this video on Youtube all about branding and design. We found that this video summarized the other videos we have been learning from and brought all the various elements of graphic design together.

Essentially, branding is how others perceive you and your company and your product.

Your visual identity is how your branding looks with your colour, typography, etc. Visual identity can be very persuasive for the consumer. Visual identity sets the tone for your product or brand.

The main elements of Visual Identity are:

  • Logo
  • Colour
  • Typography
  • Images

A logo can include a small image or icon and/ or some text. A good logo is a simple logo. All of the elements of your logo contribute to your brand’s identity and visual identity. Main colours used in the brand should be reflected in the logo. Like with all graphic design, use complementary colours to avoid vibrating and to ensure you don’t go too crazy with colours. Be sure to include a neutral colour in your logo and brand as well. When choosing fonts for the text, choose about three and be sure that they compliment each other and depict your brand well. Avoid overused and ugly fonts like comic sans ms and papyrus. When in doubt, use a timeless font that does not distract from your message. When choosing images for your brand, aim to tie them all together with a common thread such as colour, theme, or graphics. Avoid images that are generic or unauthentic.

Minecraft for Education

Today in my EDCI 336 class we learned how to play the education version of Minecraft! When used correctly, Minecraft can be an excellent resource to help students with socials, science, and math activities. Minecraft is very popular among present day elementary and middle school students so you can actually use your students as a resource to teach you how to play. In my EDCI 336 class we were taught by a group of grade 7 and 8 students from a local middle school. As teachers, it’s important to realize that we don’t know everything so this method of enabling your students to teach you something will drive their learning and grow their confidence.

Most elementary and middle schools in the Victoria/Saanich school districts have access to the newest version of Minecraft so you can easily use it your classroom. Before learning about how to play Minecraft, I had my hesitations but now I see how beneficial it can be in the learning process! For example, I was worried that my students would be stuck to their screens and not interacting with each other but my class was constantly talking to each other off screen when we were learning today. Minecraft is great way to get your students to collaborate with each other and I promise that they will continue to work together after school hours (they just have to share their IP address to play together!). I also wasn’t sure how to assess Minecraft projects but my professor recommended observing your students as they are working to see if they are addressing the core competencies of the BC Curriculum. Finally, I was worried that I would not be able to monitor my students on Minecraft but as a teacher you have full control of your students. For instance, you can transport to your students, freeze and mute them and transport them to you! You also are able to make your character invisible to your students so that you can watch them without them knowing.

To use Minecraft as a resource in schools I would recommend teaching the concept first and then using Minecraft as an activity to help with the development aspect of your lesson. For example, pressing F3 on your computer allows you to see your coordinates on the Minecraft grid. You could create a math project around this to help your students understand the x, y & z coordinates. Another example is for an ancient civilization unit in social studies. An activity to help your students learn this concept is to have your students create a civilization with design mode on Minecraft and then changing it to survival mode with monsters and your students have to survive with resources that they would only have during that time period.

For more information on Minecraft in the classroom and Minecraft school projects visit education.minecraft.net.