With the technology that is already accessible and the technology that is soon to come it is no doubt that it will have a substantial effect on higher education. In an article on the Campus Technology website they examine the exploratory trip of two secondary education students who determine the the academic potential of different tech seen today. This assignment was given to them by their university professor Erica Hamilton who claims that the goal of this assignment is for the students to explore new technology and to start thinking like teachers on how they can be used for educational purposes.
Grand Valley State University’s Technology Showcase provides an immersive environment to interact with an array of emerging technologies.
Hamilton sends her students to a technology showcase room in the new library at Grand Valley State University in Missouri. Libraries across the country are redefining themselves as learning commons and many are adding maker spaces. But Grand Valley has gone a step further, because its showcase provides an immersive environment to interact with an array of emerging technologies ranging from Oculus Rift to Double Robotics’ telepresence robots to 3D printers. By continuously researching and monitoring trends, the showcase focuses on identifying emerging technologies that have potential applications across campus. The article discusses how this space makes a great addition to a library where students can be exposed to a vast amount of knowledge from many different apsects.
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With most courses in college the one thing that usually enhances learning of a particular subject is getting your hands dirty. Meaning, getting hands on experience. For most science courses this not a problem but when students want to examine something that may be too fragile, too valuable, too small, or inaccessible, there wasn’t much of a solution until now. In an article on the website Campus Technology they discuss how St. Cloud State University’s Visualization Lab has added high-precision 3D scanners to its technology portfolio, allowing students and faculty to examine objects that previously were inaccessible.
The Minnesota university chose Artec 3D to provide the 3D scanner hardware and its Studio 10 software, along with a dedicated server, touch-enabled computers, stand-up touchscreen displays, projectors and virtual reality headsets. The technology, which became available at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, allows St. Cloud to expand its collection of 3D models that can be studied in virtual environments.
Through the Visualization Lab’s Interactive Skull Museum portfolio, biology students now can examine the department’s wide collection of cow, deer, fox, bobcat and even human skulls — specimens that often are quite delicate and cannot be handled easily. Using the 3D scanners, students have been able to create virtual objects that can be turned, shared and explored without concerns about damaging them. The tools will also allow students to create 3D models of microscopic organisms like algae that can be viewed using virtual reality tools.
St. Cloud’s Visualization Lab, located in the school’s Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility, allows faculty and students access to technology that can be used in a wide variety of cross-disciplinary projects that give students hands-on experience.
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Bruce Hay, a biology teacher at the California Institute of Technology, has recently come up with a way to integrate more participation into his classroom and, as a result, seen an increase in the average grades of his students.
He started using an app called SKIES (Su-Kam Intelligent Education Systems) that allows students to create an interconnected web of knowledge about a topic that a professor is teaching. Hay states that “if you don’t have participation, then you’re not getting any feedback on what students are learning…It’s just a half an hour monologue without really knowing that you’re getting through to anyone.” He also explains that it is important that the students become more interactive instead of a passive audience.
Instructors and students are able to post class materials that are linked together, becoming a “class tree” (Credit: Campus Technology)
Anyone can use the app – university students and professors, or K-12 students and teachers. The material that students can post on SKIES can range from text, pictures, drawings, audio clips, links or videos. This also lets students learn from each other rather than just the teacher being the sole source of knowledge in the class.
While Hay is lecturing in his classroom, you will be able to see yellow bubbles pop up on the powerpoint he is presenting behind him. Those bubbles are the questions and comments that students are leaving on the app. Students are also able to thumbs up or thumbs down slides; green slides will have a thumbs up, while red slides have a thumbs down. Hay will be able to see which slides students were able to grasp versus which might have been confusing. Some instructors worry, however, that students who post things onto the app during a live lecture will become distracted. Some professors then ask that the students post only after the lecture, as students already seem to be multitasking enough during class.
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