Ed Dept. Names Finalists for Virtual and Augmented Reality Competition — from campustechnology.com by Sri Ravipati


The finalists are:

  • Case Western Reserve University, which developed “Holographic Anatomy to Transform Healthcare,” a simulation that provides an alternative to using cadavers to teach medical anatomy. Combining the Microsoft HoloLens and the VR experience, medical students can practice dissection techniques in a virtual environment.
  • Embodied Labs for a series of VR patient experiences called “The Alfred Lab,” designed to teach students how to take better care of elderly populations.
  • Octothorpe, the creator behind “The Irregular: Sherlock Holmes,” which challenges students to work together on chemistry and psychology problems.
  • Osso VR, for its realistic, hands-on orthopaedic surgical training platform; and
  • Smart Sparrow, an education company that created “LifeCraft,” which explores life on Earth through various archaeology, biology and astronomy expeditions.



The 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts — from tutora.co.uk by Giorgio Cassella


If you work in education, you’ll know there’s a HUGE array of applications, services, products and tools created to serve a multitude of functions in education.

Tools for teaching and learning, parent-teacher communication apps, lesson planning software, home-tutoring websites, revision blogs, SEN education information, professional development qualifications and more.

There are so many companies creating new products for education, though, that it can be difficult to keep up – especially with the massive volumes of planning and marking teachers have to do, never mind finding the time to actually teach!

So how do you know which ones are the best?

Well, as a team of people passionate about education and learning, we decided to do a bit of research to help you out.

We’ve asked some of the best and brightest in education for their opinions on the hottest EdTech of 2017. These guys are the real deal – experts in education, teaching and new tech from all over the world from England to India, to New York and San Francisco.

They’ve given us a list of 82 amazing, tried and tested tools…

From DSC:
The ones that I mentioned that Giorgio included in his excellent article were:

  • AdmitHub – Free, Expert College Admissions Advice
  • Labster – Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Change the World
  • Unimersiv – Virtual Reality Educational Experiences
  • Lifeliqe – Interactive 3D Models to Augment Classroom Learning






Apple iPhone 8 To Get 3D-Sensing Tech For Augmented-Reality Apps — from investors.com by Patrick Seitz


Apple’s (AAPL) upcoming iPhone 8 smartphone will include a 3D-sensing module to enable augmented-reality applications, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang said Wednesday. Apple has included the 3D-sensing module in all three current prototypes of the iPhone 8, which have screen sizes of 4.7, 5.1 and 5.5 inches, he said. “We believe Apple’s 3D sensing might provide a better user experience with more applications,” Zhang said in a research report. “So far, we think 3D sensing aims to provide an improved smartphone experience with a VR/AR environment.”

Apple's iPhone 8 is expected to have 3D-sensing tech like Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro smartphone. (Lenovo)Apple’s iPhone 8 is expected to have 3D-sensing tech like Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro smartphone. (Lenovo)



AltspaceVR Education Overview





10 Prominent Developers Detail Their 2017 Predictions for The VR/AR Industry — from uploadvr.com by David Jagneaux


As we look forward to 2017 then, we’ve reached out to a bunch of industry experts and insiders to get their views on where we’re headed over the next 12 months.

2016 provided hints of where Facebook, HTC, Sony, Google, and more will take their headsets in the near future, but where does the industry’s best and brightest think we’ll end up this time next year? With CES, the year’s first major event, now in the books, let’s hear from some those that work with VR itself about what happens next.

We asked all of these developers the same four questions:

1) What do you think will happen to the VR/AR market in 2017?
2) What NEEDS to happen to the VR AR market in 2017?
3) What will be the big breakthroughs and innovations of 2017?
4) Will 2017 finally be the “year of VR?”



MEL Lab’s Virtual Reality Chemistry Class — from thereisonlyr.com by Grant Greene
An immersive learning startup brings novel experiences to science education.



The MEL app turned my iPhone 6 into a virtual microscope, letting me walk through 360 degree, 3-D representations of the molecules featured in the experiment kits.





Labster releases ‘World of Science’ Simulation on Google Daydream — from labster.com by Marian Reed


Labster is exploring new platforms by which students can access its laboratory simulations and is pleased to announce the release of its first Google Daydream-compatible virtual reality (VR) simulation, ‘Labster: World of Science’. This new simulation, modeled on Labster’s original ‘Lab Safety’ virtual lab, continues to incorporate scientific learning alongside of a specific context, enriched by story-telling elements. The use of the Google VR platform has enabled Labster to fully immerse the student, or science enthusiast, in a wet lab that can easily be navigated with intuitive usage of Daydream’s handheld controller.



The Inside Story of Google’s Daydream, Where VR Feels Like Home — from wired.com by David Pierce


Jessica Brillhart, Google’s principle VR filmmaker, has taken to calling people “visitors” rather than “viewers,” as a way of reminding herself that in VR, people aren’t watching what you’ve created. They’re living it. Which changes things.



Welcoming more devices to the Daydream-ready family — from blog.google.com by Amit Singh


In November, we launched Daydream with the goal of bringing high quality, mobile VR to everyone. With the Daydream View headset and controller, and a Daydream-ready phone like the Pixel or Moto Z, you can explore new worlds, kick back in your personal VR cinema and play games that put you in the center of the action.

Daydream-ready phones are built for VR with high-resolution displays, ultra smooth graphics, and high-fidelity sensors for precise head tracking. To give you even more choices to enjoy Daydream, today we’re welcoming new devices that will soon join the Daydream-ready family.



Kessler Foundation awards virtual reality job interview program — from haptic.al by Deniz Ergürel


Kessler Foundation, one of the largest public charities in the United States, is awarding a virtual reality training project to support high school students with disabilities. The foundation is providing a two-year, $485,000 Signature Employment Grant to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, to launch the Virtual Reality Job Interview Training program. Kessler Foundation says, the VR program will allow for highly personalized role-play, with precise feedback and coaching that may be repeated as often as desired without fear or embarrassment.



Deep-water safety training goes virtual — from shell.com by Soh Chin Ong
How a visit to a shopping centre led to the use of virtual reality safety training for a new oil production project, Malikai, in the deep waters off Sabah in Malaysia.




Per X Media Lab:

The authoritative CB Insights lists imminent Future Tech Trends: customized babies; personalized foods; robotic companions; 3D printed housing; solar roads; ephemeral retail; enhanced workers; lab-engineered luxury; botroots movements; microbe-made chemicals; neuro-prosthetics; instant expertise; AI ghosts. You can download the whole outstanding report here (125 pgs).


From DSC:
Though I’m generally pro-technology, there are several items in here which support the need for all members of society to be informed and have some input into if and how these technologies should be used. Prime example: Customized babies.  The report discusses the genetic modification of babies: “In the future, we will choose the traits for our babies.” Veeeeery slippery ground here.


Below are some example screenshots:










Also see:

CBInsights — Innovation Summit

  • The New User Interface: The Challenge and Opportunities that Chatbots, Voice Interfaces and Smart Devices Present
  • Fusing the physical, digital and biological: AI’s transformation of healthcare
  • How predictive algorithms and AI will rule financial services
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future
  • The Next Industrial Age: The New Revenue Sources that the Industrial Internet of Things Unlocks
  • The AI-100: 100 Artificial Intelligence Startups That You Better Know
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future




From DSC:


If you wanted to, how do you make a digital version of 20+ feet worth of writings and drawings on 2+ chalkboards or whiteboards that are put together?



The applications that I’ve run across so far — whether they are meant for PCs, Macs, tablets, or smartphones — don’t do it, as they’re too limited on screen real estate.

Some have tried using lightboards and making recordings of their equations or other work….



…but those solutions seem to fall short, at least in my mind, if you need to reference something early on in the long equation…you know, on that first “board” of information that you completed and then erased.  (I suppose if a student was watching a recording, you could tell them to go back to Marker 1 in the video…and they can go back and review that portion of the video…but that requires more time/editing/setup. Time that faculty members often don’t have.)  So, again, lightboards seem somewhat limited in their real estate.

Then, a while back, I saw this 360-degree ring of display screens at Washington State University




and it got me to thinking…hmmm…yes…if, as a faculty member was using an application that they could write on and the equation could appear on the screens overhead. Faculty could use something akin to a pen & touch display from Wacom in order to write the equations — but the software would need to allow them to scroll backwards and forwards throughout their long equations. They could use those tools to highlight or further annotate something that was previously covered.




In this type of physical/AV-related solution, it would seem that the students would be best situated on the inside of the circle, looking upwards to watch the equation build on itself.  Having a huge amount of digital space to work with could mean that they could turn their Node Chairs around to see any portion of the equation.  Faculty members could also, I suppose, use laser pointers to point to something up on the displays.

Again though, they would need to be able to scroll left to right, top to bottom, say on something like the 160 acres (vs 20+ feet of chalkboard/whiteboard) you get on a workspace in Bluescape



…then you would have a lot of digital real estate to work with. So that was one approach I was wondering about.

But then, I saw some interesting items regarding Virtual Reality, and POW! There it is! An enormous amount of digital screen real estate where the users could go where they wanted to on it.  That is, the vision here would be that each student could control where they want to go within the digital canvas.

Some related items to this:


Virtual Desktop 1.0 Trailer




Obviously, I need to further think this through and investigate what’s possible as time goes by. But I wanted to get this out there in case some vendor can help us get there sooner rather than later.


A relevant link:

Playing games on a 19-foot TV, climbing mountains and shooting bows — from polygon.com by Brian Crecente

But the one I found most compelling was the most mundane creation for Vive: The SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode. Slip on the black plastic headset and instead of dropping into a fantastical world of mouthy orbs, atop a mountain with a robot dog or inside a game, I found myself sitting in a chair in a fairly non-descript room facing a big television screen. To be specific, in this case big means about 19 feet.


Addendum of something that’s relevant here and that I just ran across today:

  • The Future of AV Displays — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce
    Today, students are interacting with content on large touchscreen flat panels. Soon, they could be using immersive head-mounted displays.



Labster: Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Change the World
Laboratory Simulations for Educators to Empower their STEM Students

From DSC:
I recently met Maaroof Fakhri at the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference. It was a pleasure to meet him and hear him speak of the work they are doing at Labster (which is located in Denmark). He is very innovative, and he shines forth with a high degree of energy, creativity, and innovation.

Keep an eye on the work they are doing. Very sharp.





Also see:









Learnathons, on the other hand are optimized sessions that teach participants how to apply what they learn as soon as possible. They are on the opposite end of how classroom teaching is organized, with lessons spread out over the course of a semester focusing on theory and weekly practice. They are a fairly new concept, but have created an environment for learning that is speeding up comprehension and application to levels that aren’t seen elsewhere.




Addendum on 3/16/16:

What are Remote Labs? <– from ilabcentral.org

Making high school science labs more real, more engaging, and more accessible
Remote Online laboratories (iLabs) are experimental facilities that can be accessed through the Internet, allowing students and educators to carry out experiments from anywhere at any time.





Augmented Reality

Augmented reality app brings art history to life — from creativebloq.com


Dazzle It is a cool new augmented reality app that lets you remix artwork from artists including the Sir Peter Blake, Godfather of Pop Art –  best known for designing the 1967 Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.

Developed by digital design agency, Corporation Pop, it combines the latest augmented reality techniques with design to bring history to life. And notably, unlike most augmented reality apps, you don’t need a pre-supplied marker to view what you create in a real-world scene.


7 Great Augmented Reality Apps for Your Classroom — from teachercast.net

Apps Discussed on the Show:

  • Aurasma
  • Anatomy 4D
  • ColAR
  • Spacecraft 3D
  • AR Flash Cards
  • Elements 3D
  • Google Translate


Angus park to host augmented reality performance — from scotsman.com with thanks to Woontack Woo for his posting on this


A FOREST park in Angus is to host the UK’s first live ­theatrical performance featuring augmented reality (AR) technology.

By downloading an app, ­audiences will be able to spot magical creatures through their smartphones and capture them on camera, before sharing the images with friends and family on social media.

DragonQuest, which will be performed in Monikie Country Park, allows visitors to wander around a forest using their smartphone to create images of fantastical creatures in addition to real-life characters and events on the set.


Here are the signs that point to Apple’s next big innovation in computing, according to one analyst — from businessinsider.com



Check Out How These Teachers and Students are Using Augmented Reality — from emergingedtech.com



Using Augmented Reality for Learning and Teaching — from edtechreview.in by Prasanna Bharti


Various Application of Augmented Reality in Learning Different Subjects

Astronomy: AR can be used to make student understand about the relationship between the Sun and the Earth. Here AR technology can be used with 3D rendered sun and earth shapes.

Chemistry: Teachers can demonstrate what a molecule and atoms consist of using AR technology.

Biology: Teachers can use Augmented Reality to showcase their student’s body structure or anatomy. Teachers can show their students different types of organ and how they look in a 3D atmosphere. Students can even study human body structure on their own by using devices with AR embedded technology in it.

Physics: Physics is one of the subjects where AR technology can be used perfectly. Various kinematics properties can be easily understood by using AR technology.



Virtual Reality

Virtual reality can take us to the world’s greatest museums — from venturebeat.com by Mike Minotti

London's The Courtauld Gallery.


How Virtual Reality Can Close Learning Gaps in Your Classroom — from edsurge.com


Virtual Reality (VR) may be the type of educational breakthrough that comes along once in a generation, heralding a tectonic shift toward immersive content for teaching and instruction.

By presenting a complete view of the world in which it is situated, VR offers a new opportunity to close some of the pedagogical gaps that have appeared in 21st century classroom learning. These gaps stem from the fact that curriculum and content in education have not caught up with rapid technology advancements.

Below I introduce three of these gaps and how they might be addressed by virtual reality content soon to be produced and distributed commercially.


Google Cardboard offers virtual trip for Lawrence students — from www2.ljworld.com


The Lawrence school district recently purchased 20 Google Cardboards, which beginning this school year are available for teachers to check out for use in their classrooms, said Joe Smysor, the district’s technology integration specialist. Cardboard works in conjunction with a smartphone app to deliver a 3-D, 360-degree navigable image. Students can use apps with Cardboard to virtually visit museums, landmarks or cities around the world.

“It’s going to allow teachers to take their class on field trips where school buses couldn’t otherwise go,” Smysor said. “That could be back 100 years in the past, or underwater.”


Virtual college tours with cardboard, a smartphone and YouVisit — from mystatesman.com by Omar L. Gallaga


While college students are settling into their dorms, it’s already time for next year’s class of high school students to narrow down their potential school choices and schedule campus visits. Or maybe they can just stay home and start the journey virtually.

A site called YouVisit has a surprisingly large set of virtual-reality college tours available. All the major Texas colleges are represented, and one of them, Trinity University, has been making a big push to get cheap sets of cardboard VR goggles out to families at recruiting events such as college fairs. Trinity sent me a pair of the cardboard glasses. The virtual visit to the campus certainly wasn’t the same as being there, but to get at least a visual sense of what the campus looks like and to be generally wowed by the 3-D/360-degree effect, it was worth the trip.


Regis University Creates Remote Campus Tours with Primacy’s Virtual Reality Experience — from businesswire.com
Jesuit university builds on rich tradition of innovation by enabling immersive virtual tours using Oculus Rift technology and virtual reality headsets


FARMINGTON, Conn. & DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Regis University today unveiled a unique new way for prospective students to tour and experience the school’s scenic 100-acre campus. Through an interactive, immersive experience created by independent agency Primacy, students are able to put on an Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset and immediately be transformed to the campus where they can get a full, 360-degree tour as if they were on site – including viewing daybreak runs at Red Rocks, being immersed in Regis’ experiential nursing skills lab and visiting the campus pub to watch a live Jenga game.



GoPro is now selling its crazy 16-camera virtual reality rig — from theverge.com by Sean O’Kane
‘Odyssey’ is only available to pros


Odyssey is the first camera rig built specifically for Google’s Jump platform, which was also announced at this year’s I/O conference. Jump is an entire virtual reality ecosystem that, in theory, will make it easier to both create and consume VR content. With Jump, Google created open plans that companies can use to build their own 16-camera rig (GoPro just happened to be the first), as well as assemble software that can recreate the scene being captured in much higher quality than most existing image stitching software can. Eventually, Jump videos will be hosted in YouTube; think of it as the next logical step following YouTube’s inclusion of 360-degree videos earlier this year.


Behind the Scenes of a Virtual Reality Beethoven Concert — from recode.net by Eric Johnson


Are you a classical music fan? It’s a question most people would probably say no to, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic knows that.

“People are intimidated by classical music,” said Amy Seidenwurm, the Philharmonic’s director of digital initiatives. “They don’t come to concerts because they feel it might not be for them.”

But to change those minds, the LA Phil is turning to virtual reality. For the next month, it will be driving around the Los Angeles area to parks, festivals and museums, in a van outfitted with real carpeting and seats from the Walt Disney Concert Hall — and six Samsung Gear VR headsets, which have been loaded with a special video performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. (You know the one: Dun-dun-dun DUNNNN.)

The interior of the Van Beethoven van.


Inside Industrial Light & Magic’s secret Star Wars VR lab — from theverge.com by Bryan Bishop
ILMxLab isn’t just exploring the future of entertainment… they’re already making it





Addendums on 9/10/15:


Sony morpheus



5 augmented reality apps to alter your world — from cbronline.com with thanks to Woontack Woo for his posting on this
Learn more about Dazzle It, Streetmuseum, Skyview, Blippar and Colorblind Fix.


Ever wanted to see the world around you in a different way? These apps will transform your phone into a portal to a world of altered perceptions.



That ‘useless’ liberal arts degree has become tech’s hottest ticket — from forbes.com by George Anders; with a shout out to Krista Spahr for bringing this item to my attention


What kind of boss hires a thwarted actress for a business-to-business software startup? Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s 42-year-old cofounder and CEO, whose estimated double-digit stake in the company could be worth $300 million or more. He’s the proud holder of an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Canada’s University of Victoria and a master’s degree from Cambridge in philosophy and the history of science.

“Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings. And when I studied the history of science, I learned about the ways that everyone believes something is true–like the old notion of some kind of ether in the air propagating gravitational forces–until they realized that it wasn’t true.”

And he’s far from alone. Throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger.  Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing. The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers–and make progress seem pleasant.







Addendum on 8/7/15:

  • STEM Study Starts With Liberal Arts — from forbes.com by Chris Teare
    Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
    Much has been made, especially by the Return on Investment crowd, of the value of undergraduate study in the so-called STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Lost in the conversation is the way the true liberal arts underpin such study, often because the liberal arts are inaccurately equated solely with the humanities. From the start, the liberal arts included math and science, something I learned firsthand at St. John’s College.

    This topic is especially on my mind since reading the excellent article George Anders has written for Forbes: “That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket” In this context, understanding the actual origin and purposes of the liberal arts is all the more valuable.


Augmented Reality Chemistry Experiments with Elements 4D — from whiteboardblog.co.uk


Elements 4D is a neat Augmented Reality chemistry app for iOS and Android devices which provides a fun way to look at various different chemical reactions.

The app uses blocks that are inscribed with the symbols of 36 elements from the periodic table. The site will eventually sell ready-made cubes, but you can download paper templates for free here.

When viewed through the app, these blocks instantly transform a simple, inanimate object into dynamic, dimensional, 4D representations of each element.

Also see:



Toss your manual overboard—augmented reality aims at big industry — from arstechnica.com by Lee Hutchinson
Papers, diagrams, and checklists would be replaced with intuitive visual tools.


GE is focusing efforts on constructing an extensible “field maintenance manual” intended to be used for industrial equipment. The use case being tested in the labs is with oil and gas; researchers in GE’s Research Center in Brazil are building software that they hope will replace the need to deal with bulky printed maintenance manuals—manuals which have to be kept up to date and which lack any kind of interactivity.



New Microsoft Tool Takes the Pulse of Higher Education
Bing Pulse in the Classroom, a new student response system designed for higher education, launched this week.


A new student response tool designed by a team at Microsoft will soon be giving teachers instant feedback on how their lessons are going.

Bing Pulse in the Classroom, a free online tool designed to make higher education lectures more dynamic, was released Thursday. The technology lets teachers ask students questions to get a real-time “pulse” of the lesson to ensure a teacher isn’t getting too far ahead of the class.

A feature not included in Pulse in the Classroom’s first iteration was live video streaming. Nesho says this capability will soon be added, and it could be a game changer for higher education classes that incorporate distance learning. Using a live video stream along with the Pulse feature set, the platform comes closer to an all-inclusive classroom experience.



Microsoft pioneers new ‘machine teaching’ technology to bring machine learning to the masses — from winbeta.org by Joseph Finney


Tech companies are constantly building and testing technology which could cause the next paradigm shift in how the world communicates, creates, and consumes. Many big names including Google, IBM and Microsoft are investing in machine intelligence and machine learning. Now Microsoft believes they have created the next generation of machine learning which they call machine teaching. While the name ‘machine teaching’ does not instantly communicate the purpose or intent of the new tech the underlying concept is simple.

Essentially, like Henry Ford brought the automobile to the masses, Microsoft wants to bring machine learning to everyone. Many companies are focused on making their machine learning algorithms more accurate, but Patrice Simard believes more advances can be driven by bringing machine learning to the masses.


 Also relevant here/see:
What Every Manager Should Know About Machine Learning — from hbr.org by Mike Yeomans
A primer on machine learning — from loop.ai
A tour of Machine Learning Algorithms #BigData #MachineLearning — from mo-data.com
In this post we take a tour of the most popular machine learning algorithms.




Microsoft launches site for teachers taking Minecraft into the classroom — from theguardian.com
Minecraft in Education portal aims to get educators sharing tips on how Mojang’s popular game can be used to teach children



The Scoop on Periscope: Broadcast Live Video to the World — from learninginhand.com by Tony Vincent
[Tony includes a nice infographic in this posting.]







First Look: Jaunt’s VR Camera Codenamed NEO — from by Jonathan Nafarrete


Jaunt has announced the launch of a new professional grade VR camera series codenamed “NEO” that will enable the next generation of filmmakers to produce the highest quality VR experiences.

Industrial Design by LUNAR.





Leap Motion’s Augmented-Reality Computing Looks Stupid Cool — from wired.com


This demo, in which a standard desktop computer is reimagined as a three-dimensional workstation of the future, offers a glimpse of what that might look like.

The project came out of a hackathon at Leap Motion, whose nifty gesture-recognizing sensor acts as a sort of finger-scale Kinect for desktop software. Using a prototype Leap sensor, a developer-kit Oculus Rift, a team of engineers built an augmented-reality work environment in which regular desktop applications jump out of the computer and into 3-D space. It’s a new computing interface hovering in front of a traditional personal computer sitting on a wood table—three generations of the “desktop,” one on top of another.



Apps That Rise to the Top: Tested and Approved By Teachers — from kqed.org b


Michelle Luhtala/Edshelf







EdTech 2015: What’s Coming Down the Innovation Pipeline — from medium.com by Daniel Rezac
Brace Yourselves for a New Wave of Classroom Integration





Office 365 Open Source plugins for Moodle: getting better all the time — from msopentech.com


[On June 26th, 2015] we shared the news that the upcoming Cypress release of Open edX, the most popular open source MOOC (massive open online course), will include new features for tighter integration with Office 365. Those features are the result of our open source collaboration with members of the Open edX community.

In addition to the new work we’re doing with Open edX, we continue to work with Remote-Learner (a leading Moodle partner) to make improvements and additions to the open source Office 365 plugins for Moodle. Moodle is the most popular open source learning management system (LMS), and the Office 365 plugins were released in January of this year. In this post, we’d like to share a few details about the great work Remote-Learner is doing to evolve the plugins.





New math app turns 2-D problems into 3-D solutions for Nova Scotia students — from trurodaily.com by Zane Woodford, Metro Halifax


HALIFAX – A new augmented reality application for iPhones, iPads and Android devices brings math problems off the page for Nova Scotia students – illustrating angles, curves and the dreaded Pythagorean theorem in three dimensions.


© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Grade 9 student Nathaniel Jarmash uses an augmented reality app
to work on his math problems at Sir Robert Borden Junior High School.


The brave new world of virtual-reality filmmaking — from readwrite.com by David Nield
How VR will revolutionize cinema for creators and consumers.


While gamers wait patiently for their virtual-reality headsets to go on sale, there’s another industry ripe for the VR picking: movies. That means, as VR technology matures, filmmakers have to work out a new approach to their craft. But if they get it right, audiences are in for a far more immersive and interactive ride.

Companies like Samsung, Google and Oculus have been evangelizing VR cinema experiences, hoping to bring the sorts of videos that make their virtual-reality platforms a real destination for movie watchers. But to make their campaigns work, they need filmmakers and video producers who know what they’re doing.



Innovative use of Virtual Reality in Chemistry Classrooms — from alchemylearning.com


“My students were able to apply their understanding of the technology to learning activities (labs, research projects, etc.) that could be made possible using virtual reality. For students to draw those connections on their own gives me hope that engineers, teachers, and students will be able to collaborate and create great opportunities for learning inside of a virtual world.” – Matt Cobb



Adopting Virtual Reality for Education — from alchemylearning.com


“As an educator with 20+ years’ experience integrating technology into curriculum, it is exciting for me to see a technology that so quickly captures the attention of the students, motivates them to make the effort to learn the procedures, and then opens them up to the relevant content.“ – Larry Fallon, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Arlington County Public Schools

But ultimately, will VR become a proven medium to help students learn faster, be more motivated, and expand the boundaries of what is possible? Let’s take a moment to survey the state of the field right now and see what the future of virtual reality in education could look like.



Virtual reality technology expands to a blitz of uses, including football — from kansascity.com by Kasia Kovacs


Reilly’s football software is among a tidal wave of VR programs being developed for introduction to consumers in the next year. The military already uses VR in some training exercises, but the technology has potential uses in other areas, such as entertainment and home improvement. Architects, for instance, can create life-size virtual models of buildings rather than relying on traditional physical models.

Raymond Wong, a product analyst for Mashable, said: “I’m not sure if people want to put these goggles on at home. It’s a very isolating experience.” Indeed, total immersion in a world that occupies most of the users’ senses could lend itself to previously unseen consequences.

Wong sees more potential for VR in commercial industries such as marketing or engineering.

Research has already pointed to VR’s advantages in the medical field, Rizzo said. Once interactive intelligent agents — virtual characters — are advanced enough to respond like people, surgeons in training may be able to practice procedures with these characters. VR simulations could also be used as a way to distract patients from painful procedures, possibly becoming an alternative to pain medicine.

Education may also benefit from advances in virtual reality.

If a student struggles with conceptualizing the atomic structure, for instance, he could plop on the headset and be immersed within a virtual atom.



Like being there: Walking through an ancient Roman town — from popular-archaeology.com


The development of new technologies and techniques, combined with the increasingly interdisciplinary approach of archaeological investigation, are producing results that, for the archaeologist of 20 years ago, might have been the stuff of science fiction. Who would have known then that scientists would resurrect in startling detail an entire ancient Roman town after only fractional excavation? And who would have known that thousands of people from nearly every corner of the world would be able to ‘walk’ through that town without ever physically setting foot within?

This, however, is exactly what has happened for an obscure archaeological site located in Portugal—a relatively small ancient Roman town whose few visible remains have attracted comparatively few visitors—at least as compared to the iconic Roman city of Pompeii in the south of Italy.





Oculus Rift DK2 demo round-up for futurists — from futureconscience.com


NeoS: The Universe
NeoS: The UniverseThis is a fantastic demo that takes you from the smallest level of scale (surrounded by protons and neutrons) through to the largest (galaxies and the observable universe).  As you progress through the scales you are in first overlooked by a penny that seems the size of a building, before seeing it get smaller in front of you and other objects such as basketballs and a T-Rex come into view.

Mona Lisa Room
This is one of those ‘transport you to a location’ demos that a lot of people are starting to get involved with.  It seems like such an obvious use of VR technology, and you can really see how the cultural heritage and museum sector is going to jump on this once the technology is commercially available.  Essentially what you have here is a solo tour of a very famous art gallery room in the Louvre museum in Paris, complete with atmospheric and well-produced audio guides for a number of different paintings.  Most importantly, it’s a VIP viewing – you are escaping the hundreds of tourists crammed into the small space for a personal experience taken at your leisure.  Unfortunately, this particular demo really exposes the need for a higher resolution screen than the DK2 has at hand.  The Mona Lisa is a small painting, and so none of the detail comes out which is particularly jarring given that the audio tour is talking specifically about how perfect the painting is.  Even the massive wall-size Biblical painting nearby comes across as too pixelated to really engage with.  It’s a concept that is going to take off in the very near future, but not until we get nice high-res screens!



Does Studying Fine Art = Unemployment? Introducing LinkedIn’s Field of Study Explorer — from LinkedIn.com by Kathy Hwang


[On July 28, 2014], we are pleased to announce a new product – Field of Study Explorer – designed to help students like Candice explore the wide range of careers LinkedIn members have pursued based on what they studied in school.

So let’s explore the validity of this assumption: studying fine art = unemployment by looking at the careers of members who studied Fine & Studio Arts at Universities around the world. Are they all starving artists who live in their parents’ basements?






Also see:

The New Rankings? — from insidehighered.com by Charlie Tyson


Who majored in Slovak language and literature? At least 14 IBM employees, according to LinkedIn.

Late last month LinkedIn unveiled a “field of study explorer.” Enter a field of study – even one as obscure in the U.S. as Slovak – and you’ll see which companies Slovak majors on LinkedIn work for, which fields they work in and where they went to college. You can also search by college, by industry and by location. You can winnow down, if you desire, to find the employee who majored in Slovak at the Open University and worked in Britain after graduation.



App Ed Review




From the About Us page (emphasis DSC):

App Ed Review is a free searchable database of educational app reviews designed to support classroom teachers finding and using apps effectively in their teaching practice. In its database, each app review includes:

  • A brief, original description of the app;
  • A classification of the app based on its purpose;
  • Three or more ideas for how the app could be used in the classroom;
  • A comprehensive app evaluation;
  • The app’s target audience;
  • Subject areas where the app can be used; and,
  • The cost of the app.



Also see the Global Education Database:




From the About Us page:

It’s our belief that digital technologies will utterly change the way education is delivered and consumed over the next decade. We also reckon that this large-scale disruption doesn’t come with an instruction manual. And we’d like GEDB to be part of the answer to that.

It’s the pulling together of a number of different ways in which all those involved in education (teachers, parents, administrators, students) can make some sense of the huge changes going on around them. So there’s consumer reviews of technologies, a forum for advice, an aggregation of the most important EdTech news and online courses for users to equip themselves with digital skills. Backed by a growing community on social media (here, here and here for starters).

It’s a fast-track to digital literacy in the education industry.

GEDB has been pulled together by California residents Jeff Dunn, co-founder of Edudemic, and Katie Dunn, the other Edudemic co-founder, and, across the Atlantic in London, Jimmy Leach, a former habitue of digital government and media circles.




Favorite educational iPad apps that are also on Android — from the Learning in Hand blog by Tony Vincent


Layar’s industry leading Augmented Reality app now available on Google Glass — from layar.com


AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK, TORONTO – March 19th, 2014 – Layar, the world’s number one provider of Augmented Reality (AR) and Interactive Print products and services, today announced the availability of its industry leading mobile app on Google Glass. Glass users can go to Layar.com/Glass to download the app and see instructions for how to install it. By just saying “Ok Glass, scan this,” users can easily experience any of the platform’s over 200,000 Interactive Print pages and 6,000 location-based Geo Layers.

With Interactive Print, static print content comes alive with videos, photo slideshows, links to buy and share and immersive 3D experiences. Glass users can now access Layar’s rapidly growing platform of Interactive Print campaigns, including magazines like Men’s Health, Inc. and Glamour, as well as newspapers, advertising, art and more. Geo Layers allow users to see location-based information – including points-of-interest like local real restate listings, geotagged media like nearby photos and tweets, 3D art and more – in an augmented, “heads up” view using the camera on the Glass device.


Excerpt of video:



From DSC:
Using Layar’s Creator  app, there could be numerous and creative applications of these technologies within the realm of education.  For example, in a Chemistry class, one could have printouts of some of the types of equipment one would use in an experiment.




Looking at a particular piece of paper (and having loaded the app) would trigger a pop-up with that piece of equipment’s name, function, and/or other information as well as which step(s) of the experiment that you will be using that piece of equipment on.

Or, one could see instructions for how to put things together using this combination of tools. A set of printed directions could pop up a quick video for how to execute that step of the directions. (I sure could have used that sort of help in putting together our daughter’s crib I tell ya!)





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