Category Archives: EDUC 490V

Day 3 and 4: Interactions, Applications, and Considerations

So many ideas surrounding the virtual world have been presented in the last two days that it is difficult to give all of them the attention they deserve.  It is very apparent to me that those responsible for arranging the activities and lectures for the course, primarily (almost) Dr. Kyle Stooshnov, have chosen the A-Team of Virtual Reality knowledge keepers to share with us.

Some notable quotes:

“With VR, you either win or lose quite badly.” ~Michelle Knight,  Pound and Grain Digital Creative Agency

“Don’t create VR for the sake of VR. Create with purpose.” ~Michelle Knight

“The future is not a screen you can touch.” ~Meehae Song

“You don’t need somebody to teach you about gravity.” ~Stoo Sepp

Littering YouTube with 360 video that is without purpose is a grand waste of space and time. Having just completed my first 360 video with my group mates, it takes a heap of effort to pull a video off, as an amateur. Although we tried our best, I am sorry to say that it will not be showing at the Cannes Film Festival. The video was not long but it did take a lot of planning and editing.  As with many forms of technology, the troubleshooting process is real and non-trivial. In my opinion, 360-video is not quite ready for prime time, due to the challenges it can present, from start to finish.  Thankfully, taking a 360 still image is relatively easy, and over the last two days, I have learned a few ways to make use of “360 Junior”.

Warning: As these cameras come down in price, the more crappy video will be coming down the shoot. Prepare to be crapped on, YouTube!

Meehae Song may be one of the most creative and brilliant people that I have met in recent times. Her projects were absolutely incredible . To name a couple…

  1. The Digital Heritage Project: she has reproduced heritage buildings in VR that have been put on the wrecking ball list.
  2. Bioresponsive VR: utilising wearable technology that used to assist people with epilepsy, she can monitor breathing and heart rates as viewers are immersed in VR.  Using a treadmill, participants can stroll through a “Virtual Meditative Walk”…

Virtual Meditative Walk from Meehae Song on Vimeo.

Stoo Sepp also stepped into our class on both days.  He is someone that you can’t help but want to be around.  The kind of person that knows the right thing to say at the right time (if this academia thing doesn’t pan out for him, he may wish to consider a television career!) I very much appreciated learning about Google Street View and Google Tour creator applications of VR.  Both of these have grade school applications for any subject matter. (And for what it is worth, Stoo, I spend a heap of time teaching kids about gravity, haha!!!)

Lastly, on Day 4, we were treated to a talk by Dr. Sandrine Han. Specializing in visual culture, her talk helped us understand the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation within digital contexts, specifically within Second Life.  I was blown away by her choice of presentation methodology. Sandrine could have easily lectured about this topic, but instead, she created a story between two characters in the Second Life world. Within the story, the learning was weaved throughout. While she spoke, images from the Second Life landscapes were shown.

I felt like I was in the presence of greatness!

Not only was the content so incredibly important, but she opened my eyes to the power of alternative forms of pedagogy. Not everyone in the class felt the same way as I. Perhaps a little more explanation prior to the story commencing may have helped people earlier on in the half hour long presentation.  But then again, figuring out where the purpose of the story, without being told directly, was part of my heightened amazement.

And one last quote:

“I’m a ghost! Now, I’m not a ghost.” he said whispily. Kyle Stooshnov, July 11, 2018

I am not sure what piece of cheese or cloth Dr. Stooshnov has been cut from, but it has been delightful being in his presence this week. He’s got game!


As this week ends, and my 10th MET course is almost behind me, I am in a state of disbelief that I have made it through.  It has being a very difficult 3.75 years for me and for my family.  Having said this, I am also going to greatly miss being in these heightened states of amazement.  IN ETEC 521, I recall writing, “The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.” I am not sure how I will be able to recapture these moments when MET is complete. I will need to find a way.


Filed under EDUC 490V, educational apps & programs, Google Apps For Education, Technology & culture, Virtual Reality

A lovely visit from Dr. Michael Marker.

Each day, we are asked to complete a feedback survey for Virtual Reality: Viewpoints on a New Medium.  We are the first, face-to-face class to ever meet in MET, so student feedback is a great way to figure things out and work out wrinkles, from an administrative perspective.   The first question asks us to share one thing that we learned, and this is what I wrote for today:

“The Local is the most important Thing.” (Marker, 2018)

I am unsure if capitalization is necessary, however, I think it works here. I think that I am so enthralled by all things Michael Marker because every. single. time. I spend time with him, I not only learn from him, but I personally connect to his teachings.

Why did this particular quote stand out for me?

Probably because of my childhood…  (doesn’t everything root back to our childhood???)  Growing up, I did not stay in one place for very long.  Thirteen school changes between Kindergarten and Grade 12.  Two years, I attended three schools within the one grade! The impact that that has had on me as an adult has resulted in me not wanting to move around; the need to stay Local, is very entrenched.

It goes beyond not wanting to move homes, though.  I would never wish to change schools, let alone change professions. I have happily taught the same three courses for the last 13 years, exclusively.  Even though I will be a Master of Educational Technology this year, I have no desire to look for greener pastures in greener career paths or greener locations.  I would much rather be a change-maker on a Local level, within my immediate community. I do make the effort to share my learning on a wider stage, but who is even reading these words? Not too many people, I dare say. This post is likely just for my own eyes to see; possibly you are my only other person! (I should really swear more, should this actually be true…) To be honest, my intent in posting is very selfish in the truest form of Ayn Rand’s virtuosity.

Local is where my gold is located.

It fills my bucket, as other activities and interactions drain it. Knowing that I helped my family, my students, my school, my community— this is my happy place. And in turn, I find solace in knowing that when I need help, my people are here for me, as well.

Is this the Local that Michael was referring to ? I am not entirely sure…

Perhaps I should be less concerned with correctness, anyways.  This is very hard for me to do as I LOVE being correct when I am problem solving. Training myself to not have to be correct, to not be perfect, to focus on the journey and not the result is an ongoing  process, no question. Perhaps I should stop looking at situations as problems needing solving?  Hmmmm…

Well… if you are still reading this, and you have yet to take ETEC 521, I can’t recommend it enough. It was a gift today to have time extending my thinking from this course with a giant in his field. Here is a link to a page of my ETEC 590 eportfolio, where I describe my “A-Ha Moment” in MET. (Spoiler alert: it happened in ETEC 521! Depending on today’s date, the portfolio may or may not be finished. If it is post-August 1, it should be pretty much complete.)

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Filed under Decolonization, EDUC 490V

VR/AR/MR/XR/SR literature is a thing.

Before our 5 day course begins, students have had some homework to complete.

Read a couple of papers, choose a quote, and commentate.  During MET, I have read papers from the 1980s to the current year but this reading list was unique in that so much of the literature was post-2016.   I scanned each read before committing to my assignment; it was the first time that a reading list made me want to read the entire list!

The world of academia is a fascinating microcosm; I could actually pursue a Doctoral degree that focuses on virtual reality! Dr. VRornson has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Screeshots of our EDUC 490V 96A reading list.

I settled on reading three, with the intent of reading more next week.

Diving into my professor’s paper, “A Quantumeracy Reading List”, I quickly had flashbacks to reading “The Cyberg Manifesto“.  Thankfully, my physics background helped me out but I could imagine that a person without a basic understanding of quantum physics may have had a challenge reading this work. Linking the connections between quantum theory and non-fiction works, Dr. Stooshnov reveals his true, uber-nerd colours by bringing in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Matrix, A Wrinkle in Time and more to his argument. I am looking forward to talking to him about his paper because I had a difficult time connecting the ideas to our EDUC 490V course and because of this, I did not analyze his work for my assignment. (Perhaps this is why I should have analyzed it???)

Historically, I do not eagerly put my unknowing out on the table for all to see, but my MET experience has pushed me to act in ways that I want my own students to act. It’s OK to not know stuff right out of the gates.  When this happens, ask more questions!

Assignment 1 by Dana Bjornson on Scribd

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Filed under Augmented Reality, Colonization, Decolonization, EDUC 490V, Virtual Reality

Last course! I can’t freakin’ believe it.

The following tweet sums up my feeling  about what is about to go down next week:

In 48 hours, I will be living the dream.

On campus.


Hans solo.

Unlimited cinnamon buns.

Am I building #campuslife up in my head? Possibly.

I’ve got a supply list, too. I have a suite with a kitchen and breakfasts will be made in-room. The bodum is packed; electronic coffee makers be damned! Low-rider folding chair. 360 camera. Ear plugs. 2 portable chargers. Picnic blanket.

I am adopting somewhat of a honey badger approach to my learning. Well… “Dana Honey Badger”, that is.  I can never truly not give a *$&@.  That is not in my DaNA. I suppose what I mean is that I am letting my authentic voice be heard.  In order for this to happen, my writing is conversational, and not through an APA-filter.  If I need to write a paper, I will push the APA requirements to its limits.  If it is not a formal paper, though… look out. I may drop a “holy crap” (should that be capitalized?) or a “Wait what?” or even a “Fan-freakin-tastic!”

Is how I am feeling similar to how I may feel when I retire? Yes!!!! That is it. My true self will finally be at 100% transparency; grammar will be but a mere consideration. And who cares??? I am outtie!

Such big talk coming from a pleaser.

I know that I will still put my all into my last course… who am I trying to kid?

Anyhoo…  I am really looking forward to the f2f (that means face to face, in case you didn’t know. omg? on my goat, etc.) I am meeting a former group member from 5 courses ago; I am going to track down professors for a hand shake or two; I am going to bring a picnic blanket and loiter on a patch of grass. Shoot some fan-freakin-tastic 360 video. I CAN’T WAIT!

I couldn’t imagine a better way to finish MET.



Filed under EDUC 490V