Tech tools – Augmented and Virtual Reality, QR Codes, Coding, and GAFE

Today’s final EDCI-336 class focused on finishing the tech inquiry project presentations which included topics like coding, Freshgrade, Garage band, Place-based education and technology, and podcasting. After the presentations, Val gave a short course wrap up presentation where she shared a lot of valuable resources. To start, a good resource for using Augmented Reality is the HP Reveal App.  This app uses hot spots to place auras. When introducing Virtual Reality in the classroom it is crucial to be familiar with the safety and health limits. VR is not to be used with children under 13 years of age. Children over 13 years have a limit of 30 minutes a day. It is also important to keep in mind that a portion of the population develops motion sickness when using VR, and women are more susceptible than men. During the brief discussion about Coding, a useful recourse in the classroom is called Spheros. Spheros are little robots which students can code to move in certain directions. These are a fun and engaging way to introduce coding to students. I was particularly interested in the recourse called GAFE or Google Apps for Education. There is a section in the google apps called “Classroom” which is beneficial for teachers to use. There are also different levels of certification for Google Apps. This certification is beneficial for teachers to have on their resume. The introduction of the app Skitch was also very informative because it relates to the privacy and safety of students. When taking photos of students any visible faces must be blurred or blocked out, unless parent consent has been given. Something important to keep in mind, is that if you take a photo on your phone and download it to your computer or a device to blur the face before posting it, a copy of that photo where the student’s faces are not blurred will remain on your phone or device. As a result this means that the next time you back up your phone, a copy of that photo is on the cloud. Skitch is an app that allows you to take a photo through the app, blur out faces for confidentiality/privacy, and then add that photo to your camera roll or download it without the original photo ever getting released. Lastly, the wrap up presentation introduced some valuable uses for QR codes, including how to link audio and video files to the codes, how to use them for assessment purposes, and the apps to download to read or create QR codes.

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