Augmented reality is an awesome learning tool that can be used in classrooms for all ages. There is a cool app that was demonstrated to us today in class called HP reveal. This allows teachers to create hot spots on text which, when students scan, whatever the teacher links to it will appear on the screen. Teachers can link tutorial videos to math problems. answer keys, audio clips, and so much more! A specific example that was shown to us was with chemistry. Our teacher had three cards with elements on them, in this case there were two single hydrogen cards and one oxygen card. As our teacher pushed them together the cards appeared to be folded together to show the element created: H2O. This technology can be used for so many learning opportunities which students would not otherwise have!
Virtual reality is a form of augmented reality which can be users useful learning tool for older students. This technology allows students to be brought to and experience different places around the world in a realistic manner. It is a great aide for hands on and visual learners to be able to experience and learn! The downside to virtually reality is that many people grow nauseous while using it, it has some affects on brains functioning systems, and, because of these affects, children under the age of thirteen should not use it. Everyone should limit themselves to 30 minutes maximum while using this equipment to help ensure their psychological and physical safety remains the same.
For our final blog post we decide it was time for us to learn how to use a camera in manual mode. Where as in our previous blog posts we demonstrated how a camera could be used as an educational tool, this week we have learnt the basics of how to take pictures without using the highly convenient “auto” mode. The first step the learn how to do this we had to understand what aperture, shutter speed, and ISO actually do in a digital camera.
The aperture refers to the how wide the shutter is opening and will affect how much light is being exposed to the sensor, but also the focal length of the photos you take. When you are in a very sunny environment not as much light is needed to reach the cameras sensor to create a picture, so using the aperture you can set the shutter to open only slightly. When taking a photo in a dark environment more light is needed to for the camera to be able to create a photo, so in this case you can set the aperture to be larger so the shutter will open more to let more light onto the sensor. For photos where only a smaller depth of field is desired, a larger aperture is needed. For example a close up photo of a plant or a portrait of someone. A smaller aperture is needed for photos of a larger area, such as a landscape photo, so everything in the frame will be in focus.
Shutter speed is the speed of which the shutter is opening and closing. This can be used to take photos of thing moving very quickly making it appear if they are standing still, or using a long shutter speed will make water looks soft and blurred or cars long steaks moving across the entire photo. If your shutter speed is too slow your photo could be overexposed, or blurry if your subject moves. If it is too fast your photo may end up underexposed.
ISO is the measurement of how sensitive your camera sensor is to light. ISO 100 is a low sensitivity, and would be used in sunny conditions where the sensor does not need to be very sensitive to achieve the correct exposure. A lower ISO also shoots a very clear, non-grainy photo. A high ISO, such as ISO 3400, would be used in low light conditions, such as a dark museum, to increase the camera’s light sensitivity and multiply the smaller amount of available light.
Triangle of Exposure
These 3 functions all have an effect on your photo and must always be in balance with one another. If you were to set your aperture to be more large to let in more light and also set your shutter speed to be very slow you may end up with a very overexposed photo like this.
The stats on this photo are F / 4.5, 1/4000, and ISO 6400. So in the case of this photo the aperture was letting in lots of light by opening the shutter very wide, and the shutter speed was very fast to match this and not let the shutter stay open too long, but the ISO was very high meaning the sensor was very sensitive to light. The ISO and the aperture were not matching in this photo so it turned out to be over exposed. To make this photo balanced we would have needed to lower either the aperture so less light came in the lens or lower the ISO the sensor was less sensitive to light. To create a normal photo the aperture, shutter speed and ISO must all be in balance to not have a photo that is over or underexposed.
A few months ago we learned some useful tools for audio and video editing that are simple and get the job done. I’m not sure why I never wrote about it, however, I want to share this experience and these tools with you all!
To edit our movie clips they introduced iMovie to the class. For some this was a new experience, but I had already used this tool to edit some projects in past semesters. It is definitely an intimidating app when you first get into it because it takes some practice, so don’t jump in right away thinking you can easily do it, definitely a lot yourselves some time to research tutorials. Once you upload your videos that you are wanting to edit together or cut, you can easily follow the directions on the bars below and above! Remember that nothing is permanent and you can always undo your edits. The one part that confused me the most was trying to add music/audio files on top of your videos. iMovie has fixed sounds that you are able to use, and granted there are many sounds, but because of copyright reasons you can’t actually add music over your videos! Maybe you can and have just yet to figure it out, so if someone know how please message me and teach me how!
Garage band was the next app that we used and this is for audio editing. I used this software once in high school when our teacher assignment us a “Bio Rap” so we had to take the audio track, record ourselves singing, and then overlap the two. This is also a tricky tool when you first get into it so its important to give yourself a little bit of time to learn the terms, controls, and to figure out the overall software. Once you get a hang of it it is a very simple tool to use! I was able to figure out how to use it at the age of 17 with no help so it is definitely a tool which can be easily incorporated into the classroom!
You can also use the musical keyboard which is where you click the keys to generate sound and the sounds go directly onto garage band an allow you to overlap them! You get a very crisp sound which goes right onto your track when you use the piano, it also makes it so that you don’t have to own keyboard. It only had one octave at a time though, and because if this small range of keys you cannot do a duet.
Today we had an amazing middle school teacher named Heidi James and some of her students come into our class to teach us about how they have been using Minecraft in their classroom. I was very skeptical at first as I have never been a very big gamer, but after listening to the middle schoolers enthusiasm while speaking about everything they learned I eagerly jumped on board! They spent some time explaining different project that they had done using the game as an outlet for inquiry learning, and then even gave us the chance to learn how to play!
This class did some really cool activities in their Minecraft world, but my favourite one that they explained would have to be learning about ancient Egyptian civilizations. The class was split into groups and each group nominated a leader for their own civilization. The leaders were then given some supplies and resources that were different from other groups. At the beginning the students spent their time building housing and different infrastructures to create a community, but after that they had to learn about trade between different communities. Instead of reading this in a textbook the class was able to experience this first hand and learn through doing! Further into the semester the students then began facing obstacles that would attack players such as: starvation, animal attacks, natural disasters, etc. I was so inspired by this lesson and all the students were able to accomplish on their own.
When they began to teach us to play I didn’t realize how hard the game was. Perhaps it’s because I’m not very video game savvy, but I found that guiding my character around our practice was very disconcerting. With a bit of practice (and accidentally digging out of the world) I got the hang of it. I think students would have an easier time picking these skills up than I did, but even if they didn’t, this would be an amazing learning tool.
For those who are interested in finding out more about this topic, I have attached Heidi’s twitter handle below as she is the awesome instigator of this new learning tool
After reading about the #trashchallenge my friends and I were inspired to try it for ourselves here in Victoria! We chose to do it for our photography project because it was fun to document, however, this activity was also on my list of things to do to bring kindness throughout my community!
We walked along Dallas road for a good two hours and were pleasantly surprised when we couldn’t find much garbage! Our first reaction was strictly based on doing an amazing job with the challenge so I found myself saying things like:”why isn’t there any garbage?!” Of course when I heard that out loud I realized it’s a good thing we couldn’t find much. To read more information about it you can take a look at my photography page in a couple days!
It’s starting to get cold here in Victoria again, and keeping our heat on is just too expensive! This week we decided to get crafty and sew up our very own microwaveable heating pads. All we needed to make them was:
Fabric (100% cotton so that it’s microwave safe)
Thread (also cotton so that it’s microwave safe)
A sewing Needle
Pins to hold the fabric in place (you could also use hair clips or sticky tack)
Filling (wheat, dried peas, say beans, rice, barley)
This is a very inexpensive way to spend an afternoon, especially when you are buying fabric and other supplies for a group of you. We thought that this project would relate seamlessly (pardon the pun) to the home economics curriculum in middle school, or even for a fun cross curricular art/science project. All we had to do was pick a fabric pattern that we liked, cut it to any size we want, pin it so that the pattern is on the inside, and sew it together leaving about a one inch whole! We hand stitched them because none of us have a sewing machine so we had to reinforce our stitches a couple times to make sure our grains would stay in. Once the pouch was stitched we turned it right side out and filled them with barley. We chose to use barley because it was on sale in the bulk isle, has no smell, and won’t expand or explode in the microwave. After filling our pouches the last step was simple, stitch up the remaining hole!
My roommate and I have been fighting over mine every night this week, it is an awesome way to stay warm and the weight from the pouch helps to calm anxiety and stress. It’s great for sore muscles, warming up cold toes, or simply having something warm to snuggle while falling asleep.
The photography documentation of this project was not our best work, not only did we have other friends come over to make them (which distracted us), but we were also so busy with our hands that we did not think to pick up the camera!
Today we were able to video conference into a lecture being done by Verena Roberts, oh what amazing opportunities technology allows us to have! She was leading a discussion on open and networked learning, meaning how to expand learning beyond the four classroom walls. By expanding k-12 learning environments outside of the classroom students are able to expand beyond their physical experience and connect their learning to their community as well as to further develop their own personal identity (turner 2018).
What we’re trying to do is give students to learn through real world experiences and make connections with community members and in varying fields which interest each individual child. This design would allow for the expansion of shared learning opportunities by collaboratively and individually building knowledge for different topics, participatory learning, creating learning networks and safe and expanded learning environments.
*This image was an example found on Flickr*
This method allows for all voices to be heard and all learning domains to be demonstrated. Learners who need to visually see the process to understand will be able to experience this, kinaesthetic learners will experience a hands on environment, and auditory learners will listen to the lessons. It is important to show students that not only is there more than one way to learn but there is also more than one place to learn in. Every time a teacher begins to plan a lesson it is important for them to think: “what if we used our imaginations to rethink the possibilities for learning?” .