Monday, June 16, 2014

TED Talk Challenge - Bringing Magic into the Classroom

I watched a TED Talk by Tim Rolynds. So many of our beliefs about instructional technology in GCISD are reinforced in this talk! It's not about the technology, but about creating engaging learning experiences for our students. The talk is called "Bringing Magic into the Classroom" and I could hear the wonderment in his voice and imagined being a student in his class. He is such an engaging speaker!

He uses examples of 360 degree panoramic pictures and asks us to imagine ourselves in the location of the picture. His example just happened to be an ice climber hanging off the side of a cliff. This idea made me think that virtual reality doesn't have to be in the context of a video game where the player must move around in a fast paced environment and interact with the virtual world. Rolynds slows down and focuses on pictures and quiet environments in which we can listen to the sounds. He talks about using games in education, but instead of running through them, standing still in order to think and write about the game environment.

I did pick up a couple of new technology resources:

Nice Translator - translates a word or phrase into multiple languages simultaneously.

Nature Sound Map - explore sounds from around the world, bookmarked on a map.

Speaking of virtual reality, I saw the Google Maps car driving around downtown Fort Worth this week and resisted the urge to follow it. Did you know you can track where they're currently driving?