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Design Museum

VR Tours - 360 Tours around various workshops, a theatre and Music Facility

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Plumbing & Electrical

 

Motor Vehicle Workshop

 

Carpentry

 

Machine Tools

 

Hair Salon & Beauty Treatments

 

Aeronautics

 

Motor Vehicle Maintenance

 

Motor Sport

  

Carpentry

 

Catering 

 

Northbrook Theatre

 

Learning Resource Centres

 

Music Facilities

 

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Design Museum

Planet eStream

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Planet eStream Logo and title on how to make interactive videos

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. 

 

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Design Museum

LingVist for Langauge Learning

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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.

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Design Museum

A new VR Tour of the Music Faculty at GB MET

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 9 Sep 2018, 06:22
It is such a privilege to call this work - creating a comprehensive VR tour of the stunning music facilities at GB MET. Rich media in the form of sound clips, video, text and close-up photos will be added to turn a marketing piece into’ induction and training.
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Design Museum

'How to compose rainbow sentences' is how I am putting it, though the range of colours is not seven, but four: red, blue, green and purple.

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A graphic drawing of a rainbow
 
From the moment I entered the classroom Tony made me feel welcome despite my unease, even embarrassment at how few people there were.
 
I quickly felt that two things were going to happen - I would observe and take part in the perfect classroom experience and I’d go away informed and perhaps even I inspired. Perhaps my intention to gen up on teaching practice was a wise move after all. 
 
I wished from the start that I had been recording every word.
 
Though it was an informal chat before the class Tony was bubbling. When I said that I was a ‘Learning Technologist’ - an intermediary between the tutors and students supporting and introducing the use of digital software and hardware, he took the hook and ran with it while one or two more people took their seats.
 
I did not take adequately clear notes to understand his example of how a class had worked with wikis to work collaboratively on an answer to a task.
 
His tantalizing offer to help me abolish hand in dates was being put to the wrong person - I may appreciate the need to have and to create deadlines, but that’s not my role.
 
It became more clear when I said that I was a ‘Learning Technologist’ - describing myself as an intermediary between the tutors and students supporting and introducing the use of digital platforms and tools, from Google Classroom to Apps, VR and AR, blogs and video.
 
Tony took this information and ran with it for a while as one or two more people took their seats.
 
The introductory phase was subtle and engaging. It had me expectant. It felt to me that had I been the only person to turn up, that given both his personality and professionalism, Tony would have been utterly prepared to deliver the best class possible regardlessly. There were four of us to start with - a fifth appeared a little later. 
 
My colleagues were from Uniformed Services (two of them), early years teaching and fashion & textiles.
 
We were asked about induction: what it entailed, for how long it went on and when we knew it had been done. is it complete in an afternoon or day, a week or two. Should students be up to speed by the second week? He suggested that too much of induction was box ticking.
 
Tony took a sideways step, literally, to introduce the metaphor of ‘crossing the carpet’ - of getting students both physically and mentally into a different place. By way of example he talked of music students who began their new college on day one reasonably diversified and very much their parents’ son or daughter who within two weeks were almost all in the uniform of black jeans and black T-shirts with a developing array of exciting hairstyles’ cuts and colours. They had both physically and mentally changed. It is the phrase ‘changing behaviours’ that was like a new ABBA tune to my ears. I have done, and bought into the theory of education and can equate to it personally in relation to the CBT I have done.
 
Tony concluded this part of the session by praising the Newcastle College which ran an eight week extended induction that expected students to been on board by the first week after half-term.
 
The vital lesson to be understood from this is that preparing students for study pays dividends rather than rushing in to deliver course content.
 
The four teachers amongst the five of us were asked how much time they spent helping students who got behind and marking assessments. From his experience, not countered by the group, 5-7 hours a week could be spent one to one helping those who were getting behind and far much more time spent marking homework. Much to my embarrassment he said that I (the learning technologist) was the answer to this problem and could therefore give them back some of the invaluable contact time with the students. (Have I understood that and expressed it correctly?)
 
Crafting evidence-based opinion
 
We did three exercises and with each one improved our skills and confidence at writing an evidence-based sentence. The technique taught was to use four-colours to identify the required components. The object of the sentence, or ‘vocational term’ was blue. The evaluation of the object, or judgement is red. The detail and opinion is in green. The clincher (as I would put it) or ‘impact’ is purple.
 
To undertake this series of exercises, each carefully crafted and scaffolded, we began by viewing and reviewing an ancient and somewhat laughable video of The Beach Boys singing ‘I Get Around’. We then had to complete a ‘fill in the blanks’ exercise where the kind of word we would use was denoted by a line in one of the above colours whilst selecting from an appropriate word from a list.
 
In first exercise (of three) we had to consider the audio performance.
 
I came up with:
 
The close harmony is excellent, the vocal intonation is perfect and the use of vocal double tracking creates a rich wash of sound that adds an exciting exuberance to the audio performance.
 
In the second exercise, cranking up the opportunity to be more judgemental, we had to consider the visual performance. Once again we had a set of vocational terms, judgement words, opinion and impact words.
 
I came up with:
 
The visual performance is however embarrassingly poor. The blocking and staging of the shots make the individual performances appear self-conscious and embarrassing. Discrepancies in foot tapping and the out of phase bouncing of the individual performers spoils the sense of a United groove. This is made comical by the bouncing of the vehicle on which two of the performers are sitting.
 
For the final exercise we turned the page and we faced with the scary emptiness of a large blank space without only part of the scaffolding we had had before. We had what was described as a resource to use or ignore : a set of words denoted by colour.
 
We were asked how we felt going into this exercise and were prompted with ‘scary’. Perhaps we should have been prompted to speak up and use the very technique being taught. I jotted down. ‘Thrilled - like stepping out onto a football pitch to play a game after ha,f an hour of practice’. Though the actual image that came to mind was more about prepping for some theatrical improvisation and then stepping up onto the stage.
 
We were the asked to review Massbetelnut’s version of ‘i get around’. This very quickly had us all splitting our sides with laughter.
 
I wrote:
 
The band performed like bees caught in a beer glass. The performances were individually and collectively ridiculous - more like a Monty-Python sketch. The re-imagined sound dub was ingeniously crafted to reduce all those watching it to tears of asthmatic laughter.
 
 
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Design Museum

Testing Language Software

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 30 Aug 2018, 04:40

A collection of Language Learning App logos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

Lingvist

Busuu

Memerist

Babbel

TinyCards

Tandem

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. 

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Design Museum

Learning How To Learn

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 14 Aug 2018, 06:05

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.

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Design Museum

Learning to Teach

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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.

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Design Museum

Educational Activities using Virtual Reality

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 28 Jul 2018, 12:58

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:

  1. An Aeronautics Workshop
  2. Two Motor Vehicle Workshops
  3. A Hair Salon & Treatment Centre student facility
  4. A Learning Resource Centre & Library
  5. A Carpentry Workshop
  6. An End of Year Fine Arts & 3D show
  7. A Creative Industries Theatre Props & Set Dressing Show
  8. A Theatre

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.

 

 

 

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Design Museum

A Third MA

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 9 Jul 2018, 04:54

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.

BA/MA: Geography

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