After watching the videos in the beyond section, post your cross curricular outlines below.
teacherben, melissaayers, Jenny Brown and 9 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
You are also welcome to use this space to respond with your thoughts to any of the content that you saw on the Beyond page.
The Weeks Fly by.
As I was reading through the postings here in Voice, Touch and Gesture, I started to wonder how these technologies compare to the other six modules we have been exposed to and played with since October 1. Yes the weeks fly by. So here is what we have seen recently:
Week 5: Apps
Week 6: The Cloud
Week 7: Augmented Reality
Week 8: Personalized Learning
Week 9: BYOD
Week 10: Digital textbooks
Week 11: Voice, Touch and Gesture
1. From an educational perspective, which do you see as having the most promise in the short term and long term for your teaching practice?
2. From an investor’s perspective, which would you buy into?
I think a lot of these overlap so it would be difficult to choose one. However, I would have to say BYOD is one that is currently very relevant in many schools. I personally can see how the adoption of BOYD in schools is changing the dynamic of schools because this is an initiative that has been taken on in the school district I work in.
As for the near future, I would have to say voice, touch and gesture is going to become a huge part of learning and education. So many learners respond better when their learning interactions are visual and tactile. Not to mention, learners of today are drawn to technology so it is inevitable that learning is going to move towards newer innovations such as these.
Great questions to pose Doug. I will focus on Question 2. All of these have investor opportunities (although I am not sure how to approach BYOD) and obviously all have risks but also potentially high payoffs.
• For apps there is a lot of competition and it seems like popularity spreads mostly through word of mouth. Look at Angry Birds, which is wildly popular. It may be difficult to predict what apps will really take off.
• The cloud, in my opinion, is the future but I think only a few large initiatives will make it to the top and you have to convince the public to buy your product or solicit really good advertising.
• Really amazing application of Augmented Reality is still a ways off and I would see this as a high risk investment but one with potentially huge payoffs. Because the technology still has a ways to go there are potentially good investment opportunities out there.
• Personalized Learning I think has more limited investor opportunities than some of the other technologies but educators with the inside scoop of the pain point and if the product addresses it well might have an advantage investing in personalized learning technologies.
• For digital textbooks, I think the players are already in place and it might be difficult to penetrate the market.
• For Voice, Touch and Gesture, I think the opportunity is similar to that of apps. You could invest in a great technology that just doesn’t pick up or if you are savvy enough (and lucky enough) you invest in one that really makes a presence in the market.
I though I would weigh in there with some trends that I have noticed here in Ireland in relation to apps.
I am not sure if it is due to our shattered economy or to a general trend world wide but apps are now not carrying the strength they had. A lot of companies including one of the national broadcasters are abandoning their apps and are choosing in favor of putting a link on the app store. This allows an icon to be downloaded but it actually just links back to their site.
In the majority this is really only being done when the companies website is adaptive. This means that it actually responds to the size of the screen that is requesting the information. So if an ipad is requesting the site it then sizes itself dynamically for that screen.
This allows for easy updates of the site which will filter down to the ‘app’ as its not really an app in the traditional sense. The biggest company to do this was google. Since IOS6 Apple have ditched the google maps in favor of their own which are really bad. So google had a choice to go out and design, build and submit their own app or create a link app download to their site. They chose the latter.
As a result it could mean less of a app driven market and more of an integration between the app style market and the rest of the web experience.
Does anyone else have experience with this?
I don’t have first hand knowledge on the possible decline of the apps market but just some thoughts:
If information is non interactive, a link to the site that formats to the type of device is a good choice. When you write a website, someone can see the page on different devices with very little development effort.
An app is a better choice when information is highly interactive because it needs to be optimized to work smoothly on the device.
Apps require more development effort as different devices require different programming languages and apps require more maintenance to keep them updated for the operating system.
For example, talking about Google, if we look at Google Docs (a website running in a browser) – it works really well on a larger screen (doesn’t matter if it is a PC or a Mac) but it not optimized for smaller devices. Microsoft Word, on the other hand, is an app that has a lot more functionality that needs to be optimized for the device it is being used on (PC, Mac and coming soon official Microsoft Office apps for smart phones).
So I think that both web-based and app based information will prevail as there are specific uses and advantages to both.
Doing a short search about the Google Maps App, it looks like it will be making a comeback to the iPhone: A new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that Google has already distributed a version of Google Maps for Apple’s iOS for testing. The insider that spoke to the paper explained that Google is trying to make sure that the native Maps app will be ready for prime time before submitting it to the iTunes store – though the exact timeline hasn’t been given.
Apple aficionados can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that help is definitely heading their direction, as it’s now only just a matter of when. If there’s still any doubt, Google did say that its goal is “to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of the device, browser, or operating system”. http://www.androidauthority.com/google-maps-app-inches-closer-release-apple-ios-132034/
From the topics that were explored, I think that Voice, Touch, and Gesture has the highest investor and educational potential in the short term. The technology is still has yet to make its way in classrooms on a widespread basis but its ability to equalize learning opportunities across all age, geographical, socio-economical, and racial ranges gives it the greatest chance to give education a facelift. As the technology is can also be interlinked with apps, the cloud, augmented reality, personalized learning, BYOD, and digital textbooks, it also gives it a higher level of penetration into education from many different angles. I see the greatest potential in personalized learning tools and will be exploring ideas in this field making use of voice, text, and gesture technology.
As for long term potential, I think augmented reality may have a chance in this area as it isn’t quite ready for adoption in an educational market but should likely heavily penetrate the consumer markets in the next few years. My fear is that this technology will likely be boom or bust in many cases so it’s difficult to gauge the area to invest in that could lead to a successful venture. From an investor’s perspective, this could definitely be a high risk, high reward area to explore.
Personally from an investor’s perpective voice, touch and gesture would be the most appealing (hope I am not just favoring this week!)
The main reasons for this is that its new, adaptive and most of all it can be brought into a multiple of different environments (games, education, health etc). This would be essential for creating a large customer base and allow for cross learning which would continue to improve the product/service.
I have to say I was blown away by the different technologies out there. It is amazing how everyday objects that are in our home such as mirrors and windows can be turned into a technologically functioning devices. I found all the videos so interesting and am excited to see the surfacing of these technologies all around me. I personally think this era of innovation is amazing and way beyond my imagination.
If you have a chance and live in a big city, look out for any tech exhibitions. They are always a lot of fun. I went to one in Hong Kong a month ago with something like 10,000 vendors showcasing all sorts of crazy stuff. I pretended that i had my own company selling educational hardware and software and discussed purchases in the thousands of units and got estimates for shipping and all sorts of things. i was a laugh and definitely an educational experience. (If you are prepared to purchase a minimum of 1000 units, you can buy a Chinese-made tablet with specs similar to the new Nexus 7 for under $70USD per unit.)
A few thoughts on each of the topics….While many of the videos showed cool and neat things I kept thinking…How lazy are we going to become? We complain now about having to get up to change the channel, then we complain about not being able to find the remote, so we create a voice activated system or a gesture system…Next we will have eye scanners so the TV can respond to our eye movement…Just Kidding, unless someone thinks this is a good idea and we can make some money from it…If that is the case, let’s talk. 🙂
I just wonder where does it stop, maybe it doesn’t. I personally would not want the interactive goggles to look around. I like looking at nature and taking it in without seeing it through a screen or having AR info floating around.
I can see that the windows or table top monitors could be something that people will really go after. From an educational standpoint I think that these systems will be great collaborating and sharing tools. I think there are some exciting potentials here. I also think the DIY movement is the best way to take advantage of Connectivism and Constructivism learning approaches. I could see a cross curricular project where the Environmental Science, Biology, and Computing courses work together to solve issues like energy and create systems and models to try to develop understanding and solutions for the issues tackled.
Surprise! We already have TV’s that you control with your eyes:
My dream is to have glasses that can zoom in. My eyesight is pretty poor and I live in cities where I am always surrounded by things that I just can’t make out. If I could just make a little gesture and my glasses would zoom in so I could make it out, that would be awesome.
Apparently DARPA is already working on such a thing. Funny how so many of these ideas start with the military:
Thanks for the links. That is hilarious…I guess I will have to think of another scheme to get rich. 🙂
Yes, that would be great. Mine is very poor and getting worse by the second from all this computer usage. No need for progressives that seem to be hit and miss.
Ken ~ I laughed when I read your post. I am one of those lazy people that would love to be able to command any light switch in my house to turn off with my voice. I don’t consider myself a lazy person by nature but I think that when I choose to sit down and relax, technology such as this affords me an ability to truly relax. In a house with five people our remote continually disappears. I think being able to control the television with our voice would solve an ongoing problem. I am not sure this makes us more lazy or if simply solves a problem.
We built our house three years ago and remote technology such as this existed for light switches, thermostats, and stereos but they were very expensive at the time. I see an environmental benefit to these technologies. One example would be that I could control the heat of my home while on vacation. 24 hours before arriving home I could turn the heat in my house up and keep it down for the week prior. This would save energy and money.
Thanks Ben for opening my eyes to all the great possibilities arising. You appear to be on the cutting edge of what is available in technology.
Ken, I like to think of it as me being efficient not lazy when I see how cool many of these technologies are and I want to integrate into my daily life 🙂
I would love to see an app used to create generative art, such as what was seen in one of the videos, that could then be used in a math class to explore scale drawings and how you could use a phone to zoom in and out and explore the scale used each time.
There are tons and tons. Processing (that was used in the video) is a language that is frequently used to create generative art and there are sites where people have uploaded their projects so you can have a play. Try openprocessing.org or studio sketchpad.
Here’s an amazing on the a guy I know created:
(He has created over 100 tutorial videos to get you started: funprogramming.org)
If you have an Android phone or tablet, then you can create your own apps from other people’s work and run it on your device. Here’s how:
Install Processing on your computer. Install the Android SDK on your computer. Find a Processing sketch that you like on one of those sites and copy/paste the code into Processing on your computer. Plug in your Android device. Click the button that says ‘Android’ then ‘run on device’ and it will install. Presto!
Processing is a great way to teach about generative art since it is so easy to learn. You could have kids creating awesome visuals in a couple of lessons.
I must say that I was incredibly impressed with the Makey Makey toolkit. I hadn’t seen this before and initially had difficulty thinking of how I could apply this in my classroom largely because what it affords is so new to me. After some consideration, I came up with an idea to use this in my IB technology 8 class for students to design and create a new video game controller for the video games that they will already be creating using Scratch. The advantage is that they can create an input device that best suits the game that they will create. This will require them to think more deeply during the design cycle about the game that they create and how the user will interact with it. Fun idea, but not cross-curricular.
Another idea that would be cross-curricular (but completely impractical) is to use voice-activated robotics in my French class as a means of improving pronunciation. Students could identify, practice and input terms that they find hard to pronounce and then determine if a francophone could operate their robot. This I would be a more engaging way of having students practice and apply their learning in a way that gives them feedback in a novel way.
A final and, admittedly, still somewhat impractical use of this would be with my student rowing club. The blades (oars) could be rigged up as input devices and interface with a drawing program on a mobile device. As they row in, a pattern should emerge on the screen which they could then interpret to determine if they are pulling in the most efficient way.
At any rate, these are some ideas that immediately came to mind. This is definitely a cool technology that I will have to get my hands on!
Your MaKey MaKey/Scratch idea is great and totally do-able. You could also do it with a Scratch Board/PicoBoard which was designed specifically to work with Scratch or with the MaKey MaKey. I bet that your kids would surprise you with how many ingenious ways they come up with the use it to input a ‘key press’. I would love to see the rowing one. It would be a bit trickier, but could be done. I went to a workshop a couple weeks ago with one of the guys from the original Scratch development team and we played with MaKey MaKeys for a while. That was my first time using one. Another teacher and I built a system that attached to his glasses so we could see how long he had been wearing them. We used Scratch as well, and I figure that your blades in the water would be measured the same way–it just counts up so long as the key is pressed and stores that in a variable. Cool. Thanks for sharing. Both the MaKey MaKey and the Scratch board cost about 50 bucks a pop though which is a bit steep, although I’m sure you can get your money’s worth out of it. Apparently the newest Arduino model, called the Leonardo, can also be recognized as a keyboard when you connect it, so it can do basically the same thing (and a whole lot more) and those only go for 25 bucks apiece. If you want to give it a try, keep in touch. i have a grade 7 class doing Scratch projects right now and will probably try to do something similar.
Whew! I am really impressed by all the technologies presented. Why am I feeling obsolete – both as an educator and a parent?
I just found a cool project. A group of hackers have been working together to help a well-known graffiti artist who has ALS and is now completely paralysed from head to toe. All that he can move is his eyes. So they hacked a Sony playstation 3 and used parts to make something they call Eyewriter (http://www.eyewriter.org/) that allows him to paint with his eyes. Amazing what people can do.
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