How to Set Up a VR Pilot — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
As Washington & Lee University has found, there is no best approach for introducing virtual reality into your classrooms — just stages of faculty commitment.

Excerpt:

The work at the IQ Center offers a model for how other institutions might want to approach their own VR experimentation. The secret to success, suggested IQ Center Coordinator David Pfaff, “is to not be afraid to develop your own stuff” — in other words, diving right in. But first, there’s dipping a toe.

The IQ Center is a collaborative workspace housed in the science building but providing services to “departments all over campus,” said Pfaff. The facilities include three labs: one loaded with high-performance workstations, another decked out for 3D visualization and a third packed with physical/mechanical equipment, including 3D printers, a laser cutter and a motion-capture system.

 

 

 

The Future of Language Learning: Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality — from medium.com by Denis Hurley

Excerpts:

Here, I would like to stick to the challenges and opportunities presented by augmented reality and virtual reality for language learning.

While the challenge is a significant one, I am more optimistic than most that wearable AR will be available and popular soon. We don’t yet know how Snap Spectacles will evolve, and, of course, there’s always Apple.

I suspect we will see a flurry of new VR apps from language learning startups soon, especially from Duolingo and in combination with their AI chat bots. I am curious if users will quickly abandon the isolating experiences or become dedicated users.

 

 

Bose has a plan to make AR glasses — from cnet.com by David Carnoy
Best known for its speakers and headphones, the company has created a $50 million development fund to back a new AR platform that’s all about audio.

Excerpts:

“Unlike other augmented reality products and platforms, Bose AR doesn’t change what you see, but knows what you’re looking at — without an integrated lens or phone camera,” Bose said. “And rather than superimposing visual objects on the real world, Bose AR adds an audible layer of information and experiences, making every day better, easier, more meaningful, and more productive.”

The secret sauce seems to be the tiny, “wafer-thin” acoustics package developed for the platform. Bose said it represents the future of mobile micro-sound and features “jaw-dropping power and clarity.”

Bose adds the technology can “be built into headphones, eyewear, helmets and more and it allows simple head gestures, voice, or a tap on the wearable to control content.”

 

Bose is making AR glasses focused on audio, not visuals

Here are some examples Bose gave for how it might be used:

    • For travel, the Bose AR could simulate historic events at landmarks as you view them — “so voices and horses are heard charging in from your left, then passing right in front of you before riding off in the direction of their original route, fading as they go.” You could hear a statue make a famous speech when you approach it. Or get told which way to turn towards your departure gate while checking in at the airport.
    • Bose AR could translate a sign you’re reading. Or tell you the word or phrase for what you’re looking at in any language. Or explain the story behind the painting you’ve just approached.
  • With gesture controls, you could choose or change your music with simple head nods indicating yes, no, or next (Bragi headphones already do this).
  • Bose AR would add useful information based on where you look. Like the forecast when you look up or information about restaurants on the street you look down.

 

 

The 10 Best VR Apps for Classrooms Using Merge VR’s New Merge Cube — from edsurge.com

 

Google Lens arrives on iOS — from techcrunch.com by Sarah Perez

Excerpt:

On the heels of last week’s rollout on Android, Google’s  new AI-powered technology, Google Lens, is now arriving on iOS. The feature is available within the Google Photos iOS application, where it can do things like identify objects, buildings, and landmarks, and tell you more information about them, including helpful details like their phone number, address, or open hours. It can also identify things like books, paintings in museums, plants, and animals. In the case of some objects, it can also take actions.

For example, you can add an event to your calendar from a photo of a flyer or event billboard, or you can snap a photo of a business card to store the person’s phone number or address to your Contacts.

 

The eventual goal is to allow smartphone cameras to understand what it is they’re seeing across any type of photo, then helping you take action on that information, if need be – whether that’s calling a business, saving contact information, or just learning about the world on the other side of the camera.

 

 

15 Top Augmented Reality (AR) Apps Changing Education — from vudream.com by Steven Wesley

 

 

 

CNN VR App Brings News to Oculus Rift — from vrscout.com by Jonathan Nafarrete

 

 

 

 

The Future of Design, Part II — from 99u.adobe.com by Madeleine Morley; with thanks to Keesa V. Johnson for posting this on Twitter
For the second straight year, we asked 10 creatives to predict what is coming up in the world of design and how they will prepare for it. This year’s installment includes designing for voice-controlled tech, holograms, and the rise of the hybrid designer.

 

Design is always changing, and wider changes are often spearheaded by design itself. Now with tech and the creative industry increasingly aligning, we’re on the precipice of a truly momentous period in the history of design, something unprecedented that is difficult to predict and prepare for.

 

Excerpts:

With quickly evolving tools, tumultuous shifts in the economy, the relentless growth of the gig and freelance lifestyle, and global networks, the working landscape for young designers is a tremendously uncertain one. There’s no model to follow: The known and well-trodden career path of previous generations is overgrown.

It’s an uncertain time for design, but in its difficulty and complexity, it is an inspiring and crucial one: Those with the skills will help decide the way that innovations in tech not only look but function, too, and influence our daily lives.

Although we can’t predict the future, we can speak to those with experience who think about what’s in store. We asked each participant to give us their advice: What does their future of design look like? What will it do to the very idea of design. And how can we prepare for it?

 

Design will be for ears and not eyes.

 

We’re always getting our heads around designing for the latest technology, methodology, application, media, or format. It’s a fascinating time to be a designer. There will always be space for experts, for those who specialize in the things they are really, really good at, but for others there is the need to diversify.

 

We won’t tell stories; we’ll live them.

 

 

 

From DSC:
After reviewing the article below, I wondered...if we need to interact with content to learn it…how might mixed reality allow for new ways of interacting with such content? This is especially intriguing when we interact with that content with others as well (i.e., social learning).

Perhaps Mixed Reality (MR) will bring forth a major expansion of how we look at “blended learning” and “hybrid learning.”

 


Mixed Reality Will Transform Perceptions — from forbes.com by Alexandro Pando


Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Changing How We Perceive The World One Industry At A Time
Part of the reason mixed reality has garnered this momentum within such short span of time is that it promises to revolutionize how we perceive the world without necessarily altering our natural perspective. While VR/AR invites you into their somewhat complex worlds, mixed reality analyzes the surrounding real-world environment before projecting an enhanced and interactive overlay. It essentially “mixes” our reality with a digitally generated graphical information.

All this, however, pales in comparison to the impact of mixed reality on the storytelling process. While present technologies deliver content in a one-directional manner, from storyteller to audience, mixed reality allows for delivery of content, then interaction between content, creator and other users. This mechanism cultivates a fertile ground for increased contact between all participating entities, ergo fostering the creation of shared experiences. Mixed reality also reinvents the storytelling process. By merging the storyline with reality, viewers are presented with a wholesome experience that’s perpetually indistinguishable from real life.

 

Mixed reality is without a doubt going to play a major role in shaping our realities in the near future, not just because of its numerous use cases but also because it is the flag bearer of all virtualized technologies. It combines VR, AR and other relevant technologies to deliver a potent cocktail of digital excellence.

 


 

 

 

 

Curated Content & Conversations from Learning 2017
This 30-page eBook is packed with content, context, conversations, video links, and curated resources that include:

  • Learning Perspectives from Michelle Obama, John Lithgow, Julian Stodd, Christine McKinley, and other Learning 2017 Keynotes
  • Graphic Illustrations from Deirdre Crowley, Crowley & Co.
  • Video Links for Content Segments
  • Learning Perspectives from Elliott Masie
  • Segments focusing on:
  • Curation & Learning
  • “Micro” & Compressed Learning
  • Performance Support
  • Mobile Learning
  • Learning Design
  • Learning Strategy
  • Leadership Development
  • Gaming & Gamification for Learning
  • Escape Rooms for Learning
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Storytelling
  • and much more!

 

 

 

Writing for VR: The Definitive Guide to VR Storytelling — from vrscout.com by Jesse Damiani and Dylan Southard

Excerpt:

Though it’s geared toward 360° filmmaking, we also wanted to get creators thinking about conceiving and composing VR experiences with an eye toward the medium’s future. We’re guessing many readers fall into a similar camp, so we decided to make this resource available to the public—think of it as something like, “VR Writing and Storytelling 201.”

In other words, your audience will feel an increased sense of responsibility—these questions of Why am I here? and What should I do? This is why games and genre stories that focus on intentions (rescuing something; capturing something; escaping something; solving something) work particularly well.

The nuts-and-bolts part of presence is point of view (POV). In 360° storytelling, you must directly address the question of which specific POV you will utilize in your story. Will your audience see things through a specific character’s eyes (first-person POV) or will you simply take on an “objective,” detached perspective (third-person POV)?

 

We can’t express this enough: the space is as (if not more) important than your plot and characters. While composing your story, think about the ways you can build environments capable of making the viewer imagine stories of their own—even without any other human beings in the picture.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
I appreciated hearing the perspectives from Bruce Dixon and Will Richardson this morning, as I listed to a webinar that they recently offered. A few key takeaways for me from that webinar — and with a document that they shared — were:

  • The world has fundamentally changed. (Bruce and Will also mentioned the new pace of change; i.e., that it’s much faster.)
  • We need to have more urgency about the need to reimagine school, not to try to improve the existing model.
  • “Because of the advent of the Web and the technologies we use to access it, learning is, in a phrase, leaving the (school) building.”
  • There is a newfound capacity to take full control of one’s own learning; self-determined learning should be at the center of students’ and teachers’ work; co-constructed curriculum
  • And today, at a moment when learners of all ages have never had more agency over their own learning, schools must unlearn centuries old mindsets and practices and relearn them in ways that truly will serve every child living in the modern, connected world.
  • Will and Bruce believe that every educator — and district for that matter — should articulate their own “principles of learning”
  • Beliefs about how kids learn (powerfully and deeply) need to be articulated and consistently communicated and lived out
  • Everything we do as educators, administrators, etc. tells a story. What stories are we telling? (For example, what does the signage around your school building say? Is it about compliance? Is is about a love of learning? Wonder? What does the 20′ jumbo tron say about priorities? Etc.)
  • Bruce and Will covered a “story audit” and how to do one

 

“Learning is, in a phrase, leaving the (school) building.”

Richardson & Dixon

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

These educators have decades worth of experience. They are pulse-checking their environments. They want to see students thrive both now and into the future. For these reasons, at least for me, their perspectives are highly worth reflecting upon.

 

 

 

Campus Technology 2017: Virtual Reality Is More Than a New Medium — from edtechmagazine.com by Amy Burroughs
Experts weigh in on the future of VR in higher education.

Excerpts:

“It’s actually getting pretty exciting,” Georgieva said, noting that legacy companies and startups alike have projects in the works that will soon be on the market. Look for standalone, wireless VR headsets later this year from Facebook and Google.

“I think it’s going to be a universal device,” he said. “Eventually, we’ll end up with some kind of glasses where we can just dial in the level of immersion that we want.”

— Per Emery Craig, at Campus Technology 2017 Conference


“Doing VR for the sake of VR makes no sense whatsoever,” Craig said. “Ask when does it make sense to do this in VR? Does a sense of presence help this, or is it better suited to traditional media?”

 

 

Virtual Reality: The User Experience of Story — from blogs.adobe.com

Excerpt:

Solving the content problems in VR requires new skills that are only just starting to be developed and understood, skills that are quite different from traditional storytelling. VR is a nascent medium. One part story, one part experience. And while many of the concepts from film and theater can be used, storytelling through VR is not like making a movie or a play.

In VR, the user has to be guided through an experience of a story, which means many of the challenges in telling a VR story are closer to UX design than anything from film or theater.

Take the issue of frameless scenes. In a VR experience, there are no borders, and no guarantees where a user will look. Scenes must be designed to attract user attention, in order to guide them through the experience of a story.

Sound design, staging cues, lighting effects, and movement can all be used to draw a user’s attention.

However, it’s a fine balance between attraction to distraction.

“In VR, it’s easy to overwhelm the user. If you see a flashing light and in the background, you hear a sharp siren, and then something moves, you’ve given the user too many things to understand,” says Di Dang, User Experience Lead at POP, Seattle. “Be intentional and deliberate about how you grab audience attention.”

 

VR is a storytelling superpower. No other medium has the quite the same potential to create empathy and drive human connection. Because viewers are for all intents and purposes living the experience, they walk away with that history coded into their memory banks—easily accessible for future responses.

 

 

 

Google’s latest VR experiment is teaching people how to make coffee — from techradar.com by Parker Wilhelm
All in a quest to see how effective learning in virtual reality is

Excerpt:

Teaching with a simulation is no new concept, but Google’s Daydream Labs wants to see exactly how useful virtual reality can be for teaching people practical skills.

In a recent experiment, Google ran a simulation of an interactive espresso machine in VR. From there, it had a group of people try their virtual hand at brewing a cup of java before being tasked to make the real thing.

 

 



 

Addendum on 7/26/17:

 



 

 

 

6 Ways to Accelerate Learning in Your Virtual Classroom —- from td.org by Cynthia Clay

Excerpt:

When you move into the virtual classroom, whether as an instructional designer or a trainer, you quickly discover that guidelines for instruction in the traditional classroom may not help as much as you expected. You might have a bevy of questions: Should I use more slides or fewer? Should I present more content or streamline what I have? What about chat? Should I turn it on and let people talk to each other or turn it off so they focus on what I say? Should I put myself on camera throughout the session or just display a photograph at the opening?

How you answer those questions will either expedite or decelerate the learning experience. The following six accelerators make the difference between delivering learning that sticks and learning that’s forgotten by Friday.

  1. Accelerator #1: Get visual 
  2. Accelerator #2: Tell a story
  3. Accelerator #3: Establish rapport
  4. Accelerator #4: Engage continuously
  5. Accelerator #5: Hit them with a problem
  6. Accelerator #6: Facilitate learning

 

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

 


 

 

 

 

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