Simulation-based learning allows us to play in a highly immersive environment that reflects aspects of the real world. In virtual simulations, we can explore and create with much lower stakes than we would encounter in the real world. Questions of “What if?” flourish in a virtual simulation as we create and experience new possibilities with increasing realism. With smartphones making access to virtual reality easier and easier, virtual simulations can now become part of place-based learning in the classroom.
Using virtual reality creation technology, we asked our students at Parklands College to design “District 2020,” a hypothetical eco-city based on an area of Cape Town, South Africa, formerly known as District Six. Students were to virtually design District 2020 as an urban area emphasizing sustainability and food security and reflecting the area’s social history. This created a place-based interdisciplinary project where students drew from English, history and geography learning and applied their knowledge to a contemporary challenge in a local context.
Virtual reality teeters on the edge of becoming mainstream, with software development outstripping the hardware and memory storage needed. In this article, a librarian and an art historian discuss the many ways that VR may transform learning and student experiences.
You’re at work, flipping through emails that hang in mid-air. Graphs, text messages and pictures pop up on your desk, then disappear. Bored, you sit back and watch a jellyfish bob across the ceiling.
This is augmented reality – real life only better, bedazzled with digital displays. AR is the next futuristic fantasy the tech industry wants to conquer, and in 2017 it may finally happen.
You can watch a video demo of the above scene courtesy of secretive Florida start-up Magic Leap. This shows a head-mounted display overlaying surroundings with a broad array of eye-popping graphics — including a game in which you shoot enemy robots as they pop up around you. The release date for Magic Leap’s technology is still unknown – it may be a few years off yet – but you can already get a taste of some AR experiences.
LET A THOUSAND virtual worlds rain down from the clouds. Or rather, the cloud. That’s the call from Google as it gets behind a tiny British startup called Improbable.
Founded by two Cambridge graduates and backed by $20 million in funding from the venture capitalists at Andreessen Horowitz, Improbable offers a new way of building virtual worlds, including not just immersive games à la Second Life or World of Warcraft, but also vast digital simulations of real cities, economies, and biological systems. The idea is that these virtual worlds can run in a holistic way across a practically infinite network of computers, so that they can expand to unprecedented sizes and reach new levels of complexity.
Earlier this year, we spoke with Dr. Tilanka Chandrasekera, an assistant professor in the department of Design, Housing and Merchandising at Oklahoma State University, about the "virtuality-reality continuum" and its significance for design fields. OSU opened a Mixed Reality Lab on campus in 2015, where design students can explore this continuum and experience the latest design tools in their field of interest.
Today, we'll get an update from Chandrasekera on OSU's more recent expansion of the Mixed Reality Lab this past August and find out how the inclusion of mixed reality in the curriculum at OSU is impacting design students like Ashtyn Shugart.
The concept of embodied cognition is a hot topic within immersive education circles, and was a featured topic at during the Embodied Learning educational workshop that happened at the IEEE VR academic conference. Embodied Learning could help revolutionize education by incorporating our bodies within the learning process.
We generally believe that humans think with our brains, but embodied cognition theories suggest that we also use our bodies and surrounding environments in order to think and learn. This has huge implications for VR since it both provides a mechanism to be able to more fully engage within the learning process as well as have more control of our contextual environments that are optimized to teach different concepts.
When talking to educators about Virtual Reality, the big question I always run into is "how can my learners create their own content?" This is a good question. If we don't get our learners into the creation process, we are really just creating fancy textbooks and lectures, or slightly more immersive movie experiences. Interesting but passive in the end. There are some ways to use newer high-end phones to record 3-D panoramic images with apps like Panorama 360 or InstaVR. But these aren't moving, and you need some serious sound equipment to re-create immersive sounds. Projects like Jump from Google are looking at how to work on these issues. But even then you are looking at recording the world around you, bringing in limitations. How does one create content for games, fiction scenarios, historical re-creations, etc? It seems that Google is also looking into this with the Daydream platform (see also the video above). Still very rudimentary, but a good start. Someday we can hope that building VR will become as easy as placing a box of crayons and paper in front of learners and letting them create whatever comes to mind.
In a traditional teaching methodology, a learner will have to choose a linear path in their learning process, but adaptive learning might allow them to skip a few concepts if the learning progress supports the jump. Technology that can transform education in 2017: From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality, are top changes to watch Adaptive … Continue reading "Technology that can transform education in 2017: From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality, here are top changes to watch"
Once the students have been able to grasp this abstract content with the help of the technology, teachers then have the choice of other digital or non-digital activities from which they can choose to have their students apply this knowledge.
Emerging digital technologies such as AR are now being considered in complex, subtle and thoughtful ways by teachers.
While considering the technology, pedagogy and content influencing their choices, teachers are also considering the contexts in which they are working.
These considerations are helping teachers to make choices other than just PowerPoint when it comes to the inclusion of technologies in their teaching practice.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Some of us were already in this space more than a decade ago... and others even earlier.... The comments section shows that school kids have been introduced to virtuality over that same time. In some school contexts VR and AR have been standard tools for years.
In the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, major players in the field of virtual reality (VR) have come together to form an organization that will facilitate the sharing of ideas.
The specifics of how the organization will achieve its goals are unclear but the move toward transparency and cooperation is welcome news.
In an inspiring move of unity, big names Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC VIVE, Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung, and Sony Interactive Entertainment have come together to create a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of virtual reality (VR) technology. The Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA).
One of the limits of today’s virtual reality (VR) headsets is that they have to be tethered to computers in order to process data well enough to deliver high-resolution visuals. But wearing an HDMI cable reduces mobility and can even lead to users tripping over cords.
Fortunately, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have recently unveiled a prototype system called “MoVR” that allows gamers to use any VR headset wirelessly.
In tests, the team showed that MoVR can enable untethered communication at a rate of multiple Gbps, or billions of bits per second. The system uses special high-frequency radio signals called “millimeter waves” (mmWaves) that many experts think could someday help deliver blazingly-fast 5G smartphones.
With headlines like “Virtual Reality Learns How to Get Into Classroom,” which the Wall Street Journal ran this February, the hype cycle around VR’s potential in education has returned.
This time, a medley of new players—especially technology magnates—are jumping in the fray: Facebook has committed to pour money into developing education apps for its $600 Oculus Rift. On the other end of the market, Google is offering its $15 Cardboard alongside Expeditions, which takes viewers on virtual field trips. The search giant is also working with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a major education publisher, to create content and lesson plans for classrooms. Meanwhile, startups like Nearpod are introducing virtual reality lessons to prime the market.
Even one charter school, the Washington Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C., is venturing into the reality space. It nabbed one of the $10 million prizes from the XQ: Super School Project in part for its plans to develop the first-ever virtual chemistry lab, among other ideas it has for the technology.
*This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Virtual Reality has the power to transform the future of learning. By giving students an interactive, three-dimensional learning environment, we have the potential to reach learners in ways previously never conceived. For a closer look at the future of virtual reality in education, dive into this article from the Samsung Insights blog: Immersive Virtual Reality: The Next Frontier in Education. The article explores the growth of virtual reality and the implications in both K-12 and higher education.
A new, free virtual reality program allows users to explore what happens as climate change kills off coral reefs. The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience is a free science education tool that takes students to the bottom of the sea and then fast-forwards their experience to the end of this century, when, as scientists predict, many coral reefs are expected to corrode through ocean acidification. By putting the experience in VR, the collaborators say they are hoping to change people's behavior in the real world.
The project came out of Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, which created a related 360-degree video project that also examines the problem of global warming and its impact on the ocean's life forms. But it's the VR version that allows the viewer to deep-sea dive and collect samples off of the ocean floor.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.