"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Looking through a different lens

This is a blog post from the blog I have been using to reflect on my learning for my Masters Degree. 

I live in a 'geeky' household. I was chatting to my Mr13 in the house the other day and I was telling him about Teach Meet. At the moment I have a year 12 student who has been doing the live streaming for the event each year. I said to him it would be great if I could ask him to train my Mr13 in case Mr Year 12 student went off to uni in Sydney and I lost those skills and would have no one to live stream for me. (I clearly don't have the time or the inclination to learn such detailed coding.) So we were chatting about it and he said wouldn't it be cool if the people who couldn't make Teach Meet that night were able to use Hololens to join in. He said wouldn't it be cool if they signed up for teach meet and you sent them some Hololens glasses ( a little less chunky than the ones in the video below. A bit more like the 3D glasses you get at the movies )or they had some and just had to sign in or something like that and they would completely feel like they were there on the night. The people at home would be able to interact with the event on the night in a much more engaging way.



Whilst he is only 13 he is thinking in a connected way. Thinking about how to use technology to bring people together. Who knows in the future holograms of people might be virtually sitting in the lecture theatre projected from their lounge at home. Beethan (2009) talks about the need for future learners to be digital entrepreneurs and I can see that students these days naturally think about creative and innovative ways to use technology that will benefit not only themselves but the broader community of learners. A few years ago I began to follow the work of Alex Miller from North Coast Institute of TAFE and her virtual classroom.


De Frietas and Colone (2010) talks about the need for students to be part of 'participatory learners' and virtual classrooms begins to address this concept but also aligns with Rheingold's view that human interaction is still an important part of learning. It seems as though some learners are happy to be in a space where the connection is somewhat distant (blog, social media, texting) from an actual face to face interaction with a physical human however technology is really pushing for meaningful connectedness and virtual or holographic learning may be a norm in the future. It's a little science fiction but the reality is that the technology is already here.

Creating creative content has been around since the onset of video games and if you want to see the development of creativity in this field you can't go past looking at Project Spark. Mr13 has been a BETA tester for Microsoft with this project and he has had a real ball creating his own video games. Mr13 is creating, problems solving, using various modes of digital literacy, story telling, maths, spacial awareness and the list goes on. Looking at life through Mr13 is a different lens to that are Mrs near 40.



It seems that learning is not all about the cool technology tools but the teenagers of today are pushing for a different way to learn in a space that is pedagogically modern and relevant to the jobs skills needed in the future.

References:

G. Conole, Designing for learning in an open world. New York, NY: Springer. Available as ebook from CSU library.
Conole, G. (2012). Open, social and participatory media, Chapter 4. In G. Conole, Designing for learning in an open world. New York, NY: Springer. Available as ebook from CSU library.
Microsoft Corporation (2013), Project Spark, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m37sVEgJrOA
North Coast Institute TAFE (2015), Virtually Hyperconnected, https://www.facebook.com/virtuallyhyperconnected/timeline
Rheingold, H (2014) Network Awareness, https://vimeo.com/86182564

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