“Shifts in students’ learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion.”-Chris Dede
The theory of constructivist-based learning, according to Dr. Seymour Papert, “is grounded in the idea that people learn by actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information ‘poured’ into their heads.”
Moreover, constructionism asserts that people learn with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful artifacts (such as computer programs, animations, 3D modeling, creating spatial environments in virtual reality or building robots).”
Technologies like virtual reality, especially for Gen Z students’, provides avenues that allow them to engage in a social, collaborative, and active learning environment.
Virtual reality, especially when combined with powerful storytelling, allows the student to participate in the story, develop empathy to experiences outside their current realm of understanding and allows them to be fully immersed in their own exploration and learning.
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.
why the sudden interest in VR and AR after years of hype that failed to live up to expectations?
Heather Bellini, of Goldman Sachs Research, noted in a report last year that faster microprocessors and more powerful graphics cards have allowed more images per second to be delivered since the industry’s potential was hyped a decade ago.
There have also been advancements in AR gear, like glasses that allow vision of the real world but also have data or graphical images projected onto part of the glass.
As such, Goldman Sachs is projecting VR and AR to become an $80 billion market by 2025 – roughly equivalent to the size of the current PC market.
he big problems with VR is “motion to photon latency,” which is the time it takes to turn your head and the screen to refresh at the same rate.
Canada will see the fastest growth, with a CAGR of 145.2 percent over the forecast period. Other leaders in terms of growth include Central and Eastern Europe at 133.5 percent, Western Europe at 121.2 percent and the U.S. at 120.5 percent.
Leslie Fisher Thinks Augmented Reality First, Then VR in the Classroom
An interview with the former Apple K–12 systems engineer, who will participate in multiple sessions during ISTE.
THE Journal: What do you think about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the classroom? Is the cost point for VR prohibitive?
In virtual reality, one of my favorite apps is CoSpaces. It allows anyone to design a 3D space, and then interact with it in virtual reality.
Virtual reality can be quite affordable with Google Cardboard. We can get into basic interaction in VR with Cardboard. There are 40 or 50 VR apps where you can simply use Cardboard and explore. Google Street View allows you to do virtual viewing of many different locations. That technology augments what the teacher is doing.
Most kids can’t afford to buy their own Oculus headset. That price point is quite a bit higher. But we don’t need to have 30 kids using Oculus all of the time. Two or three might work