This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the 2012 Internet and Communication Technology Education in Victoria annual conference at Melbourne Grammar School. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet many members of my online personal learning network from Twitter, together with like-minded educators from around Victoria (and beyond).
Although some of my colleagues thought he was somewhat underwhelming, the keynote speaker was Alan November. He stressed the importance of peer teaching – a strategy I have often used in science teaching, especially the “kids teaching kids” program used at environmental conferences and the “60 second science video” competition. Alan gave an example of a student produced screen-cast showing how to create a prime factor tree – possibly using an app similar to “Show Me Interactive Whiteboard” on the iPad.
My first session was “IPads, QR codes and Augmented Reality” by Nathan Jones (@elearnjones) which was an amazing start. Nathan demonstrated the use of “String”, “Dinosaurs – Live”, “Butterflies” and “Heart Cam”, each of which bring a 3D object onto the screen when focussed on a 2D “trigger”. So, for example, students can have dragons climb out of the table, spiderman battling a crook in front of them or a dinosaur charge through the window. “Aurasma” is another app that you can use to create your own augmented reality triggers. So, for example, you might draw a picture and then add a video of how you mixed the colours or where you got your inspiration. Nathan used this app with his students for book trailers – so each student recorded a video of their book review and used the cover of the book, or a similar image, as the trigger.
Stephen Heppell spoke briefly about education environments, but I found his most interesting point was a graph of PISA scores against interest in science for countries around the world. Finland, usually recognized as having an outstanding education system, has very high test results in science, but a very low interest in the subject. Likewise, Australia has medium to high test results, but low interest in the subject – disappointing!
Stephen Heppell also spoke at the K12 Conference this week and the tweets were running thick and fast! I created this Storify to capture some of his wisdom.