Seeking to bring the qualities of well-designed games to pedagogical assessment, the University of Michigan created a learning management system that uses gaming elements such as competition, badges and unlocks to provide students with a personalized pathway through their courses.
a new type of learning management system called GradeCraft. GradeCraft borrows game elements such as badges and unlocks to govern students’ progress through a course. With unlocks, for example, you have to complete a task before moving to the next level.
Written in Ruby on Rails and hosted on Amazon Web Services, GradeCraft was created by a small team of students and faculty with additional software support from Ann Arbor-based developer Alfa Jango. Their work received support from UM’s Office of Digital Education and Innovation and the Office of the Provost. GradeCraft can work as a stand-alone platform or in conjunction with a traditional LMS via the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) protocol.
Here is how it works: Instructors create a course shell within GradeCraft (similar to the process with any LMS). Students use a tool called the “Grade Predictor” to plan a personalized pathway through the course, making predictions about both what they will do and how they will perform. When assignments are graded, predictions turn into progress; students are then nudged to revisit their semester plan, reassessing what work is available and how well they need to do to succeed overall. Students are able to independently choose an assessment pathway that matches their interests within the framework of learning objectives for the course.
The majority of the participants were female. All of the participants were junior and senior students enrolled in elementary teacher education programs. Specifically, this study compared pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy, outcome expectations, intentions (internal factors) and perceived school climate (external factor) for technology integration in education in these countries.
Unlike Turkey and the US, self-efficacy predicted technology integration intention to a smaller degree than school climate in the Spanish sample. Interestingly, outcome expectations scores did not make a statistically significant contribution to predicting pre-service teachers’ intention to use technology in the US sample.
In an address to the VRX conference in San Francisco, noted game developer and tech wizard, Jesse Schell predicted that over 8 million VR gamer headsets will be sold in 2016. Facebook purchased Oculus Rift, presumably laying the groundwork for a future where friends and family will interact in rich virtual spaces. All the major players, including Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Google and an HTC and Valve partnership are jostling for the consumer headset market.
Experimenting with VR in his classes as part of a project piloted by Seattle-based foundry10, a privately funded research organization that creates partnerships with educators to implement, research and explore the various intersections of emerging technologies and learning, including VR..
As an educational tool, VR might prove transformative. Google Expeditions allows students to take over 100 virtual journeys from ancient Rome to the surface of Mars. It might also have a big impact on social emotional learning (SEL), as VR’s unique ability to produce empathy recently led Wired magazine to explore its potential as “the ultimate empathy machine”. Addressing a persistent anxiety, Suter used Samsung Gear’s Public Speaking Simulator to successfully prepare a few nervous students for class presentations, reporting they felt “much more calm” during the live delivery.
In a recently published article, researchers Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany review a series of ethical considerations when implementing VR. The illusion of embodiment may provide VR’s greatest value to education, but also lies at the heart of its ethical implementation. Madary and Metzinger believe that VR is not just an evolution from television and video game screens, but a revolution that will have an enormous social impact. In their paper, they claim that:
VR technology will eventually change not only our general image of humanity but also our understanding of deeply entrenched notions, such as “conscious experience,” “selfhood,” “authenticity,” or “realness.”
It’s important to remember that many current VR uses in schools, like Google Expeditions, are not interactive VR, but simply 360-degree video experiences. In these cases, students experience immersive 3D pictures or panoramas, but do not deeply interact with the content. The illusion of embodiment is a product of interactive content and motion tracking, where users can alter and affect their environment and engage with others who share their virtual space. Headsets like the Vive and Occulus Rift fall under this latter category, but it won’t be long before most, if not all, consumer oriented VR technology will be completely immersive and interactive.
1. Long-Term Effects and Prolonged Exposure
2. The Impact of Environment on Agency and Behavior
3. Aggravating Preexisting Psychological or Emotional Issues
4. (Un)Reality and Diminished Real World Interactions
Alienware, Zotac, and MSI have all shown off self-contained backpacks that can be used with the HTC Vive, and companies like The Void have created their own “backtops” for location-based entertainment.
PITA, the Portable Instrument for Trace Acquisitionattack, which uses electromagnetic wave detection equipment (available at any computer hardware store) that could “read” the electromagnetic pulses emanating from a standard laptop’s keyboard, including the keystrokes used to de-encrypt secure documents.
The new attack, called DiskFiltration, does something similar using the acoustic signals emitted from the movement of a computer’s hard disk drive (HDD).
One way to beat air-gap attacks, according to the researchers, is to switch to solid-state drives (SSDs), which have no moving parts and therefore emit no noise. However, according to the researchers, “despite the increased rate of adoption of SSDs, HDDs are still the most sold storage devices, mainly due to their low cost.