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Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler is a Learning Innovations Consultant and former Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at the Plymouth Institute of Education where he chaired the Learning Futures group and led the Computing and science education teams. He continues to research into technology supported learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on the pedagogy underlying the use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies, and also has research interests in mobile learning and cybercultures. He has given keynotes to audiences in more than 35 countries and is author of more than 150 scholarly articles, with over 6000 academic citations. An active and prolific edublogger, his blog Learning with ‘e’s is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education, learning and development. In the last few years it has attracted in excess of seven million unique visitors.

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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

Hacking Digital Learning Strategies #Bookreview

February 19 2018

Photo by Steve Wheeler
When Shelly Terrell speaks or writes, people take notice. She has done the hard miles as an educator and has innovated along the way, continuing to share her knowledge and her ideas freely among the global education community. It is a delight to see her new book has been published, and it was a joy to receive a copy for review recently.

Hacking Digital Learning Strategies sounds quite a daunting title for a book of practical ideas, but with the cartoon spaceman on the cover, readers will know they are in for a fun ride with plenty of happiness along the way. Its also one in a series of 'Hacking' titles published by the Hack Learning Organisation. With phrases such as 'I don't have to do all the teaching or know all the answers' and 'we need to find ways to tap into students' passions', you just know that Shelly's book will be completely student centred from start to finish. And it is.

This book is not about technology. In 183 pages it focuses on teaching strategies that have a proven track record of success. It highlights the need to engage students in their thinking and the importance of scaffolding their behaviour as they learn. The book calls for better understanding of the affordances of technology, not as means to an end, but as catalysts that provoke, excite and motivate children to go the extra mile, as they learn about the world around them, and discover exactly how they might fit into it. 40 pages at the back of the book present 'mission tool kits' for teachers - lesson plan resources that any educator would find easy to adapt and apply in their classroom.

Shelly does not shy away from weighty issues such as motivation, creativity, honesty and truth, but meets them head on, offering teachers a useful practical guide about how to infuse these into every lesson. She is bent on achieving global action around the use of technologies in education. From citizen journalism to crowdfunded innovation projects, from producing videos to creating digital text books, this volume is replete with relevant, contemporary ideas that leverage the power and potential of technology to help children to learn. The end result, as Shelly expresses in her final section, is that children will 'innovate with technology to improve their communities around the world'.

Creative Commons License
Hacking Digital Learning Strategies #Bookreview 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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Future vision

February 13 2018

Augmented reality and smart glasses are the future, so it seems. Wearing your computer on your face as a heads-up device in the form of spectacles sounds like a very good solution for untethered activities of all kinds.

But we should forget Google Glass. It was a first attempt, a tentative stumble into a rich augmented world of information, entertainment and communication. Glass was awkward to wear and not very easy to use. Many of us wanted to have content delivered straight into our vision or superimposed on the real world as we travelled, but not many of us wanted to look like freaks. Even today, wearing new versions of Glass with its obtrusive camera units still make you look like you just walked off a SciFi movie set.

Now, several companies have built on the initial concept of Glass and have developed more stylish, discreet versions of wearable augmented reality. The first, Intel's Vaunt, uses very low level laser emitters to send digital content straight to your retina. It is almost indistinguishable from a conventional pair of spectacles. Take a look at the promotional video:

Another wearable AR device that has a conventional appearance is the Vue, which comes complete with audio connections that work via a bone conduction system. Vue enables all the functions you might expect, including hands free phone calls, augmented reality content, environmental control and activity tracking. It is also adaptable, coming in a variety of frames, with reactive glass and also in the form of conventional sunglasses. Here's the promotional video for Vue:

Here's one more smart glasses device for you to consider: This one looks a little strange when you wear it, but it is a personal technology designed for use in specialised environments. yes, it can be used for entertainment, but the Microsoft Hololens is probably best applied in the workplace. Hololens takes from the best of both worlds - both augmented and virtual reality technologies. In fact, it's called mixed reality, because the user is able to interact with virtual worlds, but without being fully immersed in the virtual world. Below is the promotional video which highlights some specific uses for the device in the work environment:

At the top of this page you'll see a diagram I repurposed from a presentation I gave in 2010. It explains the virtuality continuum, showing where each of the devices above might be placed. As we adopt more wearable technologies, we enter into a world where information becomes more available, and can be superimposed upon the real world around us. We are still discovering ways to engage learners and enhance learning using these emerging technologies. Smart glasses are still in their infancy, but will grow quickly as we find new ways to exploit them in authentic contexts.

Creative Commons License
Future vision 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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