Posts Tagged ‘technology’

augmented reality software/applications and educative possibility

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I’m just staring to understand the applications/technologies underpinning what’s being called augmented reality. Lots of fun, amazing to see and a high potential for use in education. I had seen some of this stuff before but didn’t quite get it even though it’s been around for a while. I’m not drawing parallels or comparisons to (immersive) 3d virtual worlds as I think that they are a different application of (augmented) reality (or do you think they should be considered in the same genre of application?) I’m interested in the application of this in education and how it might support authentic learning experiences that help build students’ understanding.

Here’s a video of a demo of a free (cross platform) application from ARSights to take you on a tour (via a collection of models linked in Google Earth) of some of the significant landmarks around the world on your desktop. All you need is the marker (use the same cutout for all models) and a camera connected or built into your computer. You can also download the models from via Google Earth and view them at your leisure

Having someone demonstrate an application to me (drum sequencer) I’m starting to understand that there could be significant educative value of this technology. Basically it’s a visual marker recognition system that uses a camera to ‘read’ a marker (a bit like a QR code) that then overlays a 3D image of the object on the card that is viewed on the computer screen. These can moved/shifted around to change the output of the sequence, a little like the concept of siftables demonstrated during a TED Talk by David MerrillThe interactivity is important to note, as it adds a another dimension to this technology as suggested by this quote from d-touch website:

“The distinctive feature of d-touch, compared to similar systems, is that the markers can be visually designed to convey meaning to people. By allowing the creation of markers that support interaction both visually and functionally, d-touch can enhance most applications normally supported by visual markers, including interactive guides, mobile service access, mobile games, interactive story telling systems and augmented reality applications that have broad visual appeal and are not constrained to ugly glyphs.”

The video below shows a demo from d-touch and a drum machine ‘reading’ the markers to play a sequence.

These technologies is also being developed for mobile devices with some clever and useful applications. The demo below is nearly too cool to believe!

There must be any number of possibilities for education, eg. 3D models for architecture, medicine, chemistry, biology, etc. Are you aware of any other demonstrations/applications of this type of technology in education that you could share? … and what of uses for mobile devices?

Reflections on Day #1 of the Learning Technologies 2008 Conference

Friday, November 7th, 2008

How quickly I forget the effect of sitting down most of the day listening to presentations that provide me with new tangents to explore and people/ideas to follow up. Then there’s the busy time during breaks when you find something to eat and drink, talk to exhibitors and meet strangers. I think that’s what school was like (for both student and teacher) – It’s tiring. Anyway lots of good stuff to digest, notes taken, things learned, tweets twittered, conversations had, connections made, and that’s what I’m here for.

The theme of the conference is Learning Connections, and I’ve enjoyed the format with a few keynote presentations as well as presentations of case studies that demonstrate the application of learning technologies in specific situations. I’ll post a summary of these in a future post.

The last session of the day was concerned with a group activity discussing how learning technologies might revolutionise (or not) education. A useful exercise that got us in groups to think about how:
1. Technology can revolutionise education through expanding classroom horizons and enabling students to engage in new learning environments.
2. Technology can revolutionise education by enabling students to engage in learning through social networking.
3. Technology can revolutionise education if we move away from the chalk and talk mode of teaching.
4. Technology can revolutionise education if we stop focusing on how to use IT and begin questioning why and where our students need IT.
5. Technology can revolutionise education if teachers are empowered to make choices about access.
6. Technology can revolutionise education if teachers are supported through on-going PD.
7. Technology can revolutionise education if students don’t have to power down at the classroom door.

Some interesting discussion and outcomes as each group had to report back with a 25 word ‘pitch’ to an audience to convince them to implement change.

We also had a number of product showcases where vendors had 15 minutes to ply their wares. Mostly focused on video conferencing hardware and software, we saw some neat applications that I’ll want to follow up: Integrated Vision spoke about Videolinq, Tandberg, and Broadreach Services demonstrated Vidyo.

… I was also able to make more (real life) connections during the day and at the Conference Dinner – particularly with fellow Tweeps such as; @mollybob, @gsiemens, @mikecogh, @jokay, @skytrystsjoy and @caroldaunt.