case study: an undergraduate senior projects computer science course collaboration whose aim was to develop textual browsing experiences, among other library reference functionality, within the HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) headset. In this case study, readers are introduced to applied uses of VR in service to library-based learning through the research and development of a VR reading room app with multi-user support. Within the VR reading room prototype, users are able to collaboratively explore the digital collections of HathiTrust, highlight text for further searching and discovery and receive consultative research support from a reference specialist through VR.
Library staff met with the project team weekly over the 16 weeks of both semesters to first scope out the functionality of the system and vet requirements.
The library research team further hypothesized that incorporating reference-like support in the VR environment can support library learning. There is ample evidence in the library literature which underscores the importance of reference interactions as learning and instructional experiences for university students
Educational benefits to immersive worlds include offering a deeper presence in engagement with rare or non-accessible artifacts. Sequeira and Morgado (2013, p. 2) describe their Virtual Archeology project as using “a blend of techniques and methods employed by historians and archaeologists using computer models for visualizing cultural artefacts and heritage sites”.
The higher-end graphics cards include devices such as the NVIDIA GeForceTM GTX 1060 or AMD RadeonTM RX 480, equivalent or better. The desktop system that was built for this project used the GeForce GTX 1070, which was slightly above the required minimum specifications.
Collaboration: Library as client.
Specific to this course collaboration, computer science students in their final year of study are given the option of several client projects on which to work. The Undergraduate Library has been a collaborator with senior computer science course projects for several years, beginning in 2012-2013 with mobile application design and chat reference software re-engineering (Hahn, 2015). (My note: Mark Gill, this is where and how Mehdi Mekni, you and I can collaborate)
The hurdles the students had the most trouble with was code integration – e.g. combining various individual software parts towards the end of the semester. The students also were challenged by the public HathiTrust APIs, as the system was developed to call the HathiTrust APIs from within the Unity programming environment and developing API calls in C#. This was a novel use of the HathiTrust search APIs for the students and a new area for the research team as well.
There are alternatives to Unity C# programming, notably WebVR, an open source specification for VR programming on the open web.
A-Frame has seen maturation as a platform agnostic and device agnostic software programming environment. The WebVR webpage notes that the specification supports HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and Google Cardboard (WebVR Rocks, 2018). Open web platforms are consistent with library values and educational goals of sharing work that can be foundational in implementing VR learning experience both in VR environments and shareable on the web, too.
From the moment you open the browser, you will be presented with immersive experiences that can be enjoyed on a VR headset directly from the Firefox Reality browser. We are working with creators around the world to bring an amazing collection of games, videos, environments, and experiences that can be accessed directly from the home screen.
Kiwi enhances learning experiences by encouraging active participation with AR and social media. A student can use their smartphone or tablet to scan physical textbooks and unlock learning assistance tools, like highlighting, note creation and sharing, videos and AR guides—all features that encourage peer-to-peer learning. (my note, as reported at the discussion at the QQLM conference in Crete about Zois Koukopoulos, Dimitrios Koukopoulos Augmented Reality Dissemination and Exploitation Services for Libraries: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2018/05/21/measuring-learning-outcomes-of-new-library-initiatives/
Street Smarts VR is a startup that is working to provide solutions for a major issue facing America’s communities: conflicts between police officers and citizens.
NYC Media Lab recently collaborated with Bloomberg and the augmented reality startup Lampix on a fellowship program to envision the future of learning in the workplace. Lampix technology looks like it sounds: a lamp-like hardware that projects AR capabilities, turning any flat surface into one that can visualize data and present collaborative workflows.
Calling Thunder: The Unsung History of Manhattan
Calling Thunder: The Unsung History of Manhattan, a project that came out of a recent fellowship program with A+E Networks, re-imagines a time before industrialization, when the City we know now was lush with forests, freshwater ponds, and wildlife.
AR and VR are mediums for the transmission of information, and many people will judge these mediums by the content that is produced within them. For educators seeking to gain buy-in from administrators and other colleagues it is critical for them to justify the reasons their content requires new reality media.
Given the newness of these mediums, it is no surprise that few curricular resources exist to support courses around VR and AR. Professional development sessions on new reality tools are almost non-existent, which means educators seeking to use virtual or augmented reality simply need to dive into the subjects.
“The equipment matters. If there is a latency between the computer and the VR set that can cause a lot of problems,”
With VR equipment ranging from about $15 to $600 educators will have to check the budget or start writing grant proposals to gain access to the higher quality machines.
5. Understand Your Student’s Needs
described as a “quantum shift” in the way we interact, learn and experience.
The Augmented Reality Game, Pokemon Go, took the world by storm in the summer of 2016. City landscapes were decorated with amusing, colourful objects called Pokemon, and the holiday activities were enhanced by catching these wonderful creatures. In light of this, it is inevitable for mobile language learning researchers to reflect on the impact oft his game on learning and how it may be leveraged to enhance the design of mobile and ubiquitous technologies for mobile and situated language learning. This paper analyses the game Pokemon Go and the players’ experiences accordingto a framework developed for evaluating mobile language learning and discusses how Pokemon Go can help to meetsome of the challenges faced by earlier research activities.
A comparison between PG and Geocashing will illustrate the evolution of the concept of location-based games a concept that is very close to that of situated learning that we have explored in several previous works.
Pokémon Go is a free, location-based augmented reality game developed for mobile devices. Players useGPS on their mobile device to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures (a.k.a. Pokémon), whichappear on screen overlaying the image seen through the device’s camera. This makes it seem like thePokemon are in the same real-world location as the player
“Put simply, augmented reality is a technology that overlays computer generated visuals over the real worldthrough a device camera bringing your surroundings to life and interacting with sensors such as location and heart rate to provide additional information”(Ramirez, 2014).
Apply the evaluation framework developed in 2015 for mobile learning applications(Cacchione, Procter-Legg, Petersen, & Winter, 2015). The framework is composed of a set offactors of different nature neuroscientific, technological, organisational and pedagogical and aim toprovide a comprehensive account of what plays a major role in ensuring effective learning via mobile devices
A whopping 60 percent of parents are worried about the VR’s health effects, according to a new study from Common Sense Media, while others hope the emerging technology will have profound educational benefits because of its highly-engaging nature.
Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media https://www.commonsense.org/education/
Stanford researchers partnered with Common Sense Media, which has done extensive research on children’s media use, to examine the impact of VR on children. Their report includes a national survey of 12,148 adults, 3,613 of whom were parents.
the study notes that 21 percent of households with children already have a VR device and 13 percent are planning to get one, Common Sense found that many parents are scared of exposing their children to such intense experiences.
Bailenson, founder of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, acknowledged the long term effects of VR on developing brains remain unknown. But short term impacts can include dizziness, headache and eye strain. https://vhil.stanford.edu/projects/
While 62 percent of parents surveyed believe that VR can provide educational experiences, only 22 percent reported their child actually used VR for learning. The vast majority play games.
VR also has the potential to encourage empathy among small children, experts say, because it builds bonds with virtual characters and settings, though parents surveyed by Common Sense remain skeptical.
Teachers can bring VR stories into the classroom in many different ways for meaningful learning experiences. Imagine a scavenger hunt where students narrate a story based on what they find. Or consider using objects they see to identify vocabulary words or recognize letters. Students should have purpose in their viewing and it should directly connect to standards.
Similar to the new movie, Ready Player One, they provide an intense experience where the viewer feels like they are in the center of the story.
Using a mobile device or tablet, the student can start the story and look around the scene based on their interest, rather than the cameras focus. New apps such as Baobab VR have continued to appear with more interactions and engagement.
A creative way to have your students create their own virtual stories is using the app Roundme. Upload your 360 image and add directional sound, links and content. Upload portals to walk the viewer into multiple scenes and then easily share the stories by link to the story.
Storyfab, turns our students into the directors of the show
A new AR book, SpyQuest, has moved the immersive experience a big step forward as it helps define the story by bringing the images to life. Through the camera lens on a device, the stories make students the agents in an adventure into the world of espionage. The augmented reality experiences on the images use the accompanying app to scan the scene and provide further insight into the story.