UEN PDTV: Computer Science & AR/VR Tools

Teaching the UEN Course “Mixed Reality In Education” has helped expose many Utah teachers to the benefits of using AR and VR tools in the classroom.  One participant, Alison Ence, took the course content to a completely new level.  Rather than simply provide Augmented and Virtual Reality resources for her students, she has taught her students how to create their own mixed reality content.  Using a variety of tools like CoSpaces, Merge Cubes, Classroom VR, Oculus, and much more, Ms. Ence has provided authentic experiences in computer science to entire class at Green Canyon High School.

Check it out and see what students can create in this short 12 minute UEN PDTV video.  And to register for this course keep your eye on uen.org/register.  New courses for the summer semesters will be posted on April 1st, 2020.

NETA2019: Mixed Reality Presentation

Here’s an opportunity to sample emerging technologies including both augmented reality applications for portable devices and a mix of virtual reality applications. At the end of this session you will be more familiar with the benefits of using 3-D enhanced resources for student engagement and learning.

Join us today (1/23/2019) at 3:30 PM in the Wasatch Room at the 2019 NETA Conference.

uen gpb presenters

Andrew MacCartney, Vice President Education and Digital Media, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Laura Evans, Education Director, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Follow GPB on Twitter – @gpbeducation
Michael Hakkarinen, Instructional Technology Trainer – Utah Education Network
Follow Michael on Twitter – @edtechakk

Join the Public Media XR Creators Facebook Group

gpb virtual fieldtrips
Click here to explore the Georgia Public Media Virtual Field Trips

mixed reality course sign up cardThe “Mixed Reality for Education” in person class will provide educators with a sampling of emerging technologies including both augmented reality applications for portable devices, and a mix of virtual reality applications. By the end of the two day experience each participant will have learned the benefits of using 3-D enhanced resources to engage students. Through this understanding, each participant will also create and share a “redefined” classroom lesson that includes AR and/or VR student experiences.

Click here to learn more about the Mixed Reality for Education course offered by UEN to Utah educators.

Download a PDF Version of our slideshow from this link – mixed reality – neta 2019
mixed reality slideshow

UEN PDTV Episode: VR In the Classroom

UEN PDTV Episode: VR In Higher Education

VR In the Classroom on UEN PDTV

Spending time in the classroom with students is my favorite part of being an educator.  And this spring, I was fortunate to be invited to Joel P. Jensen Middle School in West Jordan, Utah.  Media Specialist Belinda Gambrino and Teacher Dustin Plott invited us to share a lesson using Google Expeditions with a group of kids who meet after school to learn more about Innovation and Design in their MakerSpace STEM Program.  Take a look at the video above to see how well VR and other Mixed Reality Tools engage learners in new ways.

Virtual Reality at the University of Utah School of Dentistry

This summer Dr. Mark Durham at the University of Utah School of Dentistry introduced a new mixed reality strategy for teaching students by incorporating VIVE systems to his summer course.  After learning about the tools and content created in collaboration with the Marriott Library’s Creative Spaces Department our UEN PDTV Video team set out to film a short story about Dr. Durham.

While interviewing Dr. Durham I found a new respect for his process of infusing instructional technology into the curriculum.  Many educators often look at technology first and then make attempts to integrate it into their teaching, while others avoid technology for fear of failure.  Mark falls into neither group.  Instead he saw a problem that needed be solved, then found both the correct technology to provide a solution and the right people to make it happen.

The video above highlights the process of creating VR content and the methods for delivering the experience to the students.  To learn more about using VR, AR, and other “XR” tools with students check out the UEN Course “Mixed Reality in Education“.  The next run of this course will occur in-person at the University of Utah, September 26 and 27th, 2018.

Mixed Reality – Helping People See More Clearly (And Learn More Deeply)

Are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Technologies too futuristic for the public sector? Not anymore! There is no shortage of ways this exciting technology can be incorporated into public service and it’s being implemented more and more. This thought-provoking session showcases the benefits and practical uses of Augmented and Virtual Reality resources in the worlds of both government and education.

Inspired by the development and progress of our “Mixed Reality for Education” two day course at UEN, this presentation summarizes the benefits of using virtual reality and augmented reality tools in the classroom.  The Apple Keynote slides are available here in PDF format with presenter notes, and the videos used can be found just below.  If you have questions, or would like to see this presentation again at one of your events, please email me: michael@uen.org
Ready Player One – Trailer Edited to show Virtual Reality movie setting
UEN PDTV – Mixed Reality In Education
Microsoft HoloLens – English Police Department

Social Media & Dopamine

At the conclusion of a presentation in New Jersey last week a gentleman came up to me and asked if I had seen Simon Sinek’s video about dopamine.  I hadn’t.  But I had pretty much just summarized it in my presentation when I was explaining how my own brain was getting hooked on checking social media.

Since then, I’ve watched it, and I would like to share it with you here (4 min):

Here are my take-aways:

  •  As humans we are all hooked on dopamine, we just have different ways of activating it in our brains.  For some people it’s a hobby, for others it’s drugs, and for many it’s delivered via some kind of interaction with technology; social media, video games, day trading, etc.
  • Dopamine is addictive.  Smoking, drinking, drug use – all of these also release dopamine.  These items are controlled and have age limits, but social media doesn’t.

Here’s where I disagree with his conclusions.

Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. are all chemicals that are addictive.  They trigger the brain to release dopamine, but they also chemically adhere to nerve endings, hijack our nervous system, and cause a physical addiction.

Just because the dopamine release caused by social media and other technology “addictions” has a similar effect doesn’t mean that they are “addictive”.  Instead, they are behaviors and are therefore “compulsive.”  It may look the same in the users behavior, but it isn’t a physical or chemical addiction.  In other words, Facebook “likes” don’t cross over the blood brain barrier.

One more take-away:

  • In this new high-anxiety society young people are turning to technology to make social connections.  The dopamine rush they receive in the process provide a reward for these compulsive behaviors that transcends into a behavioral issue that compromises their relationships and social connections.

Now this is where I completely agree with Mr. Sinek.  Social Media is adversely effecting a large number of people in our younger generations, and many older generations as well.  Staring at a computer or small screen in the palm of your hand negatively impacts how we communicate and hinders how we create connections with others.  Measuring and comparing ourselves to one another by Instagram posts, Facebook Likes, and Twitter Followers is warping our perception of ourselves, and our realities.

My question is, what do we do about it?

If you would like to see more from Simon Sinek follow him on Facebook.
(See what I did there?)