Having attended a couple of promotional sessions on how to use Planet eStream I see here an opportunity to create the kind of interactive video learning that until recently was only possible at a bespoke level to 'Industry'. I was involved in interactive learning in the 1990s.
Having got on top of VR tours, hotspots and teleporting with ThingLink, the next goal is to create some interactive Telly.
A month of this and LingVist is the App for me.
The challenge is a simple one. To know over 5,000 words in French.
With the set up test I came out at 735. I am already at 1600 as a spend between 40 - 60 mins a day 'filling in the gap' in sentences. This is SpacedEd of 2010 to perfection. Early on a word I do not get is repeated more often until I get it. All words, though to a diminishing amount, are repeated. Over time words are learnt, in the context of a number of different sentences.
I am starting to see patterns too that my own thinking has constructed rather than things I have been told.
It works. Or at least I hope so.
I bias it towards the tougher challenge of writing the word - you can use voice recognition. My relative fluency in spoken French means that I'd get a lot more right. Often I can say the word, but cannot spell it. I want fluency in both spoken and written French.
There is more to it, than simply being forever tested on word knowledge in a compelling game-like user experience. There are challenges, and grammar as well, There are analytics so you can monitor to you progress and the easy pleasure of achieving 20 new words learnt per day.
I have gotten tired of Tandem. Here you are meant to use the power of social to team up with someone who is native in the language you want to learnt. We are supposed to help each other. Though I have had a few pleasant and valuable experiences I have found that no one has lasted. I have also found a number of people whose English is so bad to be unintelligible so there is nothing I can do to correct it.
Busuu is more like Rosetta Stone. There are too many choices around themes to study and it is all far too simplistic - tourist French.,
The pattern used by these platforms would work for all kinds of things though where a new 'language' has to be learnt, from medicine to stage work, carpentry to engineering.
On a whim, and as homework before our French group which meets once every two weeks, I decided to try out several popular language learning Apps. I've used Rosetta Stone on and off for years. I tried:
It was revealing how many have leapfrogged Rosetta stone and offer a smarter and sometimes social platform.
Lingvist and Babbel did a tough test to establish my level of understanding. There is nothing more important than understanding how much a student already knows before you start to teach them. Both were effective in differentiating me from my wife. My wife was taught in a French speaking school in Montreal age 13 and a decade later learnt French at the British Institute in France. My French learning never got beyond a C grade at O' Level and a failed attempt to do an Open University degree (which taught French at an unbelievably basic level, but which I found tedious).
Lingvist and Babbel used different measures. Lingvist produced a guestimate at the number of words we each knew of the 5,000+ it was teaching. I got a 753, my wife 3,200. Babbel produced a similar differentiating. Like Rosetta Stone these Apps repeat phrases that you must then in part correct or add to. I liked that there is equal requirement to use the written word as this is where I am weakest. It is handy that my iPad has predictive text in French.
Tandem hooks you up with someone who wants to learn the languages you know and can teach. It works like a dating App, but is adamant that it is not. I had 30 mins talking to someone in Marseilles and about 5 minutes talking to someone in Rouen. Both proved successful as we could correct each other's written words.
For tweens and teens.
A simplified digest of Barbara Oakley's incredible MOOC on Coursera 'Learning How To Learn'. The last time I looked this had had over 1.4 million students.
Having done this MOOC myself I later signed up to be a mentor. This is mostly meet and greet rather than teaching support. We help keep people going.
I recommend 'How to Learn' as a great introduction to the topic before tackling the material aimed at undergrads and post-grads. I simply find this a great way to refresh my knowledge.
I’m not doing a PGCE but I am doing all the reading as if I were. Taking a Masters in education does appear somewhat forward having not gained a PGCE or taught, however close to learning I may have been throughout my career.
Much of what Geoff Petty can teach me in his seminal books is familiar.
The need for clarity of purpose
The need for planning
This is because for VR to be adopted I need to reverse-engineer it. To understand the problem for which such a tour is the solution.
These interactive images look appealing as a learning tool. They pull together a series of short, quirky videos and animations that provide the low down on a collection of human organs. To what end? To some degree a Dorling Kindersley annotated book did this in the past. Stick it on an interactive screen and click on each in front of a class to fill 45 minutes. What is really required as a learning experience is to have students learn the skills to create these themselves, then research and add the links (or to shoot their own pieces). All of the above came from YouTube.
Here's the link: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/880832510185963521
We use ThingLink.
The difference is that I am using 360 images that can be viewed through a VR headset, or desktop or touchscreen.
Here is my ThingLink VR Tour of Northbrook Theatre: https://www.thinglink.com/mediacard/1073243716732321794
I am working with the College team here to create an immersive experience for induction. Do we add multiple hotspots of information, like this Human Body above, and follow this up with a detailed quiz, or do we clone the tour and get students to add the information themselves? Should we give them the skills to use the 360 camera and get them to annotate it? OFSTED would like us to be developing their Digital Skills and using English.
The VR Tours I have so far initiated include:
To get the education right I need to go back through some of the MAODE modules I did, for example, H818 'The Networked Practitioner'.
With my MA in British History of the First World War complete (the dissertation went off on 9 July) I am seriously contemplating the next piece of learning which includes adding to two 30 credit 'spare' modules I did having completed the MAODE in 2013 that I could potentially build into an MEd.
That or hunker down and specialise on Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in learning.
This is all too OU. Though the days of 'leisure learners' gaining multiple degrees was ended with the change to tuition fees a few years ago. I recall at my graduation the compare would announce from time to time that someone collecting their degree was on number three, or even number five.
I only have one MA, the MAODE from the OU. Although I should by now have a BA in French, and could have studied history with the OU, rather than with the Universities of Birmingham and then Wolverhampton.
I hanker after and expect the OU way of learning - with everything online, or at least considerable, intelligent online support in a blended version. Studying first at Birmingham and then Wolverhampton was no better, and often less well supported than my undergraduate degree of 1981-84.
Needless to say, 9 July 2018, marks the culmination of my third Masters Degree.
MA: Open and Distance Education
MA: British History and the First World War
All I have to do is successfully negotiate the WLV 'Turnitin' system.
All I have to do is read it through by 15,000 words just one more time and try for the eighth of ninth time to get the conclusion right. I am writing about the nature of 'war enthusiasm' during the peak recruiting season into Kitchener's volunteer army in 1914. I have used the normal distribution or 'bell curve' to argue in favour of a spectrum of behaviours from antipathy to jingoistic enthusiasm for enlisting, with the majority either side of a line which had them enlist out of necessity for economic reasons, or had them enlist out of a sense of duty, patriotism and a desire to 'get the job done'.
As the Digital Editor of The Western Front Association website, this MA has, over the four years it has taken (including a two year gap between the un