Wednesday, June 08, 2011

#iel11 Wednesday Morning Keynote

Found Mark Oehlert, Clark Quinn and Stephen Martin. And thus the tribe begins to gather.

So there is something called a "mingle stick" - so I have to figure out where this is and how this works. Will report back.

Will also be trying to tweet some pics. I haven't been very successful at this in the past - but maybe I'll get this right this time. Maybe.
Keynote: How Immersion in Virtual Worlds Helps Learners in the Real World
Presenter: Chris Dede

3 things at once
- Shifts in knowledge and skills society values
+ Remember FORTRAN? (I do)
+ Many of us are wearing shoes for which our academic training did not prepare us.
+ Many careers for our kids do not yet exist
- Development of new methods of teaching and learning
- Changes in the characteristics of learners

We teach differently than we did 5 years ago because of what the students now do outside the classroom.
- Different strengths and preferences.

The trends are inter-related.
- Huge problem we have - what happens in classroom looks less like 21st c work than rest of people's lives outside the classroom.

Don't start with the technology - no solution looking for problem.

Civilization focusing on wicked problems
- Internested suites of problems that interact systemically. Unexpected consequences
+ Financial meltdown, global warming, terrorism
- We tackle these problems with teams with complementary expertise
+ But each person has different jargon, data, evidence etc
+ Teams have to negotiate putting together the elephant

How far can we get with teaching this skill in middle school?
- Gotta start as early as possible.
- Kindergarten - may be too early because of level of abstraction.

To teach this - will need to use Situated Learning
- common in life, but uncommon in formal ed
- Medical training - nothing looks like the nice multiple choice questions and elegant essays when in residency.
+ Thankfully - you are doing really simple things. There is the opportunity to have a series of apprenticeships - learn by watching people who know what they are doing.
+ Move from fringes to center as you get more skilled in real life.

We have probably learned our jobs by situated learning.

Classrooms and conference rooms very barren places that lack rich context.

Immersive Learning
- Immersion - you psychologically feel that you are located someplace different than you really are. (Please see Harry Potter Experience Universal)
- Movies can be weak form of immersion.
- Interactivity - allows you to shape the environment you are situated in.
+ Multi-User Virtual Environments - immersion in virtual contexts with digital artifacts and avatar-based identities
+ Virtual Reality - Full sensory immersion (Wii controllers, head-mounted displays etc)

- How to teach this complicated skill of solving complex problems.
- Middle school science curriculum (Dept of Ed)
+ Ecosystem science
+ Process of scientific inquiry
+ Complex causality (this underlies wicked problems)

What makes complex causality hard
- spatial scales involving action at a distance
- time delays
- invisible factors / non-obvious
- sudden things (seemingly) but oricess and steady states in contrast to event-based reasoning.

Can be deceived on all 4 levels

How immersive tech helps
- Realistic simulation / model of challenge facing
- Can do "magic" to control variables
+ Time, macro/micro view, distance, etc

So what does this virtual world look like?
- In EcoMUVE - preditor/prey. (Deer island - only deer. Wolf island - Deer and wolves)
+ Help understand relationship, flow of energy
+ Can help kids find salient things

- Ex. Digital pond - modeled after Black's Nook Pond in Cambridge, MA. (demo)
+ Virtual pond - you can walk under water and not drown (bonus!)
+ Can do scavenger hunt
+ Used gaming engine for graphics
+ Can take water quality measures, weather, etc.
+ Jigsaw pedagogy - each person has a different role so they can collect different data as a team. Then team puts pieces together.
+ Remember: there are also things that are not "seen". Uses "magic submarine" to see things that are tough to see at macroscopic level (the invisible stuff in the pond)
+ Also "adopt an atom" - track the atom.
+ And a housing development - starting a complex causal chain.
+ Can do stuff across time. Distinctive scenario - what killed the fish? Why does the water look different?

- The digital pond is a tool. Not just throwing kids into the ecosystem.

- "Magic"
- "Unintentional Problem"
- Trace flow of energy

Ultimately - did the students learn the 3 things?
- Very pleased at findings
- Large scale study this spring.

Imagine other content being put into this immersive interface and used to teach other skills.

Students also learning new literacies - Jenkins

- We think of this as fundamental skill for life.
- Intellectual and psycho-social literacies that depend on technology.
- ie: doing your taxes using tax tool.

The problem is an assessment problem.
- If give 2 sets of students item based pencil and paper test - both types will do the same.
- Paper and pencil tests are incapable of measuring complex performances.
+ We have been stalled on assessment for a century

NSES Model of Inquiry - Virtual Performance Assessment
- Also a virtual world for assessment
- Example - virtual world, student takes on ID of scientist. Students complete quests in 90 minutes.
- 4 phases
+ Orientation
+ Problem Identification
+ Experimentation
+ Competing Explanation
- Demonstrating whether student understood how to perform scientific inquiry.

Have various performance palattes.

Big breakthrough - Collecting rich audit trail
- Logfiles with timestamps
+ Where students went
+ Who did they communicate with & what said
+ What artifacts activated
+ Databases viewed
+ What data gathered using virtual scientific instruments
+ Hints accessed

Teacher then looks for patterns!

Can even automate this process. Ultimately, a more valid test because can evoke and capture complex intellectual performances.

Biggest single problem in effective ed - measurement strategies inadequate for capturing the richness of what we need to teach.

Currently building summative assessment. But want to build FORMATIVE assessments for diagnostics.
- If we get down how to do FORMATIVE assessments embedded in the learning, we won't need the summative assessments.
- Summative a first step.
- Formative richer and more accurate.
- Formative, diagnostic assessment provides more leverage for improvement than summative measures

Ubiquitous computing / Overlay devices / "alice in wonderland interface" / Augmented reality
- Preferred interface - the handheld mobile device. NOT laptop or PC.
- Games that rely on large screen immersion - not work so well.
- Entertainment focusing on strengths of mobile device.
+ Ex. Roku's Reward
(Goes into a lot of stuff Jane McGonagal is doing)

Now working on EcoMobile - people go into REAL ecosystems and use camera on mobile device with overlays on real life.
- Videos, people, etc.
- INteresting to study fully immersive vs. blended and where.
- Using jigsaw pedagogy, independent of modality.

IN next decade, we will gain as much power as last 35 years on our mobile devices.
- No idea what this will look like.

Smartbooks- scaled-up cell phone. Always on, location aware, light (Qualcomm)
- May be game changer
- Heavy lifting done in the cloud.

What if your device had a 6th sense?
- Who you are, how you like to learn? Who you like to learn with?
- Past - isolate. Now - as part of real world and life, true situated learning.
+ When is it best for which situation?

2010 US Educational Tech Plan
- Take a look at the LEARNING section of this plan.

Why Immersion for Training?
- many capabilities / affordances that are very powerful for education and training
- Just learning how to design and measure results + develop infrastructure for delivery anywhere

****Begin with complicated problem. Team to figure it out.***
- VERY different from traditional model.
- Much more powerful.

We have to find new ways of teaching.

Biggest challenge - professional development of ourselves.
- We need to UNLEARN what we know.
- When we think about learning, we are PROGRAMMED to think about classrooms etc. (Way too true).
+ These conferences allow us to unlearn together.

3 things - Beyond McLuhan
- Media shape their messages
- Media shape their participants - being altered unobtrusively, we are ignoring this at our peril.
- Infrastructures shape civilizations.

Effective learning requires many different forms of exposure.
- Remember, Immersive is a part of the repetoire. Can be used in front and back end to demonstrate relevance and application.
- There are also lots of things in between.

This will complement, not displace.

Still fear of things that look playful.
- Engaging and serious is just as rewarding as engaging and frivolous.

We don't have good models for what collaboration should look like.
- Teamwork in one context may not work in another.

Eventually, we will be able to embed advice at time of need vs. afterwards.
- Look at the audit trails.
- But this is still pretty new.

Remember: collaboration also requires scaffolding.

Strategies for helping the teachers (the gatekeepers)
- We and others have to unlearn things that we have made central to professional identities.
- If we can show immersive experiences help them fulfill dream of teaching the subject they love (those teaching subject love)
- Some teach because of love of students - focus on formative assessment and how can help the students.
- Use as way for reason for WHY someone went into teaching and training.

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