at a session on the umbrella concept of “mixed reality” (abbreviated XR) here Thursday, attendees had some questions for the panel’s VR/AR/XR evangelists: Can these tools help students learn? Can institutions with limited budgets pull off ambitious projects? Can skeptical faculty members be convinced to experiment with unfamiliar technology?
Yale has landed on a “hub model” for project development — instructors propose projects and partner with students with technological capabilities to tap into a centralized pool of equipment and funding. (My note: this is what I suggest in my Chapter 2 of Arnheim, Eliot & Rose (2012) Lib Guides)
Several panelists said they had already been getting started on mixed reality initiatives prior to the infusion of support from Educause and HP, which helped them settle on a direction
While 3-D printing might seem to lend itself more naturally to the hard sciences, Yale’s humanities departments have cottoned to the technology as a portal to answering tough philosophical questions.
institutions would be better served forgoing an early investment in hardware and instead gravitating toward free online products like Unity, Organon and You by Sharecare, all of which allow users to create 3-D experiences from their desktop computers.
XR technologies encompassing 3D simulations, modeling, and production.
This project sought to identify
current innovative uses of these 3D technologies,
how these uses are currently impacting teaching and learning, and
what this information can tell us about possible future uses for these technologies in higher education.
p. 5 Extended reality (XR) technologies, which encompass virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are already having a dramatic impact on pedagogy in higher education. XR is a general term that covers a wide range of technologies along a continuum, with the real world at one end and fully immersive simulations at the other.
p. 6The Campus of the Future project was an exploratory evaluation of 3D technologies for instruction and research in higher education: VR, AR, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. The project sought to identify interesting and novel uses of 3D technology
p. 7 HP would provide the hardware, and EDUCAUSE would provide the methodological expertise to conduct an evaluation research project investigating the potential uses of 3D technologies in higher education learning and research.
The institutions that participated in the Campus of the Future project were selected because they were already on the cutting edge of integrating 3D technology into pedagogy. These institutions were therefore not representative, nor were they intended to be representative, of the state of higher education in the United States. These institutions were selected precisely because they already had a set of use cases for 3D technology available for study
p. 9 At some institutions, the group participating in the project was an academic unit (e.g., the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University; the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University). At these institutions, the 3D technology provided by HP was deployed for use more or less exclusively by students and faculty affiliated with the particular academic unit.
p. 10 definitions
there is not universal agreement on the definitions of these
terms or on the scope of these technologies. Also, all of these technologies
currently exist in an active marketplace and, as in many rapidly changing markets, there is a tendency for companies to invent neologisms around 3D technology.
A 3D scanner is not a single device but rather a combination of hardware and
software. There are generally two pieces of hardware: a laser scanner and a digital
camera. The laser scanner bounces laser beams off the surface of an object to
determine its shape and contours.
p. 11 definitions
Virtual reality means that the wearer is completely immersed in a computer
simulation. Several types of VR headsets are currently available, but all involve
a lightweight helmet with a display in front of the eyes (see figure 2). In some
cases, this display may simply be a smartphone (e.g., Google Cardboard); in other
cases, two displays—one for each eye—are integrated into the headset (e.g., HTC
Vive). Most commercially available VR rigs also include handheld controllers
that enable the user to interact with the simulation by moving the controllers
in space and clicking on finger triggers or buttons.
p. 12 definitions
Augmented reality provides an “overlay” of some type over the real world through
the use of a headset or even a smartphone.
In an active technology marketplace, there is a tendency for new terms to be
invented rapidly and for existing terms to be used loosely. This is currently
happening in the VR and AR market space. The HP VR rig and the HTC Vive
unit are marketed as being immersive, meaning that the user is fully immersed in
a simulation—virtual reality. Many currently available AR headsets, however, are
marketed not as AR but rather as MR (mixed reality). These MR headsets have a
display in front of the eyes as well as a pair of front-mounted cameras; they are
therefore capable of supporting both VR and AR functionality.
p. 13 Implementation
Technical issues can generally be divided into two broad categories: hardware
problems and software problems. There is, of course, a common third category:
p. 15 the technology learning curve
The well-known diffusion of innovations theoretical framework articulates five
adopter categories: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and
laggards. Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 5th ed. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003).
It is also likely that staff in the campus IT unit or center for teaching and learning already know who (at least some of) these individuals are, since such faculty members are likely to already have had contact with these campus units.
Students may of course also be innovators and early adopters, and in fact
several participating institutions found that some of the most creative uses of 3D technology arose from student projects
p. 30 Zeynep Tufekci, in her book Twitter and Tear Gas
definition: There is no necessary distinction between AR and VR; indeed, much research
on the subject is based on a conception of a “virtuality continuum” from entirely
real to entirely virtual, where AR lies somewhere between those ends of the
spectrum. Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino, “A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays,” IEICE Transactions on Information Systems, vol. E77-D, no. 12 (1994); Steve Mann, “Through the Glass, Lightly,” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 31, no. 3 (2012): 10–14.
For the future of 3D technology in higher education to be realized, that
technology must become as much a part of higher education as any technology:
the learning management system (LMS), the projector, the classroom. New
technologies and practices generally enter institutions of higher education as
initiatives. Several active learning classroom initiatives are currently under
way,36 for example, as well as a multi-institution open educational resources
(OER) degree initiative.37
p. 32 Storytelling
Some scholars have argued that all human communication
is based on storytelling;41 certainly advertisers have long recognized that
storytelling makes for effective persuasion,42 and a growing body of research
shows that narrative is effective for teaching even topics that are not generally
thought of as having a natural story, for example, in the sciences.43
p. 33 accessibility
The experience of Gallaudet University highlights one of the most important
areas for development in 3D technology: accessibility for users with disabilities.
p. 34 instructional design
For that to be the case, 3D technologies must be incorporated into the
instructional design process for building and redesigning courses. And for that
to be the case, it is necessary for faculty and instructional designers to be familiar
with the capabilities of 3D technologies. And for that to be the case, it may not be necessary but would certainly be helpful for instructional designers to collaborate closely with the staff in campus IT units who support and maintain this hardware.
Every institution of higher education has a slightly different organizational structure, of course, but these two campus units are often siloed. This siloing may lead to considerable friction in conducting the most basic organizational tasks, such as setting up meetings and apportioning responsibilities for shared tasks. Nevertheless, IT units and centers for teaching and learning are almost compelled to collaborate in order to support faculty who want to integrate 3D technology into their teaching. It is necessary to bring the instructional design expertise of a center for teaching and learning to bear on integrating 3D technology into an instructor’s teaching (My note: and where does this place SCSU?) Therefore, one of the most critical areas in which IT units and centers for teaching and learning can collaborate is in assisting instructors to develop this integration and to develop learning objects that use 3D technology. p. 35 For 3D technology to really gain traction in higher education, it will need to be easier for instructors to deploy without such a large support team.
p. 35 Sites such as Thingiverse, Sketchfab, and Google Poly are libraries of freely
available, user-created 3D models.
ClassVR is a tool that enables the simultaneous delivery of a simulation to
multiple headsets, though the simulation itself may still be single-user.
p. 37 data management:
An institutional repository is a collection of an institution’s intellectual output, often consisting of preprint journal articles and conference papers and the data sets behind them.49 An institutional repository is often maintained by either the library or a partnership between the library and the campus IT unit. An institutional repository therefore has the advantage of the long-term curatorial approach of librarianship combined with the systematic backup management of the IT unit. (My note: leaves me wonder where does this put SCSU)
Sharing data sets is critical for collaboration and increasingly the default for
scholarship. Data is as much a product of scholarship as publications, and there
is a growing sentiment among scholars that it should therefore be made public.50
Globalization’s cheerleaders, from Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, made arguments from classical economics: by buying manufactured products from people overseas who made them cheaper than we did, the United States could get rich concentrating on product design, marketing, and other lucrative services. That turned out to be a mostly inaccurate description of how globalism would work in the developed world, as mainstream politicians everywhere are now discovering.
Certain skeptics, including polymath author Edward Luttwak and Harvard economist Dani Rodrik, put forward a better account. In his 1998 book Turbo-Capitalism, Luttwak gave what is still the most succinct and accurate reading of the new system’s economic consequences. “It enriches industrializing poor countries, impoverishes the semi-affluent majority in rich countries, and greatly adds to the incomes of the top 1 percent on both sides who are managing the arbitrage.”
In The Great Convergence, Richard Baldwin, an economist at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, gives us an idea why, over the past generation, globalization’s benefits have been so hard to explain and its damage so hard to diagnose.
We have had “globalization,” in the sense of far-flung trade, for centuries now.
ut around 1990, the cost of sharing information at a distance fell dramatically. Workers on complex projects no longer had to cluster in the same factory, mill town, or even country. Other factors entered in. Tariffs fell. The rise of “Global English” as a common language of business reduced the cost of moving information (albeit at an exorbitant cost in culture). “Containerization” (the use of standard-sized shipping containers across road, rail, and sea transport) made packing and shipping predictable and helped break the world’s powerful longshoremen’s unions. Active “pro-business” political reforms did the rest.
Far-flung “global value chains” replaced assembly lines. Corporations came to do some of the work of governments, because in the free-trade climate imposed by the U.S., they could play governments off against one another. Globalization is not about nations anymore. It is not about products. And the most recent elections showed that it has not been about people for a long time. No, it is about tasks.
his means a windfall for what used to be called the Third World. More than 600 million people have been pulled out of dire poverty. They can get richer by building parts of things.
The competition that globalization has created for manufacturing has driven the value-added in manufacturing down close to what we would think of as zilch. The lucrative work is in the design and the P.R.—the brainy, high-paying stuff that we still get to do.
But only a tiny fraction of people in any society is equipped to do lucrative brainwork. In all Western societies, the new formula for prosperity is inconsistent with the old formula for democracy.
One of these platitudes is that all nations gain from trade. Baldwin singles out Harvard professor and former George W. Bush Administration economic adviser Gregory Mankiw, who urged passage of the Obama Administration mega-trade deals TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on the grounds that America should “work in those industries in which we have an advantage compared with other nations, and we should import from abroad those goods that can be produced more cheaply there.”
That was a solid argument 200 years ago, when the British economist David Ricardo developed modern doctrines of trade. In practical terms, it is not always solid today. What has changed is the new mobility of knowledge. But knowledge is a special commodity. It can be reused. Several people can use it at the same time. It causes people to cluster in groups, and tends to grow where those groups have already clustered.
When surgeries involved opening the patient up like a lobster or a peapod, the doctor had to be in physical contact with a patient. New arthroscopic processes require the surgeon to guide cutting and cauterizing tools by computer. That computer did not have to be in the same room. And if it did not, why did it have to be in the same country? In 2001, a doctor in New York performed surgery on a patient in Strasbourg. In a similar way, the foreman on the American factory floor could now coordinate production processes in Mexico. Each step of the production process could now be isolated, and then offshored. This process, Baldwin writes, “broke up Team America by eroding American labor’s quasi-monopoly on using American firms’ know-how.”
To explain why the idea that all nations win from trade isn’t true any longer, Baldwin returns to his teamwork metaphor. In the old Ricardian world that most policymakers still inhabit, the international economy could be thought of as a professional sports league. Trading goods and services resembled trading players from one team to another. Neither team would carry out the deal unless it believed it to be in its own interests. Nowadays, trade is more like an arrangement by which the manager of the better team is allowed to coach the lousier one in his spare time.
Vietnam, which does low-level assembly of wire harnesses for Honda. This does not mean Vietnam has industrialized, but nations like it no longer have to.
In the work of Thomas Friedman and other boosters you find value chains described as kaleidoscopic, complex, operating in a dozen different countries. Those are rare. There is less to “global value chains” than meets the eye. Most of them, Baldwin shows, are actually regional value chains. As noted, they exist on the periphery of the United States, Europe, or Japan. In this, offshoring resembles the elaborate international transactions that Florentine bankers under the Medicis engaged in for the sole purpose of avoiding church strictures on moneylending.
One way of describing outsourcing is as a verdict on the pay structure that had arisen in the West by the 1970s: on trade unions, prevailing-wage laws, defined-benefit pension plans, long vacations, and, more generally, the power workers had accumulated against their bosses.
In 1993, during the first month of his presidency, Bill Clinton outlined some of the promise of a world in which “the average 18-year-old today will change jobs seven times in a lifetime.” How could anyone ever have believed in, tolerated, or even wished for such a thing? A person cannot productively invest the resources of his only life if he’s going to be told every five years that everything he once thought solid has melted into ait.
The more so since globalization undermines democracy, in the ways we have noted. Global value chains are extraordinarily delicate. They are vulnerable to shocks. Terrorists have discovered this. In order to work, free-trade systems must be frictionless and immune to interruption, forever. This means a program of intellectual property protection, zero tariffs, and cross-border traffic in everything, including migrants. This can be assured only in a system that is veto-proof and non-consultative—in short, undemocratic.
Sheltered from democracy, the economy of the free trade system becomes more and more a private space.
Caldwell, C. (2014, November). Twilight of Democracy. CRB, 14(4).
Caldwell’s book review of
Fukuyama, Francis. The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. SCSU Library: https://mplus.mnpals.net/vufind/Record/007359076 Call Number: JC11 .F85 2011
Fukuyama’s first volume opened with China’s mandarin bureaucracy rather than the democracy of ancient Athens, shifting the methods of political science away from specifically Western intellectual genealogies and towards anthropology. Nepotism and favor-swapping are man’s basic political motivations, as Fukuyama sees it. Disciplining those impulses leads to effective government, but “repatrimonialization”—the capture of government by private interests—threatens whenever vigilance is relaxed. Fukuyama’s new volume, which describes political order since the French Revolution, extends his thinking on repatrimonialization, from the undermining of meritocratic bureaucracy in Han China through the sale of offices under France’s Henri IV to the looting of foreign aid in post-colonial Zaire. Fukuyama is convinced that the United States is on a similar path of institutional decay.
Political philosophy asks which government is best for man. Political science asks which government is best for government. Political decline, Fukuyama insists, is not the same thing as civilizational collapse.
Fukuyama is not the first to remark that wars can spur government efficiency—even if front-line soldiers are the last to benefit from it.
Relative to the smooth-running systems of northwestern Europe, American bureaucracy has been a dud, riddled with corruption from the start and resistant to reform. Patronage—favors for individual cronies and supporters—has thrived.
Clientelism is an ambiguous phenomenon: it is bread and circuses, it is race politics, it is doing favors for special classes of people. Clientelism is both more democratic and more systemically corrupting than the occasional nepotistic appointment.
why modern mass liberal democracy has developed on clientelistic lines in the U.S. and meritocratic ones in Europe. In Europe, democracy, when it came, had to adapt itself to longstanding pre-democratic institutions, and to governing elites that insisted on established codes and habits. Where strong states precede democracy (as in Germany), bureaucracies are efficient and uncorrupt. Where democracy precedes strong states (as in the United States but also Greece and Italy), government can be viewed by the public as a piñata.
Fukuyama contrasts the painstaking Japanese development of Taiwan a century ago with the mess that the U.S. Congress, “eager to impose American models of government on a society they only dimly understood,” was then making of the Philippines. It is not surprising that Fukuyama was one of the most eloquent conservative critics of the U.S. invasion of Iraq from the very beginning.
What distinguishes once-colonized Vietnam and China and uncolonized Japan and Korea from these Third World basket cases is that the East Asian lands “all possess competent, high-capacity states,” in contrast to sub-Saharan Africa, which “did not possess strong state-level institutions.”
Fukuyama does not think ethnic homogeneity is a prerequisite for successful politics
the United States “suffers from the problem of political decay in a more acute form than other democratic political systems.” It has kept the peace in a stagnant economy only by dragooning women into the workplace and showering the working and middle classes with credit.
public-sector unions have colluded with the Democratic Party to make government employment more rewarding for those who do it and less responsive to the public at large. In this sense, government is too big. But he also believes that cutting taxes on the rich in hopes of spurring economic growth has been a fool’s errand, and that the beneficiaries of deregulation, financial and otherwise, have grown to the point where they have escaped bureaucratic control altogether. In this sense, government is not big enough.
Washington, as Fukuyama sees it, is a patchwork of impotence and omnipotence—effective where it insists on its prerogatives, ineffective where it has been bought out. The unpredictable results of democratic oversight have led Americans to seek guidance in exactly the wrong place: the courts, which have both exceeded and misinterpreted their constitutional responsibilities. the almost daily insistence of courts that they are liberating people by removing discretion from them gives American society a Soviet cast.
“Effective modern states,” he writes, “are built around technical expertise, competence, and autonomy.”
the sociologists Richard Sennett and Jonathan Cobb call the “hidden injuries of class.” These are dramatized by a recent employment study, in which the sociologists Lauren A. Rivera and Andras Tilcsik sent 316 law firms résumés with identical and impressive work and academic credentials, but different cues about social class. The study found that men who listed hobbies like sailing and listening to classical music had a callback rate 12 times higher than those of men who signaled working-class origins, by mentioning country music, for example.
The college-for-all experiment did not work. Two-thirds of Americans are not college graduates. We need to continue to make college more accessible, but we also need to improve the economic prospects of Americans without college degrees.
Skillful, a partnership among the Markle Foundation, LinkedIn and Colorado, is one initiative pointing the way. Skillful helps provide marketable skills for job seekers without college degrees and connects them with employers in need of middle-skilled workers in information technology, advanced manufacturing and health care.For more information, see my other IMS blog entries, such as: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/01/11/credly-badges-on-canvas/
Maya Georgieva, an ed tech strategist, author and speaker with more than 15 years of experience in higher education and global education. Georgieva is co-founder of Digital Bodies, a consulting group that provides news and analysis of VR, AR and wearables in education
Microsoft has been collaborating with its partners, such as HP, Acer, Dell and Lenovo, to develop VR headsets that will work with lower-end desktops. Later this year, the companies will debut headsets for $299, “which is much more affordable compared to HoloLens
many Kickstarter crowdfunding efforts are bound to make high-end headsets more accessible for teaching.
the NOLO project. The NOLO system is meant for mobile VR headsets and gives users that “6 degrees of freedom” (or 6 DoF) motion tracking that is currently only found in high-end headsets.
2) Hand Controllers That Will Bring Increased Interactivity
Children who use smartphones, tablets, and video games for more than seven hours a day are more likely to experience premature thinning of the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain that processes thought and action, a 2018 study found. https://t.co/OJe6ZTBVkx
But others say banning laptops can be counterproductive, arguing these devices can create opportunity for students to discover more information during class or collaborate. And that certain tools and technologies are necessary for learners who struggle in a traditional lecture format.
Flanigan, who studies self-regulation, or the processes students use to achieve their learning goals, began researching digital distraction after confronting it in the classroom as a graduate instructor.
Digital distraction tempts all of us, almost everywhere. That’s the premise of Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport, an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University.
The professor is upset. The professor has taken action, by banning laptops.
Bruff, whose next book, Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching, is set to be published this fall, is among the experts who think that’s a mistake. Why? Well, for one thing, he said, students are “going to have to graduate and get jobs and use laptops without being on Facebook all day.” The classroom should help prepare them for that.
When Volk teaches a course with 50 or 60 students, he said, “the idea is to keep them moving.”Shifting the focal point away from the professor can help, too. “If they are in a small group with their colleagues,” Volk said, “very rarely will I see them on their laptops doing things they shouldn’t be.”
Professors may not see themselves as performers, but if they can’t get students’ attention, nothing else they do matters. “Learning doesn’t happen without attention,” said Lang, who is writing a book about digital distraction, Teaching Distracted Minds.
One aspect of distraction Lang plans to cover in his book is its history. It’s possible, he said, to regard our smartphones as either too similar or dissimilar from the distractions of the past. And it’s important, he said, to remember how new this technology really is, and how much we still don’t know about it.
Study: Use of digital devices in class affects students’ long-term retention of information
A new study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University reveals that students who are distracted by texts, games, or videos while taking lecture notes on digital devices are far more likely to have their long-term memory affected and to perform more poorly on exams, even if short-term memory is not impacted, EdSurge reports.
Exam performance was not only poorer for students using the devices, but also for other students in classes that permitted the devices because of the distraction factor, the study found.
After conducting the study, Arnold Glass, the lead researcher, changed his own policy and no longer allows his students to take notes on digital devices.
A nationally representative Gallup poll conducted in March showed that 42% of K-12 teachers feel that the use of digital devices in the classroom are “mostly helpful” for students, while only 28% feel they are “mostly harmful.” Yet 69% of those same teachers feel the devices have a harmful impact on student mental health and 55% feel they negatively affect student physical health.
findings, published in the journal Economics of Education Review in a paper, based on an analysis of the grades of about 5,600 students at a private US liberal arts college, found that using a laptop appeared to harm the grades of male and low-performing students most significantly.
While the authors were unable to definitively say why laptop use caused a “significant negative effect in grades”, the authors believe that classroom “cyber-slacking” plays a major role in lower achievement, with wi-fi-enabled computers providing numerous distractions for students.
High schoolers assigned a laptop or a Chromebook were more likely to take notes in class, do internet research, create documents to share, collaborate with their peers on projects, check their grades and get reminders about tests or homework due dates.
In 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense, which developed motion-sensing technology in Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect gaming system. Purchases of software startups in the field, Metaio Inc. and Flyby Media Inc., followed in 2015 and 2016.
“AR can be really great, and we have been and continue to invest a lot in this,” Cook said in a July 26 conference call with analysts. “We are high on AR for the long run. We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”