OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

Quick and easy interactivities for the classroom

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Dec 2019, 14:17

Taking the MAODE there were few practical, classroom activities to put into practice in schools. The MAODE felt more like a precursor to academic study of elearning practices. I recall someone who had come from corporate training quit within weeks - unlike me, he wasn't hoping to make a career change. My career change still looks like a massive step backwards to the bottom of a low ladder.

Today we had a chance to consider and try some easy win, simple interactive tolls to 'gamify' the classroom giving students somethign to do - if they are wanting to have fingers on their mobiles anway. 

We had a discussion on that: should mobiles be allowed or not? Depends on the class. HE students are allowed their laptops, for some their smartphone IS their computer. Though the distractibility is high: follow that Tweet, respond to that email.

Our usual Digital Team Meeting quickly over with after an overview of what is going on in the college and the way roles will be defined in 2020 we took part in a teacher workshop on bringing interactivity to the classroom. Various platforms were used, and we were engaged and active throughout. Barely a moment to check emails, though I did try to tell Amazon where they could put a package as I will not be home much before 9:30pm

Peardeck, Nearpod, Menitmeter and Poll Everywhere

We would use interactive Q & A polling tool such as Pear Deck. Others mentioned include: Nearpod, Mentimeter and Poll Everywhere. Yet more (unwanted) toys I will need to have a play with.

We’d also need to download Jamboard and Padlet to our phones. I didn’t have my phone in ‘class’. My line manager needed her charger. In reality there are students (and tutors) who do not have smartphones. Provision needs to be made for them.

Having tried these we want on to explore creation and use of QR codes - as easy as creating a shortened URL and then some VR or augmented experiences you can reach on your ‘mobile device’.

QR Codes for elearning
There were some intriguing examples, however, with the skull and skelleton neither offer the level of focus a particular lesson might require. I have sat in lessons for Hair & Beauty where the focus has been the finger nail or the hair follicle. Neither of these items, albeit they are 3D, drills down to the fingernail or hair follicile.
Models and QR Codes

Off the shelf bodies I have bought are aimed at the Junior Doctor learning terms - so something bespoke would have to be created. Roll on sponsorship from a hairdressing chain. 
I've got some catching up to do. One the one hand I can master the complexities of Planet eStream and Thinglink, but what teachers are more likely to use are easy wins such as these:
Interactive Tools for the Classroom to try

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

A new VR Tour of the Music Faculty at GB MET

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 9 Sept 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.
Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Educational Activities using Virtual Reality

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 28 July 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.




Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 28 July 2018, 12:58)
Share post
Design Museum

"Build it and he will come".

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 27 June 2018, 05:24

360 Tour of a catering college kitchen

I've long held the view that with so many distractions and alternatives, that without compulsion, however much magic you through at a learning experience, the students will not come. I am a month into a three month 'build' of some 12 VR tours of workshops and facilities at a large, recently merged college. Using a 360 VR camera, as well as stills and video, a series of learning environments are being built in ThingLink.

The 'stage set' as I describe it, the add-ons include induction, health & safety, training and testing. In its simplest form it is a slide show made of 360 images in which the viewer can explore all around the environment. In its more sophisticated form there are sets of well-researched and carefully written learning experiences and activities. The simplest pattern, no different to reading some text and then being asked some questions on it, is to follow up ten minutes of exploring such a world with a quiz.

Marketing have an interest in using these images to show of facilities. In turn I need some marketing in put to promote these kinds of learning experiences. I'd prefer to sell these to students rather than to simply compel them to 'do them' under close supervision of their tutor. 

Are you making use of 360? 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum


Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 16 June 2018, 19:50

It has taken 8 years. Maybe it has taken 18. I have in one vast loop gone from linear to interactive.

Only in the last week have I felt that I have arrived.

Academic training (MA ODE)

Two decades in corporate training.

And now, technology both permitting and expecting me to do everything, I find myself creating some 12 VR tours.

  • Catering
  • Aeronautics
  • Motor Vehicle Workshop
  • Theatre
  • Swimming
  • Sailing
  • Prop Making for Theatre & Film
  • Carpentry
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Electrics
  • Plumbing
  • Hair Salon &  Beauty

These are immersive, self-directed, celebratory, click through experiences of an learning environment augmented by clickable hotspots that show video, or images with audio or text. 

Come out of this and you get hit with a quiz of extreme close up photos, mid-shots and questions. 

Your have to be told that this is coming up.

It can cover:


Health & safety

Basic & advance learning and training

It can be as great as the tutor who takes up the challenge and the skills and insight of the 'enabling' person or team that creates the VR. 


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Taking offs with 360 Virtual Tours

Visible to anyone in the world

From a test tour of a carpentry workshop I am now well underway to complete similar tours on:


Car Mechanics Workshop and Motor Sport

Aeronautical Engineering


The End of Year Creative Industries Shows


Hair Salon & Beauty

While also producing what I call ‘Making an Entrance’ : VR tours into buildings to support autistic children who become anxious when going to new places.

These VR tours are shot on a Ricoh Theta SC. Hotspots, after various trials with available kit are being shot on my own Sony Alpha 7. This gives me mid, close up and extreme close up shots and video.

Along with these tours I am developing a quiz for viewers to undertake to identify certain parts and tools.






Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 12150139