Jumping onboard to a new industry trend with insufficient planning can result in your initiative failing to achieve its objective and, in the worst case, even hinder the learning process. So which hot topics should you treat with care?
1. Virtual Reality, or VR
Ultimately, the key question to consider when adopting anything new is whether it will help you achieve the desired outcome. VR shouldn’t be incorporated into learning just because it’s a common buzzword. Before you decide to give it a go, consider how it’s going to help your learner, and whether it’s truly the most effective or efficient way to meet the learning goal.
considering introducing an interactive element to your learning, don’t let this deter you—just ensure that it’s relevant to the content and will aid the learning process.
3. Artificial Intelligence, or AI
If you are confident that a trend is going to yield better results for your learners, the ROI you see may well justify the upfront resources it requires.
Again, it all comes down to whether a trend is going to deliver in terms of achieving an objective.
The theory behind microlearning makes a lot of sense: organizing content into sections so that learning can fit easily with modern day attention spans and learners’ busy lifestyles is not a bad thing. The worry is that the buzzword, ‘microlearning’, has grown legs of its own, meaning the industry is losing sight of its’ founding principles.
Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries.
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives.
keep safety in mindsaving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
Google Expeditions can be a fairly inexpensive way to present content. Students who have smartphones (Android or iOS) can download the Google Cardboard app and Google Expeditions for free. VR glasses can improve the experience but are not required.
Ideas for using VR in class
Do you teach biology? Take them on a tour of a virus or a cell.
Are you a professor in the arts? Visit street art around the world or the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Are you a guidance or career counselor? Bring your students to Berklee College of Music or meet a robotics engineer or female firefighter in NYC.
Astronomy professor? Send your students on the Juno mission to Jupiter or to experience the aurora borealis.
Professors of education can build lessons with your students so they can teach elementary students about animal camouflage or take children on a tour of the Aztec and Mayan pyramids.
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
Digital Fluency: Preparing Learners for 21st Century Digital Citizenship Eighty-five percent of the jobs available in 2030 do not yet exist. How does higher education prepare our learners for careers that don’t yet exist? One opportunity is to provide our students with opportunities to grow their skills in creative problem solving, critical thinking, resiliency, novel thinking, social intelligence, and excellent communication skills. Instructional designers and faculty can leverage the framework of digital fluency to create opportunities for learners to practice and hone the skills that will prepare them to be 21st-century digital citizens. In this session, join a discussion about several fluencies that comprise the overarching framework for digital fluency and help to define some of your own.
Dr. Jennifer Sparrow, Senior Director for Teaching and Learning with Technology and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Learning, Design, and Technology at Penn State. The webinar will take place on Friday, November 9th at 11am EST/4pm UTC (login details below)
how DF is different from DLiteracy? enable students define how new knowledge can be created through technology. Not only read and write, but create poems, stories, if analogous w learning a language. slide 4 in https://www.slideshare.net/aidemoreto/vr-library
communication fluency. be able to choose the correct media. curiosity/failure fluency; creation fluency (makerspace: create without soldering, programming, 3Dprinting. PLA filament-corn-based plastic; Makers-in-residence)
immersive fluency: video 360, VR and AR. enable student to create new knowledge through environments beyond reality. Immersive Experiences Lab (IMEX). Design: physical vs virtual spaces.
Data fluency: b.book. how to create my own textbook
rubrics and sample projects to assess digital fluency.
What is Instructional Design 2.0 or 3.0? deep knowledge and understanding of faculty development. second, once faculty understands the new technology, how does this translate into rework of curriculum? third, the research piece; how to improve to be ready for the next cycle. a partnership between ID and faculty.