TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
The University of Texas at San Antonio has more than 2 million titles in its library system, and lately it’s been building a collection that most students—and future teachers—might not even know exists yet. A small but growing library of augmented reality books, consisting of 25 children’s titles, is part of a research partnership between UTSA Libraries and the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD). They range in subject from astronomy, to dinosaurs, and even cardboard bedtime stories for infants.
With 4.6 billion pieces of content produced daily, it might seem that our hunger for knowledge should be satisfied — but information production and distribution is not the same as consumption and it’s not as simple as just putting information out there.
The problem is that we are drowning in content — but are starving for knowledge and insights that can help us truly be more productive, collaborative and innovative.
When we want to acquire useful knowledge, we have to search the web broadly, find experts by word-of-mouth and troll through various poorly designed internal document sharing systems. This method is inefficient.
There should be a better solution that helps users find what they need. Such a solution would adapt to the user’s needs and learn how to make ongoing customized recommendations and suggestions through a truly interactive and impactful learning experience.
On the floor of the ISTE conference, it’s easy to meet educators and administrators from all over the country (and the world at large). You can discuss edtech implementation strategies, hear about favorite tools, and get to know those practices that teachers are excited to bring back to their students. But while EdSurge paced the ISTE floor on June 25-28 in San Antonio, Texas, we decided to ask a slightly different question: What edtech trends, products, and buzzwords do you wish would retire—for good? From “blended learning” to digital worksheets, below are a collection of comments from ten educators about their biggest edtech pet peeves. Check it out on the EdSurge podcast, or scroll below to get right to the good stuff.
Getting a college letter of acceptance is huge enough, but this one includes the magic of augmented reality. The Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in China is issuing out its letters of acceptance to students suing AR. Students first scan a QR code on WeChat, which prompts the download of NPU's AR app. Upon opening the app, students will be able to see a virtual model of the university, including information about its history and find out more about its aeronautical, astronautical and marine engineering fields — subjects which the school is famous for. This is the first AR-enabled acceptance letter to be sent out in China — and the concept appears to be a world first.
There's now another element to add to your VR experience. This startup has created a device that is meant to "drastically heighten" your VR game — by letting you experience elements like heat, cold — and even pain. The ThermoReal, created by TEGway — a spin-off of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology — is a thermo-electric device that can go from 4 to 40°C (39.2 to 104°F), according to a report by Engadget. The device can even produce heat and cold on different areas at the same time, which, apparently, replicates what a pinch feels like.
The robots are coming ... to help us. Almost a decade ago, as the U.S. war in Afghanistan trudged on, Army Ranger Romulo Camargo was shot in the neck when his troop was ambushed during a humanitarian mission. He was paralyzed from the neck down and struggles with daily tasks that most people might take for granted. Recently, however, Camargo got a little help in the form of a pint-sized, one-armed robot from Toyota. The company announced Friday that it has completed an in-home trial of its Human Support Robot with Camargo.
SEE ALSO: This little robot is like a Roomba for your garden
The 3 foot-tall, 81 pound robot spent time doing a handful of basic, yet useful tasks for Camargo, like opening doors and grabbing food from the pantry and delivering them to the decorated veteran.
There have been several articles in the industry and investor press recently that describe the ed-tech market as “on the rebound,” with venture capitalists getting their “second wind” and finding ed-tech once again to be something worth throwing money at. Yay. And indeed, according to my calculations too, the amount of money invested in education technology companies is up from this time last year and up from this time in 2015 as well. (And 2015 was a record-setting year for ed-tech investment.) For what it’s worth, investment analyst firm CB Insights predicts that funding this year will not exceed that 2015 level, but one of the reasons I like to track the data myself is that everyone’s numbers and everyone’s assessment of the industry seem to be different, depending in part on “what counts” as ed-tech.