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Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler has spent his entire career working in educational technology. He is currently Associate Professor of Learning Technology at Plymouth University, where his research interests include social media and mobile technologies in education. He has conducted research into learning technology in all sectors of education and training and, having been invited to present his finding at conferences in more than 30 countries, he is truly a global educator.

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Publications by Steve Wheeler

Learning with ‘e’s

In an age where young people seem to have a…

Don’t Change the Light Bulbs

Curated by Rachel Jones, Don’t Change the Light Bulbs offers…

Author Blog

Lingua Tweeta and other ideas

September 27 2016

I spend a lot of my time thinking through issues and challenges around technology supported learning. I try to come up with new ways to use technology that take learning into another place, or into new directions. Eventually I try some of these ideas out with my students. Often I share those ideas and outcomes on this blog. It's gratifying when people listen to these ideas, try them out and then come back to tell me how well they have worked.

When I get some positive feedback it encourages me to work harder to think of more new ideas, methods and strategies for using technology in education.

That's what we should be doing as professional educators - we should not stand still, but should always be seeking new ways we can engage our students and improve education.

Yesterday I saw a tweet from Helen Chapman, Associate Dean at Staffordshire University who had attended a keynote speech I gave for their Learning and Teaching conference earlier this year. I spoke about using audio feedback for formative assessment in higher education, and challenged them to try it out.

I recall once being approached by a teaching in South Africa who was keen to tell me that my SILVER standard model for web site evaluation really worked in her classrooms, and was enriching the learning of her students.

More recently, one of my former students Neil Jarrett, who is now a very successful teacher in an international school in Thailand, had tried out an idea about writeable tables he had found on my blog, and was really excited about the responses from his students, whom he described as more collaborative and creative.

I wrote a blog post in 2009 during the emergence of Twitter as a tool for teaching in formal settings. It was entitled Teaching with Twitter which proved to be one of my most popular posts with over 60,000 view to date. I described 10 ways Twitter could possibly be used to support and extend learning. One of the ideas was called 'Lingua Tweeta' - my way of describing how teachers might use Twitter as a language learning tool. Teachers could tweet a sentence (or a question) in a foreign language, and students would respond in the same language, or could translate the sentence into English. I know that many teachers reblogged the ideas, in many languages around the world. A quick Google search of 'Lingua Tweeta' confirms this. But I wonder if anyone actually used the idea and what results they saw? If you, or someone you know, has used this idea, I would be very happy to hear from you in the comments box below.

Photo by Steve Wheeler

Creative Commons License
Lingua Tweeta and other ideas by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

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Making Spectacles of ourselves

September 24 2016

The popular social media company Snapchat (soon to be renamed simply 'Snap') has released news of a product which might just revolutionise the wearable technology industry. Snapchat's Spectacles are stylish sunglasses that have a built in camera that is capable of recording and sharing to the web up to 10 seconds of video from the wearer's eye level perspective. Remember Google Glass? Well, it failed largely because of two factors - it looked ridiculous on the wearer, and it cost a lot of money, even in its development stage. It was never brought to market. Snapchat's young CEO Evan Spiegel has ensured that Spectacles avoid both those issues. They look cool to wear, the camera is unobtrusive and one could expect a sizeable percentage of Snapchat's millions of users to purchase into it, because it will retail at around £100 ($130) - less than a tenth of the price of the Glass development version.

Time will tell whether Spectacles will be popular enough with users that it becomes a global phenomenon. But there is already speculation about how it might be used in a number of professional areas, including education. As with any other wearable technology that captures and shares images and video, there are issues around privacy and misuse. These will need to be addressed, certainly. But balancing up the social concerns against the benefits of such a device, there are also possibilities for the improvement of personal safety and security. In releasing Spectacles, Spiegel* seems to be offering up a social mirror with which we can gaze at ourselves and our world around us. As he related in a Wall Street Journal interview this week after a walk through the woods: '....when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes. It was unbelievable.' Yes, having an experience is one thing - having an experience of the experience that you can revisit time and again, and sharing it with those around us from 'our own eyes', is indeed something else entirely.

*Spiegel is German for mirror

Still from promotional video on YouTube

Creative Commons License
Making Spectacles of ourselves by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

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