ID&T Today focuses on innovation and best practices surrounding the effective uses of instructional design and technology for promoting student learning. Blog posts are authored by department members as well as faculty, administrators, and the occasional guest author. ID&T Today is a publication of the Department of Instructional Design & Technology at Regis University.
I love DevLearn. It’s a conference that lets you dream about
possibilities. It lets you throw “practical” out the window, put aside issues
of cost and implementation, and just ask what-if.
What if there were a
space dedicated to faculty for the exploration and experimentation of augmented
reality? Faculty would be provided a bundle of development apps (think Aurasma)
and a variety of devices such as an Android phone and iPad and a basic set of
instructions. Completed test projects would be uploaded to a common area for sharing
with other interested faculty developers. The words “no” and “can’t” would not
be allowed, only a loosely structured testbed for the nurturing of ideas.
What if there were a
series of open forums between faculty, students, course developers, and regional
employers? The forums would consist of open discussion on how technologies
could be implemented to improve 1) teaching, 2) the student learning
experience, and 3) the media literacy needs of future employers.
What if Jesuit
institutions could work as a collaborative to purchase technologies as a single
unit? There would be one LMS solution for all 28 institutions. One SIS system.
One Payroll system. One HR system. With one common support system for all that
would be one phone call away. Annual cost savings alone would be sufficient to
fund a number of technology projects.
Baycrest Medical Center AR orientation
What if we had the
budget to fund a sampling of AR/VR/MR technologies along with several example
apps and let faculty “geek out” and get a taste of what’s possible.
All of the above
occurred at DevLearn this past October, although with not the specificity
that’s described above. Several companies, including The eLearning Guild,
sponsors of DevLearn, put on a display of augmented/virtual reality that was
amazing to experience as well as watch others experience for the first time.
eLearning Guild had a large booth set up with VR devices from Sony, HVC,
Oculus, and Samsung. Attendees strapped on these devices and participated in
experiences to demonstrate the power of virtual reality. No one was saying “too
expensive” or “too resource intensive” or “too this” or “too that”. It was a
hands-on, balls to the wall, real time demonstration of what’s possible.
Creating better infographics
There were also a number
of round table discussions on topics related to technology in education. One of
the most telling was an informal discussion on media literacy and digital
literacy and how we are preparing students on their use in the workplace. The
overarching opinion was that higher education, in general, does a poor job at
preparing students in these crucial areas. In short, the majority of students
are not prepared and higher education needs to place more emphasis on
integrating the technology tools used by businesses so new hires can hit the
ground running, particularly with electronic collaboration.
My biggest takeaway from
this conference? Start any project, particularly projects involving something
new and innovative, by asking those no-holds-barred, no boundaries, what-if
questions of what's possible. Dream big. Scale back as reality sets in, but
always reach for the stars.
Several resources from notable
sessions in no particular order: