Archive of ‘instructional technology’ category

Stanford VR Project

Stanford VR Project Shows Students Oceans of the Future

By Dian Schaffhauser 10/19/16

A new, free virtual reality program allows users to explore just what happens as climate change kills off coral reefs. The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience is a free science education tool that takes students to the bottom of the sea and then fast-forwards their experience to the end of this century, when, as scientists predict, many coral reefs are expected to corrode through ocean acidification. By putting the experience in VR, the collaborators say they are hoping to change people’s behavior in the real world.

The project came out of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, which created a related 360-degree video project that also examines the problem of global warming and its impact on the ocean’s life forms. But it’s the VR version that allows the viewer to deep-sea dive and collect samples off of the ocean floor.

The lab created the software in partnership with marine biologists Fiorenza Micheli from Stanford and Kristy Kroeker, formerly at Stanford and now at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as Roy Pea, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. The development process took two years to recreate a virtual replica of an actual rocky reef around the Italian island of Ischia

A related video, “The Crystal Reef,” filmed in 360 degrees and developed as part of a master’s degree project by a lab member, premiered during the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. There, people could watch the film on VR headgear. “We had a line of dozens of people for 11 hours a day, six days straight,” said Bailenson, in a Stanford article about the project.

The VR project has also gone to Washington, where lawmakers and staffers tried it out during a Capitol Hill event organized by non-profit Ocean Conservancy.


more on virtual reality in this IMS blog

Mobile Language Learning Technologies in Japan

Book Announcement: Implementing Mobile Language Learning Technologies in Japan

New book: Implementing Mobile Language Learning Technologies in Japan

by Steve McCarty, Hiroyuki Obari, and Takeshi Sato

Publisher: Springer Singapore / SpringerBriefs in Education (107 pages)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Contextualizing Mobile Language Learning in Japan

Chapter 2 Mobile Language Learning Pedagogy: A Sociocultural Perspective

Chapter 3 Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Case Study:

Smartphone App LINE for EFL Peer Learning

Chapter 4 Osaka Jogakuin University Case Study:

Mobilizing the EFL Curriculum and Campus Infrastructure with iPods and iPads

Chapter 5 Aoyama Gakuin University Case Study:

Blended Learning and Flipped Classrooms utilizing Mobile Devices

Chapter 6 Conclusion: Implementing Language Learning in a Mobile-Oriented Society


This book explores theoretical and practical aspects of implementing mobile language learning in university classrooms for English as a Foreign Language in Japan. The technologies utilized, such as smartphones, iPads, and wi-fi, integrate students’ hand-held devices into the campus network infrastructure. The pedagogical aims of ubiquitous mobile learning further incorporate social media, blended learning, and flipped classroom approaches into the curriculum. Chapter 1 defines mobile language learning within dimensions of e-learning and technology-assisted language learning, prior to tracing the development of mobile learning in Japan. Chapter 2 documents the sociocultural theory underpinning the authors’ humanistic approach to implementation of mobile technologies. The sociocultural pedagogy represents a global consensus of leading educators that also recognizes the agency of Asian learners and brings out their capability for autonomous learning. Case studies of universities, large and small, public and private, are organized similarly in Chapters 3 to 5. Institutional/pedagogical and technological context sections are followed by detailed content on the implementation of initiatives, assessment of effectiveness, and recommendations for other institutions. Distinct from a collection of papers, this monograph tells a story in brief book length about theorizing and realizing mobile language learning, describing pioneering and original initiatives of importance to practitioners in other educational contexts.


Steve McCarty lectures for Kansai University, Osaka Jogakuin University, KIC Graduate School of IT, and the government agency JICA.

Hiroyuki Obari, PhD in Computer Science, is a Professor at the Aoyama Gakuin University College of Economics in Tokyo.

Takeshi Sato is an Associate Professor at the Division of Language and Culture Studies, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

Ordering information from Springer

Paperback (ISBN: 978-981-10-2449-8):

eBook (ISBN: 978-981-10-2451-1) or individual chapters:



more on mobile technologies in this IMS blog

VR in education

5 ways virtual reality is being used in education right now

By Meris Stansbury
1. For new research: using a state-of-the-art “haptic” floor of aeronautic metal that vibrates and moves to stimulate the physical world for research on how VR has the potential to change the way users feel and behave. There may also be implications for confronting racism, sexism, and aiding in empathy and humanitarian efforts, says Bailenson.
2. For coding and 3D design: According to Bob Nilsson, director of Vertical Solutions Marketing for Extreme Networking, the University of Maryland, College Park, now offers a class on virtual reality that gives students the opportunity to design their own interactive world, work with 3D audio and experiment with immersive technology through a combination of hands-on learning and case studies. Also, the University of Georgia is offering similar classes where students design and explore applications for VR. Conrad Tucker, an assistant professor of engineering at Pennsylvania State University, has received funding to build a virtual engineering lab where students hold, rotate, and fit together virtual parts as they would with their real hands.

3. For anatomy and dissection: Said one Extreme Networks survey respondent, “Our students have been developing a VR model of a cow’s anatomy for dissection and study. You have the ability to drill down to the circulatory system, brain, muscle, skeleton, etc. Our applied tech program is using VR in conjunction with Autocad for models of projects they design.”

4. For engagement: A whopping 68 percent of survey respondents said the major benefit of using VR in education is to excite students about the subject matter. 39 percent said it’s great for encouraging creativity.

5. For field trips: Google has eliminated restrictions on Expeditions, their VR field trips program. Google Expeditions was cited in the survey as one of the most popular sources of VR content, but with the complaint that it was a restricted program.

use of VR in education

Thomas S. McDonald ·

Virtual reality may have its place, but until traditional education moves away from their 20th century teaching methodology and replaces it with educationally innovative, 21st century learning methodology, within a blended and flipped learning environment, virtual reality is currently, much ado about nothing.
Unless any new application is educationally innovative and directly and measurably contributes to effective, efficient, consistent, affordable, relevant advanced student success outcomes for ALL students, future innovations must wait for current innovations to be implemented.
This process of appriate choice and appropriate implemention must start at the top and be beta tested for measured student success before its rolled out system wide.

more on VR in this IMS blog


Internet pioneer

Internet pioneer dies at 102

Leo Berane, native of Solon, Iowa, passed away Oct. 10 at the age of 10.

The same year that Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon and the Beatles gave their last live performance, the ARPANET was born.

“I never dreamed the internet would come into such widespread use, because the first users of the Arpanet were large mainframe computer owners,” said Beranek in the New York Times interview.


more on Internet history in this IMS blog:

benefits of mobile technology

How Teachers Leverage Mobile Technology

“Teachers and administrators continue to see the No. 1 benefit of any digital tool, content or resource as enhancing student engagement. While that is interesting, it has limited value. Lots of thing can engage kids — that does not necessarily point to an academic benefit or value proposition on its own. So, I always acknowledge the engagement benefit but look deeper at other benefits that can shed new insights into how the teachers are leveraging these powerful devices to transform education — or to change the trajectory of the learning process for their students.

among the more interesting or meaningful benefits were:

  • Improvement of communications between stakeholders, such as the ability for students to ask question via e-mail. “Stronger communications between students and teachers is a huge benefit
  • Extending learning beyond regular school hours: “Teachers giving that high marks as a real or perceived benefit means that they are also looking for ways to extend learning time beyond the school day but realize that kids need a device to make that a reality.”
  • Student ownership of the learning process: “Students who are using mobile devices in class are empowered/enabled to be in the driver’s seat of their own learning


more on mobile technology in this blog

ePub3 and more

Hello OLC Colleague,

Are you preparing students for job skills required in 2020?


Attend our webinar to see how the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing, Training and Education platform can give you  a way to move your organization’s mobile collaboration and publication systems to a powerful new level.


Whether you are in the public or the private sector, you can benefit from learning how to use VR/AR as well as seeing how multimedia (ePub3) and live streaming technologies can enhance your collaborative and publishing skills.

Student-Centered Instruction Webinar
Nov. 8, 2016 | 1 PM (UTC-7)


We will be covering:

  • How to use live streaming video to collaborate on projects and assignments.
  • How to use AR and VR to create “empathetic” point-of-view.
  • How to give each author/teacher a publishing platform to feature live broadcasts of new books, book trailers, live chat with readers/students, and even “casting” a virtual book tour to bookstores and libraries as patrons can view on their mobile devices.
  • A guided tour of our three ePub3 Creator Studio Templates that are used for collaborative work inside our web app.

Bonus! All attendees will receive a free copy of Professor Jim Musgrave’s book, Running with the Big Dogs: A Creator’s Guide to Using Electronic Media. Also, if you teach online classes, he will give you an Insert-text Grammar Template to use when grading your students’ papers.


Join our free webinar on November 8, 2016 at 1 PM (UTC-7). Register today.

3D Printing Project-Based Curriculum

Inside WIT’s 3D Printing Project-Based Curriculum

Who better to learn about incorporating 3D printing into instruction than from an instructor who taught the curriculum?

Join us on October 26th to hear directly from Assistant Professor Steve Chomyszak who used Stratasys 3D Printing Curriculum to teach a “Special Topics” 3D printing course at the Wentworth Institute of Technology.

During this complimentary webcast, you’ll gain valuable insight into the successes and lessons learned, including:

  • Overview of the 14-week project-based 3D printing curriculum
  • How an interactive learning environment impacted and inspired WIT students
  • How the WIT 3D printing lab went from crickets to buzzing
  • How curriculum measured up according to students
  • And so much more!

photo sharing and libraries

Photo-sharing Site as Library Tool : A Web-based Survey
peer-reviewed article for Digital Library Perspectives:

opportunity to user to develop a sense of ownership over the library resources.

Photo-sharing sites  already  have  taken  sharp  inroads  into  the  field  of  teaching-learnin encouraging a shift from teacher-led approach to user centred engagement (Kawka, et al,2012).

Introducing photo-sharing sites and integrating with other social networking sites, libraries are now making their web presence outside the “traditional web platform”. With facility of online  managing  and  sharing  of  digital  images,  photo-sharing  sites  enable  users  to  get remotely connected with others and interact with comment links. Photo-sharing sites that are commonly being used by libraries are Flickr (, Instagram (, Pinterest  (,   Photobucket   (,   Picasa   (, SmugMug (, etc (Bradley, 2007; Kroski, 2008; Salomon, 2013).

The results showed that blog and RSS are among the mostly used applications and web 0 applications are associated with overall website quality,  particularly to  the  service  quality.

Stvilia and  Jörgensen  (2010) suggests that  controlled  vocabulary  terms  may  be

37 complemented with those user generated tags which users feel more comfortable with for information The study also reflects a growing interest among the user community to be involved in “social content creation and sharing communities in creating and enhancing the metadata of their photo collections to make the collections more accessible and visible”.

page 7-8.
2.1 Steps to increase accessibility to photo-sharing sites
a)  Improve visibility: To make photo-sharing sites of the library easily visible, a direct link to library homepage is essential

p. 9
2.2 Purposes of using photo-sharing sites
a)   Organising library tour
b) Community building
c)   Tool for digitisation
d) Grabbing the users at their own place
e)   Integrating  Feeds  with  other  application
f)   Displaying new arrivals : Newly added books
g)   Sharing news & events and publicize library activities
h)   Archives of exhibits
i) Portal for academic and research activity:   Photo-sharing sites may serve as platform tofoster teaching learning activity, particularly for those who may use these image resource sites for academic purpose
j)  Experimentation : Being a relatively new approach to users service, these tools may be introduced on experimental basis to examine their proper utilisation before final implementation
k) Miscellaneous :  Public  library  can  reach  out  to  the  community  physically,  offer service to  the  traditionally  underserved,  homebound  or  people  with  disability, implement programmes  to  include  marginalised  section  of  the  community  and showcase its mobile outreach efforts in photo-sharing sites.

page 12-13
Before  going  to  integrate  photo-sharing  site,  a  library  should  set  the  strategic  objectives i.e., what purposes are to be served. “Purpose can provide clarity of vision when creating policies or  guidelines”  (Garofalo,  2013,  p.28).  The above discussedrange  of  purposes  may  help  librarians  to  develop  better  understanding  to  makeinformed  selection  of  photo-sharing  utility and  the  nature  of  images  to  be  posted through it. Goal setting should precede consideration of views of a sizeable section of all library stakeholders to know beforehand what they expect from the library.
•    Once the purposes are outlined, a library should formulate policy/ guideline for photo-sharing practices, based on user requirement, staff resource, available time component and technological support base. Policy offers a clear guideline for the users and staff to decide the kind of images to be posted.   A guideline is indeed essential for the optimum use of photo-sharing site. It also delineates the roles and responsibilities of the staff concerned and ensures regular monitoring of the posts. Policy may highlight fair use guidelines and allow re-use of images within the scope of copy-right.
•    A best way to start is integrating an app, involving simple design with fewer images and let users be familiarized with the system. During the course of development more and more apps may be added, with more images to be posted to serve variety of purposes, depending on the institutional resource and user demand.
•    Accessibility to photo-sharing site largely depends on its visibility to the audience. Icon  of  photo-sharing  utility  prominently  located  on  website  will  increase  the presentation of its visual identity. Library may set links to photo-sharing sites at home page or at drilled-down page.
•    Being  an  emerging  technology,  photo-sharing  site  needs  adequate  exposure  for optimum usage. Annotations associated to photo-sharing site will give an idea about the online tool and will guide users to better harness the application.
•    Photo-sharing sites allow images to be organised in a variety of way. Categorising image resources under various topical headings at one location will improve resource identification and frees one from extensive searching.
•    Regular posting of engaging images to photo-sharing site from the library and follow- up will attract users to tag and share images and strengthen community involvement with active user participation.
•    “Social and informal photographs” of library staff will make them more approachable and strengthen patron-staff relationship.
•    Library should seek user comments and suggestions to improve current photo-sharing application  and  to  incorporate  fresh  element  to  library  service  provision.  User feedback may be considered as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of existing photo- sharing practices.
•    To  popularise  the  effort,  usual  promotional  media  like  physical  and  online  signs/ displays  apart,   library  may  use   social   media  marketing  platforms   like   blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and increase awareness of photo-sharing tools.
•    Imparting technology training may develop necessary knowledge; improve skill, and change the attitude and mindset of library professionals to handle issues related to using this web-based powered-tools and repurpose existing accessibility settings.
•    To provide quick link to photo-sharing site from anywhere in the web, a library may use add-ons / plug-ins to embed image sharing tools.
•    Photo-sharing site may be implemented to satisfy multiple approach options of users. A section  of  users  use  photo-sharing site  to have  a glimpse  of  the  newly arrived documents, highlights of catalogue, rare books, etc.   Some others may use it to find images of historical importance with context. New users may find it attractive to pay


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