Over the past year, interest in eXtended reality (XR) technologies (such as virtual, augmented, immersive, and mixed reality) has surged. New and more affordable XR technologies, along with voice activation and sophisticated visual display walls, provide promising directions and opportunities to immerse learners in the curriculum, offering deeper and more vivid learning experiences and extending the learning environment. But what’s the curricular reality with respect to these technologies? What is hype and what is substance? Specifically:
What practical applications do “XR technologies” have for teaching, learning, and research?
How are these technologies being applied to engage learners as consumers and creators of XR experiences?
What evidence is there to support XR technologies as effective tools in the learning environment?
How can these technologies be integrated into learning spaces?
What are the ethical questions we should consider as we explore XR?
In April, a PLAYlive Nation lounge in Tracy, Calif., hosted its first Fortnite tournament and sold out. Hundreds of players bought tickets to play against one another and win prizes.
Joost van Dreunen, the CEO of Superdata Research, a video game analytics firm, says most shooter games are serious and simulate violence. Fortnite, he says, is more like a friendly game of tag.
His company estimates the game has made about $223 million across all platforms in March alone. In lifetime sales, it had made about $614 million. The game is free to play, but Epic Games, the company that owns Fortnite, makes money through microtransactions. Players can spend real money to make cosmetic changes to their characters in the game. They can buy things like skins, which are like costumes, for their characters or emotes, which are celebratory dance moves their characters can do after winning or killing another player in the game.
Ninja, the gamer name taken by 26-year-old Tyler Blevins, is now a legend in the Fortnite world. He is a master at the game and rocketed into popularity after playing in an online battle with rap artists Drake and Travis Scott on March 14. That battle has been watched more than 9 million times.
Educators Battle ‘Fortnite’ for Students’ Attention
Many educators want to ban the game from their classrooms, but some are taking the opposite approach, attempting to weave students’ interest in Fortnite into class discussions and assignments.
Nick Fisher, a science teacher at Fort Zumwalt North High School in O’Fallon, Mo., said his students like to take screenshots of gameplay and send them to friends over Snapchat. Teenagers want to broadcast their victories, and because the game is on their phones, it’s easy to post updates to social media, making Fortnite “the perfect concoction of addiction,” said Fisher.
North High blocks all social media and gaming sites on its WiFi, said Fisher, but students tell him how they circumvent the restriction: They use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to establish independent internet connections. (Dozens of YouTube videos provide step-by-step tutorials for students looking to get around school WiFi controls.)
“Kids can’t multitask,” she said. “Even having a digital device within sight can cognitively distract the student enough that they can’t focus on the academics.”
Schools and teachers should be guiding parents when it comes to appropriate limits around screen time, said Kolb. Most parents will appreciate research-based recommendations, such as turning off all screens a set amount of time before bed, she said.
Games like Fortnite can even have social benefits, said John Velez, an assistant professor of journalism and electronic media at Texas Tech University. Velez, who studies the positive effects of video games, has found that playing violent games cooperatively with helpful teammates promotes pro-social behavior.
Chris Aviles, the coordinator of innovation, technology, and 21st century skills for the Fair Haven Public Schools in New Jersey, wrote “A Teacher’s Guide to Surviving Fortnite,” an exploration of ways the game can be used for instructional purposes. The guide, posted to his blog Teched Up Teacher, suggests how to integrate the game into writing prompts, math lessons on probability, and physics.
Aviles doesn’t advocate playing the game at school. There isn’t any educational value in letting students engage in virtual combat during a lesson, he said. Instead, teachers can build a lesson around one aspect of the game, such as having students calculate the best angle of approach as they jump from the “Battle Bus,” the floating bus that drops players onto the map at the beginning of each match.
Instagram, Snapchat, Fortnite: The distractions are endless. Here’s how to help kids cope.
In January, two of Apple’s shareholder groups asked the company to look at the addictive effects of iPhones on children. Google’s recent developer conference highlighted tools to help users better control smartphone usage.
A 2015 survey of more than 1,800 teachers and 400 principals in Alberta, B.C., found that nearly three-fourths of teachers frequently or very frequently observed students multitasking with technology, and 67 percent of teachers believed that the number of students negatively distracted by digital technologies in the classroom was growing.
The best approach is to use empathy, compassion and collaboration to help the young people in your life find ways to manage their digital workflow.
Encourage visualization for inspiration and motivation. The first step is getting students to buy in and to want to make behavioral changes.
Focus on compartmentalization. A 2009 study from Stanford researchers found that people who juggled several streams of electronic information were not able to pay attention, remember key information or switch tasks as effectively as those who completed one task at a time.
Using the Pomodoro technique of spending 25 minutes focused on one task followed by a five-minute break can be an easy way to have students begin to shift from a multitasking to a monotasking mind-set.
Make focus fun. There are now numerous ways to use technology to help us be more productive with technology, and it doesn’t have to be arduous. Students in my office use apps such as Forest or Flipd to motivate them to stay off their phones during class or when doing homework. Forest has a simple interface that will build a digital tree for users who stay off their phones. Flipd allows users to hide certain apps, allot time off their phone based on their schedule and, for a premium, track their progress over time.
Provide structured support as needed. A middle school student with whom I worked recently was relieved when his mother used the Mac OS app SelfControl to block YouTube and ESPN while he was doing his homework (Cold Turkey is a similar PC-based app).
Allow opportunities for regrouping. Even the best plans can go awry (for adults and kids alike). It’s important to focus on progress rather than perfection. Create time daily or weekly for students to think about what went well in terms of managing distractions and improving productivity, and what they would like to do better. Ask open-ended questions without judgment or expectation
Open Discussion: VR in Education | Тема: Виртуалната реалност в образованието
Where | Университет Пловдив https://goo.gl/maps/bLBYXkp5S1S2 and online ( виртуално) When | Кога: 3. май, 2018, 15 часа | May 3, 2018, 3PM local time (Bulgaria) Who | Кой: преподаватели и суденти | faculty аnd students How | Как: използвайте “обратна връзка” за споделяне на вашите идеи | use the following hashtag for backchanneling #BGtechEd
Виртуална реалност в учебния процес – теория и практика- 1-1, 1/2 час продължителност Virtual reality in teaching and learning – theory and hands-on
Уточняване на понятията относно различните видове реалност: виртуална реалност, video 360 ; разширена реалност; смесена реалност. VR/AR/MR in education.
Подход и усвояване на различните видове реалност в образованието. Връзка между трите вида реалност в образованието и конструктивизма като теория на преподаването. Връзка между трите вида реалност в образованието и игровия подход и игрофикацията на образованието. Оценяване на обучението базирано на различните видове реалности.
Дискусия относно методиката на приложение в учебния процес
2 min video from the entrance of your University is viewable through Google Cardboard and your laptops. Study the video and seek answers to the following questions:
– what are the advantages of Video 360 to all other known-to-you media formats?
кои са предимствата на Видео 360 в сравнение с всички други медийни формати, които познавате?
– what would you do better in terms the video footage?
какво бихте заснимали, което да подобри видео материала за преподавателски и учебни цели (например: както друго място бихте избрали)
– how is / can be this medium advantageous to implementing core learning / teaching techniques
как този медиен формат може да се използва за да се подобрят съществуващите условия за успешно преподаване и обучение
По избор – разговор с Марк Гил от Щатския университет Сейнт Клауд и демонстрация на виртуална реалност в учебния процес – 10-15 мин
A virtual reality headset can take students on an immersive journey to another world. But no matter how cool it is, if that $3,000 piece of equipment enters a classroom and doesn’t provide any real instructional value, it can quickly become a very expensive paperweight.
Most schools don’t do edtech procurement really well yet. Sometimes we buy products that end up in closets because they don’t fit the instructional needs of students, and we end up not being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
Located in the district’s central office, where hundreds of teachers and staff members stop by each week for professional development, the playground offers a creative space that encourages teachers to explore new tools that have been vetted and approved by the district’s tech department.
In the United States, K-12 schools spend more than $13 billion a year on edtech — often without any idea whether it will make a difference in learning outcomes.
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
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.
definitions and delineation of gaming and gamification
the connection to BYOD
What do we want to learn this year/today?
more on gaming and gamification
more on realities
what is VR – virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) is “a computer technology that uses virtual reality headsets or multi- projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment” (“Virtual Reality” n.d.) VR is accomplished by using headsets, such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and Samsung Gear VR. The use of the headsets creates (and enhances) digitally constructed “reality,” thus providing excellent opportunities for simulations and learning through training and practice. Among a myriad of other definitions, Noor (2016, 34) describes Virtual Reality (VR) as “a computer-generated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds. The user wears a headset and through specialized software and sensors is immersed in 360- degree views of simulated worlds.”
from our book chapter: Video 360: The new type of visualization to help patrons enter the era of VR, AR and Mixed Reality (under review).
what is AR – augmented reality
“Augmented Reality (AR) supplements the physical environment with computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or other useful information – essentially overlaying the digital information on top of the physical world. Some consider the smartphone popular game “Pokemon Go” a form of consumer AR.”
from my book Chapter 12: VR, AR and Video 360: A Case Study Towards New Realities in Education by Plamen Miltenoff (under review)