Tag Archives: augmented reality

Reflective blog task 2: Collaboration an important gaming bond

In the world of adult education ‘games’ are seen to be frivolous, however, solid authentic learning can be achieved through learner engagement via games or simulations and we should not discount the use in a training situation.

Gee (2005) points out that the formation of cross-functional teams is important in a MUD (multi-user domain). The team must work together to achieve a common endeavour, which means that they must work collaboratively and effectively to achieve the common goal.

In the training environment or even workplace gaming Perkins (2009) says that gaming can provide a sense of community to players, this community feel is extremely important when building a supportive learning environment within a classroom context.

In a training environment role-playing simulation players can ‘fail’ in a safe and supported way, and in turn learn from their failures both as a team and as an individual (Farmer, 2011). The important part of this learning is the engagement in a simulation with either a live team on the learning journey with the individual or by a team built into the game. This engagement provides the necessary feedback mechanism the student requires to improve performance by working through the various challenges in the simulation.

A well planned learning simulation will react to the user and provide feedback and new problems (Gee, 2005). A good simulation currently used in adult workplace training is the FLAME SIM (Flame-sim.com, 2015) software. It is used to train fire departments worldwide in effective collaboration and communication to reach the team goal – the fire being controlled and eventually put out. This software has a level of flexibility and complexity built in and can also have specific scenario modifications programmed by the lead trainer. Being in real time it provides the players an authentic learning task that requires effective team work and collaboration. At the end of the online session the lead trainer then debriefs with the learners regarding performance and issues.

Keramidas (2010) pointed out good games require design structures that put players in experiential learning situations with the right constraints for learning from experiences. In a training environment if we can provide a ‘safe’ learning experience (especially for high risk workplaces) where base level skills are mastered and demonstrated prior to going into the actual learning experience then this is can be lifesaving. By learning the importance of effective communication in the situation via a simulation can save lives in the workplace and goes a long way to building an affinity group through this shared experience.

Simulations and games can provide the avenue for peer-to-peer teaching (Farmer, 2011), which supports the building of a life-long collaborative learning style. The crucial difference between a ‘commercial game’ and an ‘educational game or simulation’ is that the latter provides support for the player/learner to increase the likelihood that the desired objectives are met, bet it as an individual or through collaborative cooperative learning (Becker, 2011).

Digital games and simulations are not just ‘fluff’ used simply to pass the time in a class, but can form part of an enriching learning experience that supports training and education. Being able to choose authentic learning simulations (Reeves & Herrington, 2010) which encourage peer-to-peer work and collaboration, both within the simulation and offline, in a cross functional team offers a powerful learning tool that is, if managed well, able to support students learning and understanding of content.

To me this is a win for the students and a win for games and simulations in the classroom.

 

References

Becker, K. (2011). Distinctions between games and learning: A review of current literature on games in education. In Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications (pp. 75-107). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch105

DVHS,. (2009). FLAME-SIM Fire Training. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUa5BdHrPTY

Farmer, L. S. (2011). Gaming in Adult Education. In Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications (pp. 194-213). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch111

Flame-sim.com,. (2015). Flame-Sim | Fire Department Training Simulation Software. Retrieved 23 March 2015, from http://www.flame-sim.com/

Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(2), 33-37. http://dmlcentral.net/sites/dmlcentral/files/resource_files/GoodVideoGamesLearning.pdf

Reeves, T. C., & Herrington, J. (2010). Authentic Tasks: The Key to Harnessing the Drive to Learn in Members of “Generation Me”. In M. Ebner, & M. Schiefner (Eds.) Looking Toward the Future of Technology-Enhanced Education: Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native (pp. 205-222). Hershey, PA:. doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-678-0.ch012

Keramidas, K. (2010). What Games Have to Teach Us About Teaching and Learning: Game Design as a Model for Course and Curricular Development | Currents in Electronic Literacy. Currents.cwrl.utexas.edu. Retrieved 21 March 2015, from http://currents.cwrl.utexas.edu/2010/keramidas_what-games-have-to-teach-us-about-teaching-and-learning

Perkins, B. (2009, November 2). World of warcraft in the workplace. Computerworld, 43(32), 30. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA211959076&v=2.1&u=csu_au&it=r&p=EAIM&sw=w&asid=69d75258ac24be5d98a8c8d2747fe822

Pill, S. (2014). Games play: What does it mean for pedagogy to think like a game developer? Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 85(1), 9-15.

Augment

For anyone who likes to be cutting edge there is always the Augmented Reality tool Augment to get your students using. Yes they will need some skills in creating graphics but there are plenty of free public libraries available that you can tap into for some brilliant free trials.

With Augment you can:

  • Use existing public libraries
  • Upload your own 3D models
  • Create your own markers
  • Link content on the internet to markers

There is a free version that I have used for a number of years, but you can pay for it and get higher end functions.

Plane create by scanning augment marker
Augment Spitfire Plane

 

This example is a custom marker created by a colleague that we both use in  demonstrations. You scan the marker with the Augment App which will load the 3D model of the plane. If you tap on the ‘web link’ option under the model displayed then it takes you through to a wiki page about the Spitfire plane.

We purposefully did this  so that the people we are training can see that you can use existing materials for AR, but to be honest the potential to create custom content is getting easier.

As you can see it is impressive to see the plane hovering in the middle of a classroom. The students (seeing through the device) can move around and continue to view the image at slightly different angles. But the user must keep the markers in sight otherwise the plane will disappear.

 

But the coolest thing is now you can have you students create engineering pieces in Minecraft and view them through Augment via some simple steps.

  1. Create object in Minecraft
  2. Open the Minecraft world file in Mineways on a PC and select a portion of the the Minecraft work (the piece they have worked on) and export as a 3D model.
  3. Import the 3D model into a 3D package like Blender (free) and save or export ready for upload into Augment  OR you can use a 3D printer to print (as long as the object is not huge).
  4. Zip up the model and texture files and upload into your free account at augmentedev.com
Example of 3D view of Minecraft section
Augment Minecraft example

 

You may say that this is for high end students but I had my 12 year old successfully follow the steps and created this image – this is a section of the top of the mountain. 

This is well worth investigating as so many students are getting valuable experience building in Minecraft, now you can get them to actually ‘see’ their designs in the real world.

Games are so very valuable for students to explore and Minecraft is definitely a way that we can engage and use new technologies to meet outcomes required. The added bonus, students will actually have fun while learning and exploring!

Short look at Yvette and my education background

Yvette emailing from mobile
Yvette hard at work – emailing clients

Welcome and thanks for taking the time to look at my first blog post for ESC515 – Classroom Technologies

As you will be able to see this blog has formed part of my learning journey through the Master of Information and Communication Technologies (Education) and holds a wide variety of information on topics relating to education and elearning.

I started out as a high school teacher, with English, Drama and Music as my major study areas. I moved into the international film and theater industry where I worked on many famous faces and enjoyed the exciting years that this work area provided. I was offered the opportunity to lecture at Edith Cowan University in WA at WAAPA which was fantastic and renewed my interest and enthusiasm in teaching once more.

While working in the theater and film industry I maintained an interest in education and ran a small training organisation as part of my film company to up skill my employees and to teach as a special guest artist in high schools around Western Australia.

I was offered a position in a large WA TAFE in 1999 and worked as a casual lecturer/facilitator for them for over 10 years. This was around the time that the organisation was moving baby steps into the world of elearning. As I was working casual while running my own company I negotiated to become one of the first facilitators to offer online classes to my students. My first student groups were made up of mature aged ladies wanting to return to the workforce as teacher assistants, many of these people had very low computer skills and minimal experience in learning. Together we forged the new frontier together and had an amazing group learning experience.

From this first group a huge amount of students followed all having a unique and interesting experience ineffectively using an online classroom. From this wealth of experience I became a Learning Technology Mentor in the TAFE and helped other facilitators move into the elearning space using Learning Management Systems, podcasting, vodcasting etc way before it became mainstream. I was seen as cutting edge and ‘out there’ by my fellow facilitators.

I was offered a role presenting professional learning sessions for elearning and project managing the build of elearning resources for the WA VET sector for the Department of Education and Training, which has since become the Department of Training and Workforce Development. I was fortunate enough to become a project leader for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework and the National VET elearning Strategy (NVELS) which saw me working across Australia with the implementation of elearning in Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in the VET sector.

With the demise of the National funding the NVELS the WA team (all three of us) still present training and consultations across WA, but also online sessions that anyone can access.

It is a fun and very challenging environment and with the ever changing landscape of technology it is amazing that I have a job that allows me the ‘play’ and the teach other how to use cutting edge technology such as Augmented Reality in their training spaces and to help people how technology can fit within a classroom using a blended or flipped approach no matter the circumstance.

This is an exciting time to be an educator and I am really looking forward to working with you all over the summer.