Tuesday 4 September 2018

Google Innovator (still working on it)

It has been a year since the Sydney 17 Google Innovator Academy and talking to many of my fellow #syd17 alumni the common theme is that things are going slow. Honestly the same is true for me, although in the last couple of months I have managed to get a bit of momentum.

A couple of things have happened to help get me moving including

I have led teacher workshops at various conferences on how to get students creating AR and VR experiences, including 21st Century Learning in Hong Kong, the AIMS conference in KL, an apple innovation day as well as teachmeet KL and staff meetings and PD sessions here at school.

I was also asked to speak at the IB Heads world conference, just a small group of 1800 heads of schools and teachers from IB schools all over the world.

The most important thing I have been doing is testing out ideas and lessons with real life students here at school. I have been pushing AR and VR, especially AR and VR creation as an alternative to posters and wasteful paper displays that get pulled down a week later and can't be shared or stored for other people to see in the future.

We have had students playing with VR and AR all over the school including
Early years students using a merge cube to hold a beating heart or a brain when learning about body systems

Grade 3 students using Metaverse to create interactive AR experiences about a body system they have researched

Grade 4 students have been using Google Streetview to explore different cities and communities around the world

Grade 5 students have been using Google Expeditions to explore the effect that humans have on the rainforest

Grade 5 have also created AR and VR experiences for their PYP exhibition, several students used Metaverse to create AR experiences including a bullying simulation where participants were given scenarios and they had to decide what to do. Other students use roundme.com to create their own VR experiences, mostly to increase empathy and show their understanding by creating VR tours of the ocean and the rainforest.

In secondary school we have been using AR and VR in design classes, students were given the design problem of creating an AR or VR experience for someone at school. We explored several tools for creating VR and AR experiences including roundme.com, metaverse, creating 360 videos hosted on youtube and cospaces. (Google expeditions tour creator wasn't yet released)

The students created some incredible experiences including

While none of these are perfect or even in a format that can be published (yet!) they are a good start and the students came up with creative ideas. I even had several students teach themselves how to use the unity game engine to create AR experiences.

Now that Tour Creator has come out of beta, we have started playing with that as a student creation tool. I have some projects for students in mind and can't wait to get back into it.

My final product for my Innovation Project is my edu-create.com website, which is a selection of creation resources for teachers and students, including a database of students submitted experiences where students, teachers and parents can showcase all the cool things they have made using VR and AR. It is still being built but I hope to have it up and running before the EdTechTeam Singapore summit.

This should prove to be a great resource for teachers to get ideas on how to get students creating AR and VR experiences and a place where students can showcase the incredible work they are doing.

On the weekend I watched the Innovation Program Sydney Cohort showcase

And this really got me motivated to finish my project and get this thing running.

While watching this one of the things that stuck with me was when Les reminded us to fail often and fail fast, that is something I haven't been doing I have been living with the fear that maybe my site won't work, no one will use it, someone will do it before me. That is going to change now, I am going to get this site up and running and if need be I will fail, very fast and then innovate and modify and try it all again.

Watch this space.