Are you ready to introduce VR and AI into your learning strategy?

| January 21, 2019

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VR has hit its stride in the mainstream market in the video game industry, and organisations are clamouring to come up with increasingly innovative ways of incorporating VR and AI into learning. But for anyone considering making use of these exciting technologies, what do you need to know about using VR and AI for learning?While VR and AI has piqued the attention of many learning professionals, it’s not going to be suitable in every learning programme. While increased competition in the market is slowly bringing prices down and cost-effective options like Google Cardboard publicly available, the cost of developing an effective, creative VR solution can be prohibitively expensive, especially for businesses with limited L&D budgets, and even if the budget is there, VR still may not be the right choice for every type of learning.

Spotlight

Houston ISD

The Houston Independent School District is the largest public school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States. Its schools are dedicated to giving every student the best possible education through an intensive core curriculum and specialized, challenging instructional and career programs. HISD is working hard to become Houstonians'​ K–12 school system of choice, by constantly improving instruction and management to be as effective, productive, and economical as possible.

OTHER ARTICLES

eLearning Gamification: Its Role, Effectiveness, and Open edX Applications

Article | November 4, 2020

Gamification in eLearning is a must-have way to make training more effective and engaging. But how do you implement it for the Open edX platform? In this post, we share some recommendations and examples. Using the game elements, eLearning gamification, provides an effective, informal learning environment and leads to a more engaging learning experience, facilitating better knowledge retention. It is important to mention that gamification tools are based on psychological behavior that governs our everyday decisions and provides a strong platform to share achievements, manage work progress, and build competition. These factors make gamification a powerful tool for learner engagement.

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Saving Summer 2020 – A Virtual Tour of Marseille

Article | August 18, 2020

After a busy exam season, students up and down the country look forward to long summer vacations, hopefully with a trip or two! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many of us don’t want to catch a flight this summer. But all is not lost! Gale Primary Sources, an online database of digitised primary sources, allows you to explore your cancelled holiday destination in a virtual way – from the safety of your own home! Personally, I’d planned to go to Marseille in June, which is a historic city in the South of France well known for its Roman and medieval architecture and ruins. Instead, I had a really fun afternoon exploring Marseille by delving into some rare and quirky primary sources – and you can go there with me in this blog post!

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Here we go again: Back to online learning in Fall 2020

Article | August 19, 2020

As many colleges and universities make the decision to offer online instruction in fall 2020 due to COVID-19, we’re quickly reminded of the Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode that aired during the spring commencement season. “Congratulations Class of 2020! You will now pay full price for your college experience at a University of Phoenix Online without the tech support,” joked Kate McKinnon. She was portraying the principal at a COVID-19 graduation at St. Mary Magdalene by the Expressway High School. Unfortunately, this skit from SNL wasn’t only humorous, it also reflected the reality for some. These people have been thrust into a version of remote teaching that, while developed with the best intentions of faculty and administrators, was more emergency triage than true online learning.

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5 Ways to Help Women Achieve Educational Success

Article | March 7, 2021

While the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our economy, women continue to be disproportionately impacted. Now is the time to look at the long game. What changes can society make in order to insure that when the next big crisis happens, women don’t bear the brunt of it. Education, of course, has always been on the front line of changing societal disparities. However, much of the time we don’t look at the root causes of why young women underperform in certain areas. Below are five ways we can position women for educational success, from girlhood to the moment they walk into their first job. If you are a teacher, give this list to the parents you work with. Help them set the tone now so our girls grow up ready to take on the world. DON’T TELL ME I’M PRETTY Little girls, from the time they are young, are praised for how beautiful they are.  We talk to girls about how they look and boys about what they do. This escalates when little girls hit puberty. This is when girls start deriving their social capital from their looks and their grades start to tank. Fight this trend by praising young women for what they do. Don’t say, “You’re so beautiful!” Instead say, “I love how curious you are about the solar system! You’re such an interesting person to talk to!”   DON’T TELL ME I’M SMART This sounds a little bit strange, but often little boys are praised for their hard work and girls are praised for their inherent intelligence. The problem with this is that when a little girl doesn’t do well she thinks it has to do with how smart she is rather than her work ethic. Her failures become a referendum on her intelligence.  Say, “Wow, you really worked hard” rather than, “Wow, you’re so smart!” You can always work harder, but you can’t change the brains you were born with!    DON’T BE TOO NICE TO ME When young women struggle in the sciences or STEM, often parents try to protect their feelings.  This can take the form of telling young women who are struggling that perhaps their major is just too hard --maybe they should do something that makes their life a little easier. Boys get the message not to give up - girls get the message to take the path of least resistance. Don’t coddle your girls. Hold them to the same tough standard you have with your boys.   DON’T SEE ME ONLY AS A GIRL OR A WOMAN Understand that if you are trying to support women you cannot do that in a White Woman vacuum. If a young woman you know is struggling, look at the other issues that might be intersecting. Does she have a disability? Is she a woman of color? Is she the first generation to go to college in her family? Audre Lorde famously said “there is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives.“ Make sure you are not treating every woman as if she is the same simply because of her gender. There could be all kinds of intersections that are also impacting her situation.   DO VALUE MY VOICE If you are an educator, pay attention to who you are listening to. Note how you value different voices. The patterns that impact girls and young women follow them throughout their education and into adulthood. Pay attention to who you’re calling on in class. Whose voice gets more weight? Watch for classroom dynamics that make certain people feel they have the right to speak and others feel they must remain silent. Be sure to encourage every student from kindergarten to PhD candidates to speak up and then make sure you’re listening. It’s wonderful how much weight we give to the voices of men and boys. Women should be afforded the same courtesy. Women’s success doesn’t just come from hiring women or making sure we are paid the same for doing the same work. It comes from making sure every woman, from the time she is a little girl, is given the message that she has worth, and that if she works hard enough, she can achieve her dreams. Let’s not tell our girls that they are pretty flowers who might crumble when life knocks them down. Let’s give them the message that life can be hard, but they can work harder, and if they do, success will be theirs. Eliza VanCort is an in-demand consultant, speaker, and writer on communications, career and workplace issues, and women’s empowerment. The founder of The Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca, she is also a Cook House Fellow at Cornell University, an advisory board member of the Performing Arts for Social Change, a Diversity Crew partner, and a member of Govern For America’s League of Innovators. Her first book, A Woman’s Guide to Claiming Space: Stand Tall. Raise Your Voice. Be Heard., publishes May 11, 2021.

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Spotlight

Houston ISD

The Houston Independent School District is the largest public school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States. Its schools are dedicated to giving every student the best possible education through an intensive core curriculum and specialized, challenging instructional and career programs. HISD is working hard to become Houstonians'​ K–12 school system of choice, by constantly improving instruction and management to be as effective, productive, and economical as possible.

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