Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

360-Degree Cameras

Friday, April 6th, 2018

360-degree cameras are falling in price, slightly. The EMU Library recently purchased a number of them for use by faculty. The Special Interest Group allows them to explore how they might work in their own teaching.

Today, the first of 13 faculty teams took a training provided by LTEC Professor Michael McVey. In two weeks, the team of Jones and Copeland will get theirs and put it to use in their teaching.

360 degree camerra

One of the faculty members in the session today considered ways of attaching one to one of her drones. Another thought it would work well in the Point of View (POV) mode to capture a shopkeeper’s exchange during a study abroad. Imagine watching from start to finish a patron ordering a croissant and a cafe au lait, in Paris, to get a sense of the rhythm of the language.

Those were just two of the ideas that came up in the first few minutes with these cameras. I’m looking forward to many more.

LTEC has been temporarily shelved but we are still optimistically taking names of those interested in our online Masters. Complete this form if you are interested and we’ll be in touch.

Google Certified Trainer program

Monday, September 5th, 2016

This just might be for YOU.

For the last few years, Google has provided a program for people who wanted to earn an official training certification from Google for Education. This week they announced the launch of the new and improved Google for Education Certified Trainer Program.

The program has seven new units of study that would apply to you especially is you are a teacher looking for more training opportunities:


  • Influence Organizational Change
  • Design Professional Learning
  • Implement Best Coaching Practices
  • Planning for Engaging Training Sessions
  • Facilitate with Professionalism


  • Integrate Google Tools in the Classroom
  • Deepen your Knowledge of Google for Education

Applications open in early October and you should have your Google Certified Trainer (Level 2) by then.

Seymour Papert

Monday, August 1st, 2016

I learned today that Seymour Papert passed away just yesterday at the age of 88. As the inventor of some of the earliest and most accessible programming languages, LOGO, he brought human/computer interactions to new heights for many, especially to children. He had a great influence on me and I have a copy of one of his earlier books, Mindstorms, on my shelf.

Simulated Classrooms

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Today I participated in a webinar designed to share a new possibility in teacher education. As a technologist, I am often approached about the potential for using immersive virtual environments as a way of training teachers to interact with a classroom full of students.

The technology is becoming much more engaging and the experience of interacting with student avatars is very real, some would say “surreal.”

As a teacher, you can write on a virtual blackboard and interact verbally with the avatars. Note that there is a real human being behind the avatars following scripts designed to encourage or challenge the teachers.

I am not at all sure that future Colleges of Education will ever see these simulators as part of their training but that may because I was trained with real students in real classrooms. That said, aircraft pilots have had trainers for decades and nurses and doctors are using 100,000 dollar simulator mannequins that  bleed and breath at the push of a button in a control room, so it is not unreasonable that these simulators should be used to train new teachers in “high-leverage” practices.

Google Cardboard

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

I meet infrequently with a local software designer, Ian Natzmer, whose company, Odeum Learning, is designing interactive games for students. A year ago, I thought virtual goggles were far too pricey for most schools and may have dampened his enthusiasm a little. Yesterday, an inexpensive alternate to VR Googles, the $10 Google Cardboard,arrived and I was hooked. I spent hours being drawn into the virtual experiences of walking down the streets of London, New York, and rural Japan, standing on the surface of Pluto, then virtually skydiving.

I’m rethinking my position.