Facebook Oculus

Facebook’s Oculus virtual-reality division: Let’s not go crazy with the hype


The VR industry is at the beginning of what could be the next major technology trend, with the potential to change the way people live, work and communicate.

Video Storytelling in Social Media Marketing

Video Storytelling in Social Media Marketing


#1: Post Stories From Your Customers

#2: Create a Fictional Series

#3: Tell Personal Stories

#4: Shoot Documentary-Style Video

#5: Interview Guests

#6: Take Viewers Behind the Scenes

#7: Create Animated Stories

#8: Show Viewers How to Do Something

Other Stories to Tell With Video

There are a lot of interesting ways to integrate storytelling into your social videos. In addition to those featured above, here are some other stories that are well suited for video:

  • Create a single video or a series of videos to highlight humorous situations related to your business or industry.
  • If your company’s beginnings would make an interesting story, have the founder tell that story on video.
  • Are your employees involved in interesting activities or challenges? Consider featuring those stories in your social videos.
  • Tell a fictional but realistic story on video to educate viewers about your industry.
  • Find a way to combine reality TV–style video with something relevant to your audience.

Enabling BYOD

Enabling Bring Your Own Device

white paper by the Cisco

To help improve understanding of BYOD and its impacts on modern network environments, this white paper will further explore the many differences that exist between corporate and educational approaches to the technology.

In the education space, dealing with non-standard, user-managed devices has been and still remains the norm. Unfortunately, the variety of devices means a multitude of operating systems and software are encountered, with many “standards” being defined. As a result there is little consistency in the device type or the software being installed. Since the device is owned by the student and is a personal resource, it is often difficult or impossible to enforce a policy that prevents users from installing software. In addition, due to the nature of learning as opposed to a corporate environment, it is also difficult to put a restriction on certain classes of software since all may provide a worthwhile educational purpose.

providing a solution that unifies management and deployment polices across both wired and wireless devices is very desirable.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) has spurred a revolution in mobility. Collaboration anywhere, anytime and with any device is quickly becoming the rule instead of the exception. As a result it is now common for students to bring mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and e-readers into the academic environment to support their educational endeavors.

The infrastructure supporting BYOD no longer has the sole purpose of providing a wireless radio signal within a given area. The focus is now about providing the appropriate bandwidth and quality to accommodate the ever-growing number of devices and ensure that an application provides a good end-user experience. In a sense, applications are now the major driving force behind the continuing evolution of BYOD. For example, a teacher accessing video in the classroom for educational purposes during class hours should have greater priority than a student in the same area accessing a gaming site for recreation.

A state-of-the-art BYOD infrastructure should now be capable of providing more than just generic, general-purpose wireless connectivity. In the classroom environment, the notion of “differentiated access” often resonates with faculty and staff. Once this has been determined, a policy can be applied to the user and their activity on the network.

Granular security can also be intelligently delivered.
Quality of Service (QoS) rate limiting has been available for some time, but now there are newer QoS techniques available.

Location-based services can provide their first interaction with the university. By delivering campus maps and directional information, location-enabled services can enhance the experience of these visitors and provide a positive image to them as well. As a visitor enters a particular building location, information could automatically be provided. In the case of a visiting student, information about the history of a building, departments contained within the building, or other resources could be presented to enhance a guided tour, or provide the perspective student the ability to have a self-directed tour of the campus facilities.

802.11ac Technology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac)

Software Defined Networking (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_networking)


DGBL and digital literacies

Digital game-based learning levels up digital literacies


My note: excellent Australian article, which presents a very strong point on digital literacies (metaliteracies, see URL below) from educators (versus library) perspective. Connected with game-based learning, it clearly renders the traditional perspective of information literacy as miniscules and the notion of digital literacy being “information literacy on steroids” as obsolete. It clearly shows that the “xxx-literacies” are clearly not a domain of the librarians and if the librarians do not wised up and allow other faculty who are “not librarians” to equally participate, they might well count with those faculty going on their own (as it is transparent from this article).

connections will be made between  digital game-based learning and digital literacies to show that digital game-based learning is a powerful pedagogy that incorporates the elements of digital literacies. Through the adoption of game-based learning, digital literacies can be taught in context. Digital literacies are the skills that connect the learning content (curriculum) and digital games are the platform that these digital literacies can be practised within a meaningful context.

Digital literacies is an umbrella term that includes a combination of literacies – visual literacy, media literacy, collaborative literacy, ICT literacy, information literacy – that are needed to take an active, participatory role in life, now and in the future (Hague & Payton, 2010, p. 2).

Bawden (2008), cites Gilster (1997), who defines digital literacy as “an ability to understand and use information from a variety of digital sources and regard it as literacy in the digital age” (p.18).

Jisc, identify in their Digital Literacy Guide that it is a concept that is contextual and it is not static.  Change is imminent as new technologies develop “at breakneck speeds” (Becker, 2011, p. 76), therefore, it can be inferred the digital literacies required to use these new technologies need to be adaptable and flexible to these changes (Haste, 2009).

Cooper, Lockyer & Brown (2013), highlight this plurality by using the term “multiliteracies” which can be understood as synonymous with digital literacies.  Cooper et al. (2013), explain multiliteracies is required as a “broader view of literacy” (p. 94), is needed as a result of the diverse range of communications tools, therefore, context is implied.  Ng (2012) also highlights this idea that digital literacy is “the multiplicity of literacies associated with the use of digital technologies” (p. 1066).  The combination of multiliteracies and technologies would also suggest that multimodality is an important element of digital literacy (McLoughlin, 2011) .

7 elements of digital literacy in their Developing Digital Literacies Guide (2014), which can be seen below.

DGBL and digital literacy


digital games (Pivec & Pivec, 2011), which can also be called computer games (Whitton, 2011), video games (Turkay, Hoffman, Kinzer, Chantes & Vicari, 2014) or serious games (Arnab et al., 2012) rather than gamification.

Digital game-based learning then is using digital games in the learning environment with the purpose of achieving learning aligned with learning theory.

Cognitive constructivism is a learning theory that game-based learning could be aligned (Orr & McGuinness, 2014; St-Pierre, 2011).  This learning theory builds upon the theories of Piaget and Bruner, therefore, an important consideration in the digital game-based classroom would be that choosing games needs to fit the age and level of intellectual development the students are at (St-Pierre, 2011).

A major focus of the socio-constructivist learning theory is that of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (St-Pierre, 2011).  The learning is designed “just beyond what the learner can do” (Orr & McGuinness, 2014, p. 223) and takes them beyond where their knowledge already exists.

More on digital literacy (metaliteracy) and DGBL in this IMS blog:








big data and student academic performance

Researchers use an app to predict GPA based on smartphone use


Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Austin have developed an app that tracks smartphone activity to compute a grade point average that’s within 0.17 of a point.

More on Big Data in education in this blog:


Google Keep

Google Keep


After yesterday’s post about making the most of Google Keep I received a few emails from readers wanting to know a bit more about how Google Keep works. To answer those questions I recorded the short video that you see embedded below (click here if you cannot see the video).

alternatives to lecturing

50 Alternatives To Lecturing

Learning Models

1. Self-directed learning

2. Learning through play

3. Scenario-based learning

4. Game-based learning (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=gaming)

5. Project-based learning (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=project+based)

6. Peer-to-Peer instruction

7. School-to-school instruction (using Skype in the classroom, for example)

8. Learning through projects

9. Problem-based learning

10. Challenge-based learning

11. Inquiry-based learning

12. Mobile learning

13. Gamified learning (gamification)

14. Cross-curricular projects (teaching by topic: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/03/24/education-reform-finland/)

15. Reciprocal Teaching

16. “Flipped-class” learning

17. Face-to-Face Driver blended learning

18. Rotation blended learning

19. Flex Blended Learning

20. “Online Lab” blended learning

21. Sync Teaching

23. HyFlex Learning

24. Self-guided MOOC

25. Traditional MOOC

26. Competency-Based Learning

27. Question-based learning

Literacy Strategies

28. Write-Around

29. Four Corners

30. Accountable Talk

31. RAFT Assignments

32. Fishbowl

33. Debate

34. Gallery Walk

35. Text Reduction

36. Concentric Circles

37. Traditional Concept-Mapping (teacher-given strategy–“fishbone” cause-effect analysis, for example)

38. Didactic, Personalized Concept Mapping (student designed and personalized for their knowledge-level and thinking patterns)

39. Mock Trial

40. Non-academic video + “academic” questioning

41. Paideia Seminar (http://www.paideia.org/, http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/paideia/, http://www.mtlsd.org/jefferson_middle/stuff/paideia%20seminar%20guidelines.pdf)

42. Symposium

43. Socratic Seminar (https://www.nwabr.org/sites/default/files/SocSem.pdf)

44. QFT Strategy

45. Concept Attainment

46. Directed Reading Thinking Activity

47. Paragraph Shrinking

48. FRAME Routine

49. Jigsaw Strategy


50. Content-Based Team-Building Activities

51. Learning Simulation

52. Role-Playing

53. Bloom’s Spiral

54. Virtual Field Trip (http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/scw/)

55. Physical Field Trip

56. Digital Scavenger Hunt  (http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/bi/)

57. Physical Scavenger Hunt




educational resources

Guide to the Best Homeschooling and Unschooling Resources


* Khanacademy.org

* Hippocampus.org

* Free online college courses can be found on many sites, with directories available at sites like MIT’s Open Coursework Consortium. Big players in the open-educational resources movement include Coursera and EdX, which offer MOOCs. FutureLearn is UK-based, with free online courses from UK and international universities. More information about these can be found in MindShift’s guide to free quality higher education, plusprevious collections of open educational sites and resources.

* iTunes University

* Audiobooks Free public-domain audiobooks, read by volunteers, can be found at librivox.org. (Print versions of public-domain books are available at Project Gutenberg.)




Inquiry Learning

Why Inquiry Learning is Worth the Trouble


EduCon 2.5

it’s important to question whether alleged “personalized,” “project-based,” or “collaborative” learning efforts are actually helping students and teachers to “hold ourselves in a state of questioning.”

In a true inquiry-based model, how learning happens isn’t as important as whether that learning encourages students to try to learn even more.

“Inquiry means living in the soup. Inquiry means living in that uncomfortable space where we don’t know the answer.”

Increased collaboration between students and increasing student scrutiny of educational content were two other signs Lehmann and the group said signaled the right approach, even if they clashed with classroom norms. For example, collaboration can often lead to tricky discussions about what part of a students’ work are his or her own and what part is recycled. (see IMS blog entry on academic dishonesty: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/05/04/cheating-inadvertently/)

Inquiry-based education should improve student engagement, critical thinking skills, and cross-disciplinary opportunities (see IMS blog entry on cross-disciplinary idea and subjects versus topics equivalent http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/03/24/education-reform-finland/)