Blippar for education

blipparThanks to a tweet from @ThatEdTechGuy from https://thatedtechguy.wordpress.com/ I was introduced to blippar for education (@blippar) this morning. As well as operating in business, the education section of this company  seeks to transform education settings such as schools into digitally interactive learning environments using Augmented Reality. I am still new to exploring augmented reality in the classroom but I know it has great potential for generating student interest and engagement which can only be a great thing! The idea is that it can be used to bring textbooks and other learning materials to life using smartphones or tablets.

For me one of the most exciting things about this mornings discovery of blippar was not just the volcano that came to life on my actual (not virtual) desktop (see photos!) but the fact that blippar are taking augmented reality one step further to ensure it is not just a novelty but an integral part of the learning process. They have done this by introducing a series of education posts (described here in their blog post). These make the AR integral to the classroom experience by enabling the teacher to lead the lesson by using the blipp (AR component) in explaining to the students what happens.

Volc003The volcano blipp (See photos below) involves students connecting to the teachers device by a special code – the teacher then gradually initiates the different parts of the blip, from the eruption through to opening the volcano up as a cross section. Taking this a step further, students then have a labelling activity which they undertake and the results go to the teachers device as a way of monitoring progress. Unfortunately we are not a 1:1 tablet school at the moment but I am really interested to try this with students that do have their own devices and I’m particularly keen to see where blippar take this next. For me this is the first step to really making the most of AR and one which I can see being of great use in the classroom. To have these embedded in textbooks and revision guides would also take experiential learning to the next level.

Volc004  Volc002

New Research from O2 Learn – “Too little too late – school pupils fall short of teachers’ revision advice”

O2 Learn (www.o2learn.co.uk) is an innovative education initiative designed to celebrate the UK’s finest teaching and create a lasting learning resource that can help young people achieve their ambitions. Teachers are encouraged to upload and share videos of their best lessons on the e-learning hub. The ambition is to build Britain’s biggest classroom online, giving young people everywhere, from all backgrounds, access to inspiring teaching.

O2 Learn has conducted three surveys with parents, pupils and teachers about revision patterns and also some desk research into revision best practice, memory and learning styles. Some of the main findings include:

– Students generally are falling short of teachers recommended time spent on revision.  The teachers surveyed, suggested starting on average six weeks in advance and studying on average 8 hours per week (7.7) totalling 46.2 hours. This is 7 hours more than is currently being achieved by students.

– Parents play a far greater role in their children’s revision today with well over three quarters of parents (86%) actively involved. This compares with more than half of adults (58%) who had no involvement at all from their parents in their revision.

– Teachers receive very little formal guidance in relation to how to support students with revision.

Young people are developing different learning styles from previous generations due to a greater use of technology. Despite this, just one in three (32%) young people use online study guides and only one in ten (12%) is turning to online video to support their study.

– Teachers also identified a number of benefits that resources such as online videos and video clips deliver including:

  • The ability to watch them more than once (82%)
  • Seeing things being explained (68%)
  • Being able to pause, rewind, fast forward (68%)
  • The fact that they’re free (59%)

– Video resources, such as O2 Learn, that combine verbal and visual information could be ideally suited to young peoples’ learning styles. Research suggests that multisensory learning brings particular advantages for memory.

Experts believe that the parental support that students receive now needs to be matched by adopting a more varied mix of revision methods to be truly effective.

Sir Mark Grundy, the Executive Principal of Shireland Collegiate Academy, said: “There has been research for a number of years highlighting how people learn in a multi-faceted way.  The multiple intelligences models have existed for some time, but the resources to support this blend of styles have not been available – until now!
“In the last few years Learning Platforms have evolved and are now capable of acting as the glue to stick resources together and as importantly to present them at precisely the right time.  Most students need a framework to support their revision and resources which present the same ideas in many different ways.
“By putting the O2Learn resources in your learning platform and delivering them to students this has to help our students to achieve at higher levels.”

Gav Thompson, creator of O2 Learn, said: “As we reach the heart of the revision period, at O2 Learn we want to make sure that young people and their parents are taking advantage of the unprecedented range of online tools and resources now available to make learning easier and more efficient.
“Teachers and experts are agreed on the value of online learning to complement more traditional methods.  Whether its pupils wanting to tackle a tough question in an accessible way at all hours, or a parent looking for an easy way to help their child revise interactively, the value of digital learning is clear.  Our research today shows that we are in danger of missing an opportunity to bring revision to the next level and I want O2 Learn to play as big a part as possible in helping that happen.”

Remember O2 learn holds a competition for teaching awarding £1000 each week for the best lesson uploaded. See this previous post for more details.