The New Way of Education, this will be…

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Image from: Jedi Temple Archives

I’m sure when you read my title for this week’s blog some of you were saying it using Master Yoda’s voice. I found a Yodish translator . I thought it would be appropriate for the amazing topic we had the privilege to discuss last week.  “Thankful, I am and opened, my eyes were.”

Before I start, I would like to thank Mr. Logan Petlak for being such a great partner in our AR/VR  #eci833 presentation, and also to my baby girl assistant BillieRose for helping me with flashcards for the Aurasma application we shared with the class.

On the first day of Edtech 833 course at the U of R Education building when everyone was picking what topics they wanted to do their class presentations on, I was having a hard time trying to log into the Google+  EC&I 833 community as that was my first time doing so. By the time I logged in and everyone had picked their topics and presntation partners, the only choices left were between: Virtual & Augmented Realities and Coding & MakerSpaces and I wasn’t going to pick anything that has ‘coding’ as a title. So Virtual & Augmented Realities it was. It sounded interesting and exciting. I knew what virtual reality was but augmented reality was something new. I had mentioned in class last week about how I didn’t even understand what ‘augment ’ meant so I had to google the definition and here’s what I got: verb ôɡˈment/ 1.make (something) greater by adding to it; increase. I understood that a reality that has been augmented, is a better reality, well it worked for me anyway. I also found a definition for ‘augmented reality’ which was: noun/ a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. I was like WHAT?! So deciphering each word ‘augment’ and ‘reality’ made a lot more sense to me. I began the research and what an adventure I went on. I rememeber talking a couple decades ago about the posibilities of language learning using Virtual reality and how this technology could possibly preserve old vocabulary spoken by Elders and having it stored in a place where anyone interested in learning can access them. The more I read and learned about AR and VR the more I started imagining how I can utilize these tools with my lessons. I was surprised how institutions have been using this way of teaching, learning and training for awhile now. I thought that was pretty interesting how our world now in technology has shifted so much from when I was a young student when the world wide web was first introduced to where it is now in this present time to the possibilities of where this sort of learning for education could go.

The one technology that has been ignored and I kept on running into when researching for edcucational AR and VR technology was Mixed Reality (MR).

Mixed Reality (MR), sometimes referred to as hybrid reality, is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

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Image from: TREKK Smart and Image from: Dribbble

I found that mixed reality would be a great tool for language learning and teaching. This would be so beneificial for my language learning conversation sessions by creating an environment suited for dialogue and topics. We can create cultural senarios such as: campfires, nature walk, place names, kinship terminology, knowledge and language keeper guest speakers, storytelling, animal life, plant life, medicine walks, how to make a sweat lodge, how to make a fire, and there are so much more the possibilities are endless. The concern about mixed reality at its early stages of educatinal use is the cost. To get the microsoft hololens glasses costs $3000.00. Here are the hololens glasses from mircosoft.

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Image from: Popular Mechanics

Trusted Reviews Website has a lot more information on this product – release date news and price.

Hololens – you can build a 3D environment in your classroom into work spaces of learning where each student can find a station and learn a subject using the technology.

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Image from: Innovate My School

Hololens – Building 3D environment – you can build your classroom into work spaces of learning.

Microsoft Hololens demo onstage at build 2015

Hololens – teleportation in real-time – you can have guest speaker presenters.

Holoportation: virtual 3D teleportation in real-time (Microsoft Research)

I know that it will be awhile until I will be able to create mixed reality environments for my lessons but this is so exciting to see where we can go with AR,VR and MR education. Maybe even having an online course in the near future where we can sit in our living rooms with our hololens glasses getting ready for class to start via MR Zoom (maybe) and having everyone else’s virtual images appear in our living rooms and from home.

 

 

Aurasma App Augmented Reality Application

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Image from: Zendesk

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Image from: Bill Cook photoshop

Inset is my girl BillieRose helping me with some of the flashcards I had put together with my language lessons.

Note: tānsi – means: hello/what/how

 

 

 

Here is a link to a youtube video of How to use aurasma

I can use this AR tool by installing Aurasma in the ipads we have at our school and setting up my classroom: objects, Cree word wall, pictures, and all the terminologies that I would like to introduce. I had showed some examples of this tool to my students and  they found it entertaining. What kid doesn’t like entertainment? If we as educators can catch interest with the students with these AR and VR tools then I strongly recommend we give it the time to learn about the tools. Most teachers I showed thought it was great, yet they were scared to try it or afraid they will not know how to create learning material with the tools. If I can learn how to use them, then I’m sure anyone else can…remember I didn’t even know what ‘augment’ meant until three months ago and also Youtube and Google  are going to be your best friends in learning about these tools.

Virtual Reality- taking students to distance locations would be a great virtual field trip and a break from the classroom of course, well kind of. I see VR working for my field of education as well by creating virtual environments where there is story telling going on and a place where if feels like the students are there and can partake.

Here are some First Nations VRs:

First Nations University of Canada 360 showcase

James Bay students learn Cree syllabics in virtual reality:

 

Some suggested apps we shared last week:

 

I am excited to know where we can go as educators with this technology of AR, VR and MR for our future of education. Of course no technology will ever replace the authenticity you will get from a real person and we as human beings need that human interaction. It’s in our nature to connect, we are not robots yet until our childrens’ childrens’ children are birthed in the labour room by a robot then they can feel comfortable and look at it as normal living with and having relationships with Artificial Intelligence physical beings. But for now these AR, VR and MR tools are great for a little adventure and trying something different in our classrooms and maybe just maybe our students will think we are cool for doing so. It is always exciting to be the first to introduce new technology in the classroom. Yes there are advantages and disadvantages but what technology doesn’t have that. If we can justify by showcasing the education AR, VR and MR curriculum possibilities to our principals or school boards, maybe they will consider purchasing such innovative tools. I know in my field of language education that there is a lot of learning and development to be done in AR, VR and MR, but by knowing this, I think I have a good start.

Is this the new way of education? Maybe? I think its up to how innovative we feel, and how open we are willing to be. My life philosophy is: It’s never too early nor never too late to learn.

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One thought on “The New Way of Education, this will be…

  1. Thank you to you and your daughter for sharing the Cree lesson within class last week! I’ve been struggling with supporting a couple of my EAL learners who know very little English and need a lot of support in increasing their vocabulary. I am excited to try Aurasma with them this week!

    Liked by 1 person

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