Details to follow...
Thanks to Stefani Wu for the stellar artwork:
Details to follow...
Thanks to Stefani Wu for the stellar artwork:
Years ago as a kid I remember bieng wowed with the distant possibilities of some kind of Virtual Reality set-up on my parents' Trinitron by the greatest Science and Tech TV show of the time: Tomorrow's World with Maggie Philbin and Judith Hann. Ah Nostalgia.
At the time, VR was this thing that crazy technologists did in the confines of their make-shift studios. The closest anyone I knew that really got to VR was a poor immitation as a vertically ridged holographic image on the side of a ruler or strawberry-scented pencil eraser. They were sedentary affairs at best that eventually came free with Coco-Pops.
It all seems a bit dated now as too the whole notion of VR as it seems to have been around for aeons. I did a bit of digging about (now that our Oculus Rift was delivered last month) and found that there are so many variants that were emblazened on the front covers of PC and gaming magazines of the time that we all remember but had forgotten about. How many of you recall the VicktorMaxx Head Mounted Display for the Sega Genesis or indeed Nintendo's Virtual Boy?
At that time, if you recall, there was also a slew of films that added to the stroryline of the charismatic Tron. In those days there was a real emphasis on scientific invention as too today with the Marvell Vs DC theme. The other film that sticks in my mind was Stephen King's Lawnmower Man - an OK film unlike the sequel - and was highlighting (as did Tron before it) this new change in cyber stuff and electronics (90's phraseology not tech as it's coined now).
We all knew that Japan would release some kind of console the following week (as it seemed to be to amaze and blow our minds. As if it hadn't already with the SNES and Game Gear. The image above of my trip to Japan last year where Stef (my wife) and I trawled Akihabara for any kind of gadgets worthy of taking home. The Sony VR goggles were on show in the Sony center, Ginza behind glass although the closest we got to VR was theEpson version above. These are see-thu types that don't really do VR more like AR as you're still aware of all that is around you.
However, VR (and AR as it's been combined with now) was still hyperbole and was always tauted as: "next year, this could be in your home and in your hands!"
What's a little different now is that this kit is affordable and in the hands of regular folk. The Oculus Rift Development kit is $300 and the demos are all free to use.
The bits and pieces for the Oculus to integrate with games and-the-like I have come across range from free to $50 - these for the add-ons or overlays that allows games to display correctly with the Rift being the main controller.
How Can We Use These in School?
After using this for quite a long time now I am convinced that this has a lot of benefit to school. Not so much in the way that it could be used whole class or by year group but definitely in small groups and for sharing in lessons such as literacy or where individual displays are used such as learning support. Why literacy (English) and Learning Support? Well, my thinking is that these lessons are where attention span can sometimes wane and a wow factor is needed or specific descriptive language can be enhanced in the same way as Tim Rylandsuses Myst (or as I do Machinarium) for imagination.
Oculus VR GogglesIf you think about the games that are available for play with the Oculus then you have things like Surgeon Simulator which at first glance are a far too gruesome for Primary aged children. However, if you spend a second to break this action down to what it is you're actually viewing and taking part in it's basically a pre-set puzzle or sleuth type event much like a crime scene. Now, if you're like-minded then this easily offers itself to Science, Mathematical puzzles (MinecraftEdu setups), problem solving where the viewership can watch the person controlling and make judgements to solve puzzles.
The Oculus I have to say is in its infancy. The screen in the development kit is good but raw. Nearly all the staff who tried this felt sick from the nausea (except Stefani and I). Then new model is said to be a vast improvement with much lower latency and tracking for vertical movements i.e. crouching.
Until this model gets into my hands then I am hanging this up for the time being for use in the Primary school except for special occasions and gaming sessions at breaktimes and after school clubs - maybe even our new Minecraft mediation topic coming up. Until then though it's been well worth the $300 for experimentation purposes and I shall be purchasing the new one. Maybe we'll venture into the Sony verison too based on this very valuable experience.
Written by Jeni Wong over here.
The Football competition started on Day 4 and in the Year 4 competition this involved 5 teams playing 10 minute rounds to make it to the final. Year 4 Boys and Girls put up a tremendous fight in the soccer and both teams made it to the finals with the Year 4 boys winning one of their games by an impressive 6- nil. Both teams played the same respective boys and girls teams which were now becoming quite a regular fixture, for all of our FoBISSEA teams, DBIS- Discovery Bay International School, Hong Kong.Read More
After a 4.45am meet-up at the EPC the , bleary eyed 2012 FOBISSEA group representing TES were off. The spirits, despite the early hour, were high and everyone was super excited about what the day ahead was to deliver us. The airport check-in went extremely well and before we knew it we were touching down at Beijing Capital Airport, although we hardly realised we were there with the hazy skies closing in...Read More
After a 4.45am meet-up at the EPC the , bleary eyed 2012 FOBISSEA group representing TES were off. The spirits, despite the early hour, were high and everyone was super excited about what the day ahead was to deliver us. The airport check-in went extremely well and before we knew it we were touching down at Beijing Capital Airport, although we hardly realised we were there with the hazy skies closing in.Read More
The 2012 21CLHK comference has just finished this weekend and now I have several tasks I'm sure other EdTech leaders have to think about. In fact, I now have many.
There were so many great strands going on at the conference that in the end I had to basically double up and dip in and out
of a few towards the end and try to get a flavour of what was going on. The best of what I saw and heard came from Robyn Treyvaud and Sugatra Mitra's keynotes. Many people commented on Punya Mishra and the cross-over of Tachnology in TPACK . But in terms of our needs the former two hit the nail on the head. If you don't know who these people are then follow the links. But rest assured that they are key figures in education and technological usage within education.Read More
Beginning today I will create a series of posts relating to several topics covered at the Taipei European School's Primary ICT conference. The first covering these topics: Horizon Report, moshi monsters, Tutpup and the Fantastic Contraption game. Then, in subsequent weeks we'll look into the areas in the table below a little more closely:
To begin we'll look at the Horizon Report. What is it? It's a document put together by the New Media Consortium and what they do is look at emerging technologies across the the schooling age ranges. The report does have a strong focus on Higher Ed. but what is quite relevent for the primary school is how these ideas can integrate quite readily into mainstream classes: mobile devices as an example.The full document is below from Scribd.com with this snippet
In each edition of the Horizon Report, six emerging technologies or practices are described that are likely to enter mainstream use on campuses within three adoption horizons spread over the next one to five years. Each report also presents critical trends and challenges that will affect teaching and learning over the same time frame. In the seven years that the Horizon Project has been underway, more than 400 leaders in the fields of business, industry, technology, and education have contributed to this long-running primary research effort.
The six technologies featured in each Horizon Report are placed along three adoption horizons that indicate likely time frames for their entrance into mainstream use for teaching, learning, or creative inquiry. The near-term horizon assumes the likelihood of entry into the mainstream for institutions within the next twelve months; the mid-term horizon, within two to three years; and the far-term, within four to five years
The key area I and many other primary school ICT teachers are interested in are the e-book/ readers and the hand-held devices such as the Nintendo DS, iPod touch, PSP, kindle/Sony et al e-Readers, GPS devices, cell phones and, now, to some degree tablets. The Tablets are more of an interest into the social side of ICT.
This is a logic style game that can be played either as a whole class (Year 4/5 up) or individually as a problem solving activity. The aim of the game is make machines in ever increasing difficulty by using the tools provided. It's similar to the magic pen game (link opens directly to full screen game) that provides lots of discussion points for Science and D+T. A worthy IWB whole-class plenary/ introduction/ D+T storyboard method of construction.
TutPup is a website that provides a perpetual challenge to
players who have signed up for this. The great thing about this site is that teachers have the option to make class sets and codes for the students. This means that they only play against their friends and not random people from around the world.
Alternatively, this could be a year group idea and play across the maths sets.
If you have lessons that go on longer than an hour it could provide the much needed 'brain break' to divert and channel attention to another strand of maths while maintaining the challenges of the lesson.
Moshi Monsters is a game for Children, it’s sort of like those virtual pets that you used to have, only on the internet and they can actually do things. Moshi Monsters live in a virtual world that exists on your computer, there are lots of different monsters and children can choose one that they want to adopt. This monster then becomes their pet. All of the monsters live in Monstro city; here children can build a home for their pet. Users can also play games with one another, meet other people and show their pet to people. It’s like a tamogotchi only with social networking and doesn’t just beep at you all the time. Moshi Monsters has been created with the intention of being a fun and safe environment for children to play in. Not only that but it’s also an educational game that’s great fun for any age child. A child who visits the site can adopt a monster; they can give it a cute name and even design the colors of the monster. Every monster is different and has a different personality, the more you play with the monster, the more the personality will develop. Competing and solving puzzles means that you win money, the currency of the game is Rox. You can then use Rox to buy things from the virtual shop. There are various social networking features including blogs, and pin boards.
Things to do:
Adopt your very own monster
Name your monster and take care of it
Social networking functions including blogs and pin boards
Play games and earn Rox (virtual money)
Future Lab Quarterly. Articles to look out for. Wireless in Schools.
Maths moves you: www.mathmovesu.com/ - a game like situation for maths
2diyarchive www.2diyarchive.co.uk/ excellent resources for 2DIY a package we will buy for August.
Which mobile devices do you use or would like to use in School?
Voice Thread: www.voicethread.com - very good voice and image collaboration site.
Primary Pad - http://primarypad.com/ realtime collaborative writing
Pirate Pad - http://piratepad.net/
Etherpad - http://etherpad.com/ realtime collaborative writing
Ever thought of using Guitar Hero for Literacy? Myst for Story telling?
Prezi - http://prezi.com/ replaces powerpoint, timelines
Edu Glogster http://edu.glogster.com/ -Interactive posters, kids in the class can comment on friend's poster (you need a good internet connection) An example of using Edu.glogster ! http://bertjacha.edu.glogster.com/school-council/
Dipity - www.dipity.com – interactive timelines for Literacy and IPC,
What applications could you use on your class machines?
Pretty things and Busy things for EYFS
Cool Tools For School - http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/
Free Tools http://web2educationuk.wetpaint.com/ - reviewed by the author
Over the past 2 years or so Futurelab.org.uk has grown into a phenomenal place to find out about latest trends, topics, resources and upcoming applications for leaning in ICT. From nursery to Higher Ed. they cater for all walks of ICT in and around school.
One of the best aspects that I like is some of the smallest touches and evidence that they are educators themselves is the use of a Glossary. They understand that teachers generally don't have time to know the finer points of IT. So, when confronted with new words and acronyms it not only puts people on edge it can turn potentially great users of ICT away from using great resources. This is how Futurelab excels: it doesn't patronise yet inspires with great ideas.
Below is their magazine which includes an interview with Tim Rylands a leader in game based learning; someting I'm quite passionate about at the moment.
Turn to the last page and you'll find a directory of upcoming seminars and conferences in and around Europe.
A direct donwload can be gotten from here: VISION MAGAZINE
Moshi Monsters is a realatively new version of the Tamagotchi craze. The kids in school have gone nuts for this and TutPup (more on tutup later). The great thing about Moshi Monsters is that there is a community of other children here to converse with in a safe environment. The whole site allows quizzes and all manner of interactivity to share with other Monsters. Go here for Moshi fun!