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Google Classroom Workflow

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The MAODE taken 2010-2013 has been rendered largelly theoretical given the onslaught of the likes of G Suite for Education. Why don't all institutions, schools and universities, move to Google Education tools and platforms. They are free. They have had vast sums of investment put into them. They do everything anyone was wishing and trying to achieve from 2000 onwards.

I started what was the MAODL in 2000! Things have changed radicaly ... and imperceptably? Dare you be away from it for long Dare you be freelance and not realise how fast, slick and connected we have become (and can be).

Just doing the learning to get my very modest Google Educator Level 1 I have been going through my own use of Google and am staggered at how willing I am to let Google do everything and assume everything - over 10 years at a swimming club I have assembled a vast amount of contacts for club officials, coaches and teachers, as well as the parents of swimmers - all of whom I must have contacted at some stage and have been listed, or grouped somewhere ever since.

So just now I knock together a Test class, as if I want parents of a group of swimmers to encourage their kids to view a carefully chosen video on a swimming technique. It is as quick as playing Chop Sticks on the piano ... one refrain.

Of course, the expectation is that teachers, tutors and associate lecturers are all a whizz at this. Some, circumstantially, if freelance, may not be aware of just how much things have moved on, nor will they be paid, necessarily, to take the time, to get on top of things. 

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Learning Google Educator in Spanish: Not

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 8 Jan 2019, 17:36

 

How the heck does Google decide that as I press on through each of 12 Units to understand what is required for Google Educator Certificate Level 1 does it give me it in Spanish? And when I try to test a Google Hangout that is in Spanish too. Where in my Google settings is there anything about Spanish? English is my principal language, and I had French as a secondary language - I deleted that.

I am not enjoying being a Jack of All Trades. Not being able to do anything very well is not fun. I would prefer to be excellent at one thing. Imagine trying to play all the parts in a Shakespeare play. I miss working in a team of specialists which you get in corporate training - where I was the producer or production manager, with a team of creatives and technical people to write scripts, code and make the platform sing. 

I am reminded of the story of the foundation of Rome. Romulus and Remus set out from two distant points to circle the land they will turn into their city. On meeting Remus laughs at the low wall that covers a lot of miles built by Romulus compares to the tall wall he has built which covers a far shorter distance but is finished to the top. In a mocking gesture Remus jumps the low wall. Romulus picks up a shovel in anger and whacks his brother across the head killing him. Or so the story was told to me some 47 years ago by my Latin teacher Mr Buyers.

There's the power of story telling for you. 

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PROFESSEUR – NIVEAU 1 Formation de base

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As if it isn't tricky enough to pass my Google Educator Certificate Level 1 this week, now in Google's wisdom I am getting it all in French. Now, I have to admit, I did think doing all the practice in French would be a good challenge for my French Comprehension. Now I wonder if I mentioned this in conversation lately, Alexa picked it up, and told Google. Do you get this? When Google is one step ahead of you? I use the Gmail function whereby all my emails give me three optional responses that Google gleans from the content. I now use these are a starting point - they're always more polite that I would be, sometimes a bit chummy and American though.

The learning is dull. And entirely composed for a North American audience. Are we in Britain meant to be so closely associated with our US cousins now that we tolerate US English and in this instance US learning too? Tough if you are trying to qualify abroad, as whilst text is translated, it looks like the videos and case histories and in English. A case of American Imperialism?

Meanwhile, of note, are the number of platforms and Apps I am having to use and master:

Thinglink

Planet E-Stream

Screencastify

While some have become second nature:

Umbraco

WordPress

Adobe Lightroom

What are you going to learn this year?

I am supposed to master French in 2019. I continue with Lingvist and Tandem and want to keep a daily diary, old school, in book - but in French. 

I have to pass my Level I & II Swim England Swim Coaching certificate - this is due by 10 Feb.

Then I can relax. Or not?

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Books for Christmas

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We buy books for each other for Christmas. Often they are hardback and second hand. The rest of the year I almost always only buy books for Kindle. Lately three books related to Google Classroom. I find the singular voice and linear nature of a good read a better way to set then establish the scene when it come to learning something new. Google Educator is a typical online coures orherwise not dissimilar to something from Coursera or FutureLearn: a bit of reading, a bit of video, a quiz and repeat. There’s a lot to get through.
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Google Educator Certificate Level 1

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So much for an MA in Open & Distance Education - getting my Certifcate as a Google Educator is more important. Meanwhile I have Planet E-Stream and ThingLink to master and share with teachers.
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The Life of the Learning Technologist

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 23 Nov 2018, 05:28

 Roy Castle playing the trumpet

Some decades ago on Blue Peter the inveterate multi-talented Roy Castle set a Guinness Book of Records by playing the same tune on 43 different instruments in four minutes.

Sometimes I feel that being a Learning Technologist is like this. We an not IT support, nor are we Teachers or Tutors, but we can 'play' a multitude of platforms with aplomb - and fix an IT, psychological or learning problem to boot.

Introduced to a fledgling PebblePad while completing my MA ODE with the OU 2010-2013 I have now had it sprung on me, in all places, as a Swim England Swimming Coach. It is this e-portfolio, evidence gathering, assessment supporting platform that will be used to assess whether I merit certification as a coach.

Interestingly, it was mentioned to me the other day, that a tutor was using PebblePad at our college for a similar purpose: I shall have to investigate further. So far I have found it more common for tutors to use a blog, typically WordPress though some using Blogger.

My own ensemble of tools that I use, and some that I have mastered include:

Google Classroom

OpenAthens

Turnitin

Planet E-Stream

ThingLink

WordPress

I have also mastered the use of a 360 Ricoh Theta SC camera - at least for taking stills.

Adobe Lightroom

 

 

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The Language of E-Learning is Digital Literacy

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It only works when we speak the same language. It only works wells when we speak this language fluently. In this brave new world amongst students and educators there are many who are ignorant of the digital world beyond their TV and phone. It is a switch, messaging service, photo booth and catalogue. Learning online requires a different language and mindset. Most lack this. It is challenging to have students who are fluent where the tutor hides, ignores and stumbles. It is odd where the worst student is not as bad as the worst tutor. The educator has had every opportunity to grasp the tools and language. Do they learn together? Some tutors handle this with aplomb and embrace the new order of things. Some simply don’t sign in for a few months. We are at the transition between the horse and cart and the motor car. Too many educators stick with their cart, or walk ... backwards clutching handouts and a reading list.
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Applying for Research and Development Funding in relation to the use of digital tools in Further Education

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Steps required to prepare a research question

This from FutureLearn @OpenLearn 

Between giving presentations to staff and tutors on the opportunities presented by the educational video platform Planet E-Stream I am also applying for funding to develop the relationship between students and teachers (tutors). This is made easier because of a pool of projects that are bubbling up across the various different faculties and workshops where I act as a 'Learning Technologist'.

This is no academic post that might be reflected by my having an MA in Open & Distance Education, rather it is somewhere between being a Librarian, IT Person and Learning Support. I am confident that this is a role that will either be absorbed by teachers during teacher training or through practice, or it will blossom, depending on the institution into something more akin to a consultant or adviser. I am having to draw on raw technical skills to use new and popular platforms, but also to integrate digital into a course as an Instructional Designer would do.

The timing of putting in our application comes right at the moment when I complete two FutureLearn MOOCs from Open Learn at the Open University: The Online Educator and Blended Learning Essentials. 

With my inability to let go of academic study, research and writing up papers seems a sensible way forward. This may be combined with completing an MEd with the OU if they can be convinced to allow me 60 credits from the two additional modules I took having completed the MA ODE in 2013. This would still require me to take a further 120 units, to two hefty and possibly one substantial and two shorter modules. I feel I am now where I needed to be in 2010 - working in the front line in education, an intermediary between students, teaching and other staff, moving through multiple departments across a number of sites - I even have a toe in mark.

Preferring a busy life, apparently, over the next four weeks I will be assessed to qualify with the Institute of Swimming as a Swimming Coach. I have been teaching for 16 years and coaching for 10, so this is a case of providing evidence of my knowledge rather than having to take part in formal class or poolside learning. Being who I am, I have of course kept a learning journal, or career journal as a swimming teacher and coach which is called simply 'Swim Coach Blog'. 

 

 

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An insatiable appetite for learning catalysed by the OU

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A third MA completed and within a month I am taking two MOOCs with FutureLearn, giving an hour a day to fixing my inadéquate French, once again contemplating a PhD and progressing with an MEd module through Coursera on Insrructional Design. If my day jobs with this stimulating I suppose I’d need none of the above. Asked by my wife if I could be doing any paid job in the world right now what would it be I said directing a musical featuring kids or teeanagers. Would it surprise readers to learn that in 2002 I was diagnosed as ADHD? I don’t resist it, I run with it. Result? A jack of all trades? Though evidentially I am a Master of some!
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Reflections on a decade of e-learning 2008 - 2018

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Expectations in the first decade of the 21st century have barely been realised in the second, despite educational tools and platforms vying for space. Should we be surprised by the consolidation by the likes of Google Classroom, the rise of the educator as celebrity, and the slow transcendence from questionable digital dross to highly effective and smart learning Apps. How we learn must be better understood and applied in e-learning design. Speed, immediacy, volume and complementarity which make up much of what is digital needs to accommodate a human learning process that is slow, cumulative, experimental, experiential and organic. The greatest challenge is not a digital one, but a human one. New roles for teachers and new roles entirely and how these morph and coalesce into a new more collaborative working environment is the challenge. Just as disruptive technologies in retail and music put the client experience first, so too must the student/client experience be put first and systems created and adjusted around their needs, rather than both students and teachers having to accommodate themselves to the systems they are told to adopt.
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Success Learning French with LingVist and Tandem

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 9 Oct 2018, 03:34
« Je tu jure qu’après six semaines avec Tandem et Lingvist, et deux ans avec Rosetta Stone que entre ces Apps on peut bien améliorer son français. 45 minutes chaque jours avec Lingvist j’apprends 20 mots et du grammaire par jours. 735 mots il y a quelque semaine je touche 1200 aujourd’hui. Avec Tandem’ ces des conversations “synchro” ou “asynchronous” avec des autres étudiantes. On peut rapidement trouver quelqu’un français qui envie de parler anglais. C’est un peut Comme Twitter, ou comme Skype, comme on le voudrais. Rosetta Stone est superbe pour la prononciation. Je peut la démo ça ces Mercredis. » I really have tried everything over the years. Taught French at school for the best part of 7 years all I mange-disque was a C Grade O’Level. I tried living there and working there, one to one lessons with a teacher, Rosetta Stone and even a degree with The OU. Finally though I have two complementary platforms that are advanced enough and smart enough to work. Lingvist simply plugs away at my ability to remember words - this includes defining verbs in context. Answers can be written or spoken. There are more formal grammar, sayings and so on set as optional ‘challenges’. Tandem is like a WhatsApp or Skype. I understand it works like a dating App. You set a profile. Look at the profile of other people then make a start. The deal is simple: they want fluency in English, whilst I want fluency in French. Six weeks in I can tell you that it works.
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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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Planet eStream

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2018, 04:43

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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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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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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'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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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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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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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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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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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 universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton) and a six month extension due to illness, filled my head with enough WWI content to help me with my 'job'. It also gives me some credibility in the WWI community. It will see me writing the occasional article and book review too. 

As the void in my academic life opens up I contemplate a PGCE to support my 'blended learning' advocate role, or, as time my be running out, to push for enough further credits through the OU to gain an MEd. I completed two units beyond the MAODE so in theory have 10 to 15 credits (I am unsure how many) towards whatever is required for the MEd. This would spur me to research and write about some of the initiatives I am involved with - not least the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the classroom. 

 

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The Fun Continues

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 29 Jun 2018, 06:43

Students from GB MET showcase their work

End of Year Fine Art & 3D 2018, York Hall, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

The first stitch of the images and the magic begins. Choices have to be made over labels, over direction or the words used with each tag. Still testing what can be done already I see the need and value of some deeper planning. If this is to be seen by prospective students and parents then some indication of practice would be helpful - in fact the kind of information shown in the cards on each student: what they studied, where they are going next and a little about their learning experience.

And some gamification: a quest, in which a range of art materials have been placed around the hall to collect, or a quiz, and some video as well as the planned mid and close-up shots.

In brief, it requires a brief. To avoid the criticism of 'so what?' I need to address these questions:

What is the problem?

Who are we speaking to?

What do we want to say?

What do we want them to take away from this message?

I might answer:

Future students and parents don't realise the quality of achievement possible and the paths that this opens up to an arts student.

We are speaking to future students and their parents, rather than celebrating the work of those shown here - who have, after all, made the next step already.

We want to show and say what a wonderful experience it is to be a student at GB MET.

We want them to apply. We want them to feel enlightened and excited about their immediate future.

 

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Design Museum

"Build it and he will come".

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 27 Jun 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? 

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Design Museum

Flying

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 16 Jun 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:

Induction

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. 

 

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Design Museum

Taking offs with 360 Virtual Tours

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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

Catering

The End of Year Creative Industries Shows

Construction

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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