From DSC:
First some recent/relevant postings:

IFTTT’s ingenious new feature: Controlling apps with your location
— from by Kyle VanHemert


An update to the IFTTT app lets you use your location in recipes. Image: IFTTT



IFTTT stands athwart history. At a point where the software world is obsessed with finding ever more specialized apps for increasingly specific problems, the San Francisco-based company is gleefully doing just the opposite. It simply wants to give people a bunch of tools and let them figure it out. It all happens with simple conditional statements the company calls “recipes.” So, you can use the service to execute the following command: If I take a screenshot, then upload it to Dropbox. If this RSS feed is updated, then send me a text message. It’s great for kluging together quick, automated solutions for the little workflows that slip into the cracks between apps and services.


If This, Then That (IFTTT)



4 reasons why Apple’s iBeacon is about to disrupt interaction design — from by Kyle VanHemert


You step inside Walmart and your shopping list is transformed into a personalized map, showing you the deals that’ll appeal to you most. You pause in front of a concert poster on the street, pull out your phone, and you’re greeted with an option to buy tickets with a single tap. You go to your local watering hole, have a round of drinks, and just leave, having paid—and tipped!—with Uber-like ease. Welcome to the world of iBeacon.

It sounds absurd, but it’s true: Here we are in 2013, and one of the most exciting things going on in consumer technology is Bluetooth. Indeed, times have changed. This isn’t the maddening, battery-leeching, why-won’t-it-stay-paired protocol of yore. Today we have Bluetooth Low Energy which solves many of the technology’s perennial problems with new protocols for ambient, continuous, low-power connectivity. It’s quickly becoming big deal.


The Internet of iThings: Apple’s iBeacon is already in almost 200 million iPhones and iPads — from by Anthony Kosner

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Because of iBeacons’ limited range, they are well-suited for transmitting content that is relevant in the immediate proximity.




From DSC:
Along the lines of the above postings…I recently had a meeting whereby the topic of iBeacons came up. It was mentioned that museums will be using this sort of thing; i.e. approaching a piece of art will initiate an explanation of that piece on the museum’s self-guided tour application. 

That idea made me wonder whether such technology could be used in a classroom…and I quickly thought, “Yes!” 

For example, if a student goes to the SW corner of the room, they approach a table. That table has an iBeacon like device on it, which triggers a presentation within a mobile application on the student’s device.  The students reviews the presentation and moves onto the SE corner of the room whereby they approach a different table with another/different iBeacon on it.  That beacon triggers a quiz on the material they just reviewed, and then proceeds to build upon that information.  Etc. Etc.   Physically-based scaffolding along with some serious blended/hybrid learning. It’s like taking the concept of QR codes to the next level. 

Some iBeacon vendors out there include:

Data mining, interaction design, user interface design, and user experience design may never be the same again.


50 QR code resources for the classroom — from by Charlie Osborne


As mobile learning and technology is more readily integrated within classroom settings, QR codes can be used as an interesting method to capture a student’s attention and make lesson material more interactive.

Quick response codes, also known as ‘QR’ codes, are simple, scannable images that are a form of barcode. By scanning a QR code image through a mobile device, information can be accessed including text, links, bookmarks and email addresses.

In the classroom, QR codes can be used in a variety of ways — from conducting treasure hunts to creating modern CVs. Below is a number of articles, tutorials and lesson plans designed to help educators.

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Daniel Christian - Emerging Technologies and Trends - January 20th 2012 Presentation at Calvin College


Daniel Christian - Emerging Technologies and Trends - January 20th 2012 Presentation at Calvin College


From DSC:
In case it’s helpful, clicking on this link or on one of the images above will link you to a recent presentation that I did for an Interim course at Calvin College entitled, “Social Media for Business?”  As the class had already covered a lot of the topics relating to social media, my job was to focus more on some of the recent emerging trends and technologies.  I will continue to keep pulse checking on those technologies which will allow for ubiquitous, mobile (as well as from the living room), 24x7x365, multimedia-based learning.


  • Almost all of the images on the slides are linked up to web-based resources; so if you see something of interest, go ahead and click on that image/slide in order to learn more about that topic/article/etc.




mLearning DevCon 2011 Conference Backchannel: Collected Resources #mlearningdevcon — from Misadventures in Learning by David Kelly


I am a huge proponent of backchannel learning.  There are many conferences I would love to be able to attend, but my budget can only accomodate one or two each year.  The backchannel is an excellent resource for learning from a conference or event that you are unable to attend in-person (emphasis DSC).

I find collecting collecting and reviewing backchannel resources to be a valuable learning experience for me, even when I am attending a conference in person.  Sharing these collections on this blog has shown that others find value in the collections as well.

This post collects the resources shared via the backchannel of the mLearning DevCon 2011, held October 5-7 in the New York Metro area.


Sharp use of QR codes by Steelcase


From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.

From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
It is aimed at higher education audiences.


 Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)


Note from DSC:

There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.

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QR Code Survey []

QR Code Survey —

Example graphics/excerpts (emphasis below from DSC):

Also see:

Whether knowing what it is or not, you’ve probably seen a few QR (Quick Response) codes by now – these rather soulless small black and white two-dimensional bar codes that have started showing up within media and advertising to storefront window displays. QR codes instantly link the offline world and the digital world together— Its therefore a powerful tool businesses can use to allow consumers to engage with their brand or product.

Stats from Jumpscan say that QR code scanning has increased by 1,200% from September to March 2011. Not surprisingly, social media users are the key driver of this growth, with 57% of Facebook and Twitter users reporting that they’ve scanned at least one QR code in the past year.


From DSC:
I post this to get some creative/innovative juices flowing for how this might relate to textbooks and/or other educationally-related applications.

Tagged with: + Percent Mobile = QR Squared — from Paul Simbeck-Hampson

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In my recent Webinar on Mobile Tagging I spoke of a QR code management platform called In this post I’d like to highlight some of reasons why I consider this platform shines above the rest.


Webinar: QR Codes, mTagging and Learning


A somewhat related addendum:

Cookery goes interactive on BBC One
BBC One’s new cookery series – The Good Cook is to be the UK’s first-ever cookery programme to use “Quick Response” codes. Audiences with QR-enabled phones will be able to use this interactive technology to link directly to the recipes and ingredients featured in the programme via the BBC Food mobile website.

Available while watching the series live on TV, BBC iPlayer and from the website the audience can get the full details for each recipe and a list of ingredients by simply scanning the QR codes on the screen onto their mobile smart phone.

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[Concept] The new “textbook”: A multi-layered approach — from Daniel S. Christian
I’ve been thinking recently about new approaches to relaying — and engaging with — content in a “textbook”.

For a physical textbook

When opening up a physical textbook to a particular page, QR-like codes would be printed on the physical pages of the textbook.  With the advent of augmented reality, such a mechanism would open up some new possibilities to interact with content for that page. For example, some overall characteristics about this new, layered approach:

  • Augmented reality could reveal multiple layers of information:
    • From the author/subject matter expert as well as the publisher’s instructional design team
      • Main points highlighted
      • Pointers that may help with metacognition, such as potential mnemonics that might be helpful in moving something into long-term memory
      • Studying strategies
    • A layer that the professor or teacher could edit
      • Main points highlighted
      • Pointers that may help with metacognition, such as potential mnemonics that might be helpful in moving something into long-term memory
      • Studying strategies
    • A layer for the students to comment on/annotate that page
    • A layer for other students’ comments



For an electronic-based textbook

  • The interface would allow for such layers to be visible or not — much like Google’s Body Browser application
  • For example, in this graphic, comments from the SME and/or ID are highlighted on top of the normal text:





Advantages of this concept/model:

  • Ties physical into virtual world
  • We could economically update information (i.e. opens up streams of content)
  • Integrates social learning
  • Allows SMEs, IDs, faculty members to further comment/add to content as new information becomes available
  • Instructors could highlight the key points they want to stress
  • Many of the layers could offer items that might help with students’ meta-cognitive processes (i.e. to help them learn the content and move the content into long-term memory)
  • One could envision the textbook being converted into something more akin to an app in an online-based store — with notifications of updates that could be constantly pushed out


Addendum (5/26):


Augmented Learning — from Kirsten Winkler at

A technology that keeps me excited for a while now is augmented reality in combination with QR codes and geo tagging. One start-up that caught my attention early on was StickBits.

From DSC:
I’m thinking of a related application here — it involves Geology courses. That is, what if the rocks or other types of materials (that students were trying to learn about) were assigned their own QR codes? Then the students could walk around the room, scan in the QR codes, and the relevant information about that rock/material would appear on their device.

QR codes -- definition and examples from

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