What am I?

Monday, 13 July 2015

Flying through the solar system is one thing, but ...

A while ago, we had a "Future tech hands on workshop" in our Learning Technologists group, which I (and I think most of the others, too) enjoyed thoroughly, and we further explored their potential in learning, please see 'Learning Technologists eploring VR'. We discovered that you can fly through the solar system on Oculus Rift, become a virtual artist with 'LeapMotion' and embark on virtual journeys with Google Cardboard, which "anyone can build or buy".

I enjoyed 'flying through the solar system on Oculus Rift' and I can imagine how VR could potentially be used in education. But: All these fascinating gadgets are nothing but tools. With regard to education this means their 'worth' much depends on who uses them, and how they are being used, what for ... And the most pressing question is: people who work in HE might have the time for little taster sessions, but do they have the time to have a go at seriously considering and possibly even implementing these 'gadgets' in learning and teaching?

It seems to me that the use of learning technology has arrived on a kind of 'plateau'. VLEs are now a 'normal' part of the routine business at universities. Like all technology the potential of VLEs by far exceeds the reality of how and for what they are being used in practice. The term 'learing technology' is more and more being replaced in conversations, presentations and talks by 'technology enhanced' learning. I'd like to have a closer look at the 'enhancement' that should take place via the integration of technology in the learning process. What exactly has been enhanced, by how much, and in which areas? There's a lot of research taking place, and I intend to get more involved with ELESIG (Evaluation of Learner's experience of eLearning) again, after a long break.