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.

Advertisements

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!

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.

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.

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.

Tech Tips/Jesse Millar Presentation

Also on Tuesday, my EDCI 336 class was lucky enough to have Jesse Millar from Mediated Reality give us a presentation about using social media and mobile technology as educators. I found his presentation to be very eye-opening and educational. There was a lot of information regarding technology use in schools and with students that I wasn’t aware about before that Millar was able to address. Some of my take-away points from the presentation are listed below…

  • Healthy use starts with leadership so always model good technology/social media behaviour for your students
  • Myth- Tweens are too immature to use social media appropriately
  • Fact- It is biased to judge a whole age group as having the same social media habits
  • When you become a teacher make a separate youtube account for your classroom to avoid embarrassing recommended videos
  • Understand your school’s expectations and policies for technology when you are hired
  • You ALWAYS need consent from who is responsible for a child when you’re taking a photo of them
  • If you are wanting to create a Teacher Instagram you need a separate consent form to send home to parents/guardians & inform your administrator about it
  • As educators we are responsible for educating a future generation where most of the job opportunities will have to do with technology- we should be embracing technology in the classroom to adequately prepare them for this

For more about Jesse Millar…

Verena Roberts Presentation

Today my EDCI 336 class was able to observe a portion of Verena Roberts’ open education presentation via video chat. In her presentation Roberts discussed how we can expand learning beyond the classroom walls.

Roberts describes open education as an intentional design that expands learning opportunities for all learners beyond classroom walls by collaboratively & individually sharing & building knowledge & encouraging networked participation by interacting with others from multiple cultural perspectives. Although most of open education is happening online, it can also be found in face-to-face learning interactions.

Some indicators of open education practice are:

  • intentionally designing digital artifacts to share publicly
  • participatory learning
  • Community involvement
  • Safe learning spaces
  • Expanded learning environments
Roberts’ example of how to conduct an Open Learning Project for Grade 10

More information & resources for open education…

Visit to the “Inquiry Teacher’s” classroom

On Tuesday my EDCI 336 class had the opportunity to visit Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt’s aka the Inquiry Teacher’s classroom. Rebecca is co-author to Inquiry Mindset, a book about fostering curiosity in the classroom, runs the popular instagram account @inquiryteacher, and teaches kindergarten full-time! I was really inspired by how accomplished Rebecca is for being a young teacher and I know that I want to adopt her teaching methods into my own classroom one day.

Rebecca stressed that one of the most important roles as a teacher is to bring the inquiry, wonder and curiosity out of students. Here are some of the ways that she does this.

from Rebecca’s presentation

Growing up with the old BC curriculum, I am very unfamiliar with the inquiry mindset but I love learning about it! I think that fostering creativity and curiosity in students is very important because I know so many people who have never been able to find their passions in life. With the new curriculum, we get to help students find what they find interesting in life!

One of my favourite methods that Rebecca uses in her classroom is called the wonder-wall. This wall has pictures of all of her students with thought bubbles beside them and inside the bubbles are questions that her students are wondering currently. Her students were wondering about skin tones to why people think differently. I love when young learners surprise me with what they are capable of thinking about! As I continue with my education I need to remember to have a growth mindset so that I never underestimate my students’ abilities.

For the privacy & safety of the students, I have blurred out their faces because I do not have permission to share pictures of them. This is something you should always be checking before you post a photo!

To keep up constantly with Rebecca & all of her inquiry ideas I recommend following her on twitter @rbathursthunt

Creative Commons

If you’ve been through a North American school system then you are probably familiar with how plagiarism was highly frowned upon when completing projects. For this reason, students are shown exactly how to cite an author’s original work. However, what many students are never taught is that plagiarizing is not only wrong because you aren’t completing an assignment yourself, but because you are taking credit for someone else’s hard work. Outside from classrooms, Creative Commons is an excellent way to make sure you are giving the author the credit they want for their work. Creative Commons is a website that creators can use to generate copyright licenses.

screenshot of the creative commons website

I decided to generate my own Creative Commons License for this website to see how easy the process is! I was able to create a license in a minute that shows users that I do not want adaptations of my work to be shared and I don’t allow commercial uses of my work.

my license! can be found at the bottom of my blog