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Wear What? Wearable Technology

12 Apr

 Wear What? Wearable Technology

For one of the assignments this week I looked up an article about wearable technology. Originally I imaged some of the new fashion designs like Vega Wang Bioluminescent Couture (below), which feature creative lighting, LCD and EL Panels. However the article I found was Towards Washable Wearable Antennas: A Comparison of Coating Materials for Screen-Printed Textile-Based UHF RFID Tag. I then found a introduction to a more productive, needed and beneficial use of integrating technology into clothing. This was integrating (Radio frequency identification) RFID tags/antennas into clothing to enable monitoring for healthcare reasons. The goals of the tags are to be unobtrusive, durable/wear able and help patients from monitoring body temperature, breathing, to their overall well-being. Very inspirational and cool!

Picture Reference: http://www.fashioningtech.com/photo/vega-wang-bioluminescent-1?xg_source=activity

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Augmented Reality

8 Apr

Changing the reality that we know. Innovation – New creation that transforms how we interact with our reality and society’s paradigm is changed as a whole. Artists initiate and society duplicates.
Allowing another layer in losing our human ability to interact physically, and engage in real purity. Creativity has always been reflections, but now we exist in reflections of reflections and perpetuate and and exponential rate. The struggle will be to keep original thought.

Gorillaz – Stylo (featured video)

Others for fun and thought…
a-ha – Take On Me

Kid Cudi – Day ‘N’ Nite

John Mayer “Heartbreak Warfare”

will.i.am, Nicki Minaj – Check It Out

Björk – Hunter

Marina Abramovic Meets Ulay

My 2-cents on Game Based Learning

3 Apr

Game Based Learning (GBL) most definitely will be a component transforming the education system. Along with augmented and virtual reality game based learning is a platform for students to engage collaboratively and the education to be more relative to real-world situations. Thus enhancing students ability to problem solve, make quick adjustments, improve their ability to actively learning, and open them up to a wider variety of opportunities/experience whereas because of time and place they may not able otherwise.

As with most new technology trends GBL will have to be adopted effectively into the education system. Also with other new technologies more GBL platforms/activities will need to be created specifically for the education system, with clear delivery, and assessment. However I think GBL has more integration abilities in the current education system whereas the other platforms may take more time, adjustment and maturity to be as effective.  GBL has a variety of way it can be delivered, accessed and ‘played’.

Two things that came up in my thoughts about the future of GBL are (1) hopefully GBL stays competitive and (2) continues to become more physically active.  Concern #1 because too many kids and adults of the last generation feel entitled. This is due to a concept that ‘everyone is a winner’. The concept has created a lack of competiveness. Hopefully as educational games are developed they keep both encouragement and competiveness in balance for students. The second thought is watching most of technology based ‘game players’ sitting on their butts for hours a day. Hopefully in the future GBL will be implemented more following the lead of game consoles like Nintendo Wii and mobile apps that make students search/move around in thier environment.

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MOOC Review ~ E-learning and Digital Cultures

31 Mar

Review of the University of Edinburgh E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC

This course explored how digital cultures and learning cultures connect, and what this means for the ways in which we conduct education online. The course is not about how to ‘do’ e-learning; rather, it is an invitation to view online educational practices through a particular lens – that of popular and digital culture

During my undergraduate degree activities, was my first experience in using a computer and electronic communication (e-mail). I now use the computer and many forms of electronic communication everyday for work, school and personal life. I could of never imagined eventually being able to take courses online. After experiencing my first online course last year I am now in the middle of taking four. Online courses were at first intimidating because of what I thought was a lack of structure. I realize now it is the structure of freedom. Freedom for students to explore, take more responsibility and be more.  Some courses have been very open with unclear assessment and some have been very ridged in precise deliverables and assessments. This (deliverables and assessments) are a main curiosity of mine, how can educators effectively monitor progress and conduct assessment while opening up students’ exploratory learning, allow creative freedom, and development of activities aligned with real world application. The general online courses for the most part seem to do this somewhat effectively but what about the new format of online learning, the MOOCs?  MOOCs as defined in an Educasue article are massive open online courses (MOOCs) to deliver learning content online to virtually any person (Thompson, 2011).

I found an answer to my question while observing E-learning and Digital Cultures (EDC) from the University of Edinburgh for five weeks. It allowed me to peek into how the future of learning can be conducted. It is no longer about the educators’ control over learning, the shift and answer to my question is it is now truly the learners’ responsibility to explore, be creative, participate and conduct assessments. Though I have researched and discussed this concept the EDC MOOC was a live example.

A-Simple-Plan

The educators’ role was to format the course in such a way that it was a clear guide and offered activities for different styles of learning, which they did. The syllabus was transparent and outlined the whole course with materials, activities and resources via links. As a course platform their website presented through Coursera was similar to many of my Education Technology classes, with left-sided vertical menus and main content on the right. The course was also divided into two digestible blocks of two weeks each, using a key theme emerging from popular and digital culture (atutopias and dystopias and a focus on being human in a digital age), with the fifth week dedicated to the final product/artifact and assessment.

Weeks were then further broken down with a repetitive outline, 1) Popular Cultures, 2) Ideas and Interpretations and 3) Perspectives on Education. Popular Cultures was defined as a weekly ‘film festival’ which video clips relevant to the weeks topic, were presented and discussed using Synctube, twitter and the class forum. Ideas and interpretations followed with assigned ‘core’ and ‘advanced’ readings. Perspectives on Education then followed with topic discussions presented by the educators the class forum. The three weekly sections and further breakdowns of each week on separate pages provided a simple yet detailed navigation for even me, who was not actively participating.  The five teachers also used Google Hangouts, EDC News (a class blog) and Twitter to exchange information with students.

Students also had clear expectations of their what they should do every week to effectively participate thus be benefited by learning. Some of the examples were contribute to discussion forums, blog with edcmooc tag, participate in Synctube, create and post visual representations of discussion responses, and share thoughts on Twitter. It was refreshing to see that students had both visual and text options to use in posting their reviews and thoughts. As a ‘the’ and final assessment students were asked to post a digital artifact on Padlet to be peer reviewed (See Class board http://padlet.com/wall/edcmooc_artefact).

Though I could not find the demographics and number students the max number of forum posts for one week was 637 and in the forums under ‘study groups’, student created groups ranged from Age 60+, study groups in different languages (e.g. Spanish, Russian, Hungarian and Dutch), profession labels (Corporate Instructional Designers), to individuals posting from Singapore, Ohio, Canada, to the Sillicon Valley.

Compared to regular in-person and online courses I have experienced it was the foresight, detail and simple but well developed logistics that allowed for the massive online learning to take place. Therefore I would say an effective delivery takes what I would call ‘creative educators’. Creative educators would be those that are creative and are able to relate it to students, and also have effective educational, logistic and management skills.

In conclusion observing a live MOOC was an eye-opening and inspiring experience. Connected with the discussion of the paradigm shift in education, more collaborative real-world education for students MOOCs clearly represent a shift towards the future of education.

19 Mar

Perhaps I am missing something – in the line of questioning whether or not technology is, should or can be integrated into schools, and is beneficial. Overall I don’t think the form matters, from iPhone to iPad. After reading and reflection on this weeks article, Using Tablet PCs in Engineering Education (below), again I feel the same in reference to discussing the usability of tablet devices in education as with the previous discussions on mobile devices, etc. It is a matter of the educators catching up and improving their pedagogy to fully take advantage and utilize resources already available.  However again believe it the institution of education that stifles educators, students’ full potentials and fears loosing controls by using technology. To question and process it much longer will widen the gap of education and real life. Until there is a significant shift in the education institution in America a quality discussion is pointless. Initiatives such as the common core set standards for educators to meet but rarely if every help in the ‘how-to’. At this point it is needed and especially with integrating technology.

Findings from a nationally representative Pew Research Center survey show:

  • 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
  • 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
  • 95% of teens use the Internet.
  • 93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members (Madden, Lenhart, & Duggan, 2013).

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Tront, Joseph G. (2005). Using Tablet PCs in Engineering Education. Paper session presented at American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Sydney, Australia. Retrieved from http://www.aaee.com.au/conferences/papers/2005/Paper/Paper279.pdf

Joseph Tront discusses the positive outcomes of integrating Tablet PCs configured with Classroom Presenter and Microsoft OneNote into a sophomore Computer Engineering class at Virginia Tech University. Twenty tablets were distributed in a classroom of 40 students. The research methods included pre – and post surveys, students’ usage perspectives by active journal writing, and performance comparison to another sophomore class taking the same course without Tablet PCs. It was concluded that tablets allowed for improved classroom interaction and collaboration. However the instructor had to make several adjustments in planning and presenting lessons (e.g. making presentation slides compatible with the Classroom Presenter, creating presentations with missing information to allow for collaborative problem solving and more exercises created to incorporate tablets). Though the teacher’s adjustments were noted to add to the classroom success, Tront notes that there will still be need future improvements. That instructors increased identification of features and techniques to use tools, such as tablets, are needed and will further benefit students’ learning. 

Data Analytics – Welcome to the Matrix

13 Mar

In hider education, educational paradigms are shifting to more collaborative -online and hybrid learning models. More technology tools and online courses are happening therefore more student data is becoming readily available. As noted in Educause, 2010, Data analytics tools provide statistical evaluation of data sources to discern patterns that can help educational institutions make more informed decisions (Educause, 2010).

Uses of the Data and Upsides

Downsides

  • Scientific, data-driven approaches to effectively facilitate personalization have only recently begun to emerge; learning analytics is still in the very nascent stage of implementation and adoption (Horizon Report, 2013)
  • If colleges can predict failure, should they steer students away from challenges? (Parry, 2012)
  • Researchers have not had basic training to use the data (Horizon Report, 2013)
  • Privacy (Educasue, 2010; Duhigg, 2012; Parry 2012)
  • Ethical and legal considerations, security and owenership (Educause, 2010).
  • Mixed messages to students based off of data and not necessarily if they learned (Educause, 2010).

As with companies using data for strategic marketing and profit, universities are and will be using more data analytics. Aligned with test taking data analytics will streamline information to predict, assess and adjust students’ learning. However like test taking (e.g. standardized tests) the human, time and present are not factored in.  The question will remain should we allow data predictors to wholly pass judgment on humans’ ability, thoughts and future? One day will we use the same analytics to decide if a child should even move from secondary to postsecondary education? Or do we become Gattaca – where success is determined by science?

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NEW FIND & Digital Artefacts – from the MOOC I have been observing

4 Mar

While observing E-learning and Digital Cultures Course MOOC I have come across a lot of cool finds.  I would like to share this one because not only is it a cool tool they used, Padlet (formally known as Wallwisher)  but using the link below you can go to the couses wall. Here you will find the final submissions of digital artefacts from all the students. They are pretty interesting and are submitted from individuals from many different countries. I tried to embed Padlet in my blog but it didn’t work so here is the LINK http://padlet.com/wall/edcmooc_artefact

tell me, tell me what you see

More on what the criteria from the MOOC was below….

E-learning and Digital Cultures 
by Jeremy Knox, Sian Bayne, Hamish Macleod, Jen Ross, Christine Sinclair

What do you mean by digital artefact?
We mean something that is designed to be experienced digitally, on the web. It will have the following characteristics:

  • it will contain a mixture of two or more of: text, image, sound, video, links.
  • it will be easy to access and view online.
  • it will be stable enough to be assessed for at least two weeks.

Try to have fun with this and use it as a chance to think broadly and creatively: anything goes in terms of the form of this essay. As long as you keep the assessment criteria in mind you can be as experimental as you wish.

Why make a digital artefact?
Text is the dominant mode of expressing academic knowledge, but digital environments are multimodal by nature – they contain a mixture of text, images, sound, hyperlinks and so on. To express ourselves well on the web, we need to be able to communicate in ways that are “born digital” – that work with, not against, the possibilities of the medium. This can be challenging when what we want to communicate is complex, especially for those who are used to more traditional forms of academic writing. Nevertheless, there are fantastic possibilities in digital environments for rethinking what it means to make an academic argument, to express understanding of complex concepts, and to interpret and evaluate digital work. In EDCMOOC, we have an opportunity to explore and experiment in a supportive and relatively low-stakes context. That’s why we want you to make an assignment that makes the most of the web – a digital artefact.

Online tools suggested for making the digital artefact?
There are many online tools you could use to create and/or publish your artefact. Here are just a few ideas:

Voicethread: http://voicethread.com
Storify: http://storify.com/
Xtranormal: http://www.xtranormal.com/
Pixton: http://pixton.com/uk/
Issuu: http://issuu.com/
Storybird: http://storybird.com/
Weebly: http://www.weebly.com/
Animoto: http://animoto.com/
Prezi: http://prezi.com
Wikispaces: http://www.wikispaces.com
TedEd: http://ed.ted.com
Google Sites: https://sites.google.com

or any blog, web space or wiki site!

This wiki has more ideas:
‘50+ web 2.0 ways to tell a story’:http://50ways.wikispaces.com/

Other possibly useful resources:
Wordle: http://www.wordle.net/
Bubbl.us: http://bubbl.us/

Topic Ideas
There is a lot of flexibility in this assignment. You can choose to focus on the theme of ‘utopias and dystopias’, or on the theme of ‘being human’. You should use your assignment to express a question, an idea, a problem, a hope, a worry or a provocation that the course has raised for you. Consider how you can express something of your own context as an educator, student and/or technologist. What has the impact of this course been on your understanding of e- learning?

If you need inspiration, go back to the questions asked about each of the readings and films and choose one that you find engaging. Try to build your artefact around a specific topic or question of interest to you.

Some broad areas you could consider:

  • humans, machines and animals
  • surveillance
  • communication technologies
  • ubiquity
  • open (and opening) education
  • human nature
  • the meaning(s) of learning
  • the evolution of information technology
  • the future of learning institutions

Assessment criteria
These are the elements peer markers will be asked to consider as they engage with your artefact. You should make sure you know how your work will be judged by reading these criteria carefully before you begin.

  1. The artefact addresses one or more themes for the course
  2. The artefact suggests that the author understands at least one key concept from the course
  3. The artefact has something to say about digital education
  4. The choice of media is appropriate for the message
  5. The artefact stimulates a reaction in you, as its audience, e.g. emotion, thinking, action