If you make a tour at pages about education and education technology you will find out that in 2019 Virtual Reality remains one of its biggest trends. Of course most of the applications currently available are about foreign language learning.
I recently came across a new application that aims to enhance their learning through a virtual discussion process between the student - user and the VR system. This application is ImmerseMe, which as its name suggests expects to immerse the student into a virtual world by simulating everyday conversations in foreign languages. . The question is, can it stand out from the rest of VR applications?
Flipgrid is a video discussion platform which allows the sharing of user-generated videos, among groups of people. It is currently used in over 50,000 classrooms to empower students and ignite discussion.
What is it?
The process is really easy. In Flipgrid, teachers post discussion topics to which students then reply using videos. Learners can pause and flip their camera while recording, add pictures or documents, trim unlimited clips and include a whiteboard, video styles, text, emoji, inking to their stories. Teachers and students can post replies to videos, like them and provide feedback to their peers. Every video along with its replies forms a Grid. Grids are the meeting place for classrooms, schools, departments or any learning community to discuss specific topics. Those Grids can be easily embedded in a variety of other platforms such as Wordpress, Moodle etc.
Learning is not limited to a single, specific phase in life, that of the years at school, but also happens in different contexts, over the course of a lifetime. With its strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training, ET2020, the European Union supports the concept of lifelong learning by coordinating cooperation between Member States on training and formal, non-formal, and informal education.
Therefore an extensive variety of educational platforms have been developed that offer courses which spread from business and computer science to public health and marketing. One of the most notable is Coursera.
What is Coursera?
Founded in 2012 by professors of Stanford University, Coursera has gradually accumulated a catalog of hundreds of courses from elite institutions such as Stanford, Duke, Michigan and HEC Paris. Coursera possesses the largest and most eclectic catalog for online higher education.
Class Dojo is a student behavioral management system that is used by 35 million users worldwide according to the app’s developers.
How does it work?
Initially, after signing up at the Class Dojo (https://www.classdojo.com), the teacher creates his / her digital class by simply entering the names of the. Students then download the application to their mobile devices and register in their digital class easily via a QR code that has been given to them.
Students earn or lose "Dojo points" depending on how they behave in the classroom. These points vary according to the type of the behaviour and are predefined by the teacher. For example students can earn points if they are being kind to their classmates and loose points if they miss the homework's deadline. Particularly useful is the recording of the pupils' overall behavioral progress throughout the year, as it is not limited to a single lesson.
is a relatively new application that stands out from the plethora of Virtual Reality tools for learning foreign languages that are available nowadays. The main reason for that is the excellent quality of the graphic depictions in the application. High-quality 360 ° panoramas are able to offer the user the viewing of environments in a natural way therefore enhancing the immersion of use, while limiting possible feelings of nausea due to the use of the medium.
The user through real life scenarios is required to complete activities by locating objects. For example, starting from his bed, the user is asked to locate his slippers in order to get up and then he has to find the door to get to the bathroom. The instructions for the execution of these actions are in English through incitements and natural expressions. This visualization of the necessary information will strengthen the imprinting on the user's subconscious, as it helps him to connect the new knowledge with real objects, in a really efficient way.
So you have been using Kahoot! to evaluate students for a while now, but have you ever considered to implement Kahoot! when presenting a new lesson or concept?
While many people create and play kahoots for review, formative assessment or to re-energise the class, others are using Kahoot! differently in a new approach called Blind Kahoot. Blind kahoots are designed to give every learner a chance to feel success and motivation throughout the game, and with long lasting effects. In a single game, you’ll be sparking curiosity about the new topic, laying the foundations for understanding increasingly complex concepts, and giving learners the opportunity to immediately and successfully apply their knowledge.
If you tell me I'll listen if you show me I'll see but if you let me experience I will learn.
Mondly VR is a new application by Mondly, which uses virtual reality to help students expand their language learning skills. What makes Mondly VR stand out is its language recognition ability. Users can take part in conversations with virtual characters in a variety of different real life scenarios. Those scenarios include talking to a taxi driver, a hotel hostess, a waitress in a restaurant a stranger at the train station and a few other interesting choices.
Undoubtedly, virtual reality has been one of the most discussed topics between educators since the past year. Multiple applications try to exploit its characteristics in order to enhance students’ learning process.
Virtual Speech (Language VR) is an application which through scenarios and a wide range of language situations, aims to use the virtual reality to teach foreign languages. Besides English the user can choose between the following languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Chinese. Russian, Japanese, Italian and Korean are soon to be released.
Originally the app was developed to help people learn English through simulations of the English culture and landmarks. The idea behind this was to create a more exciting way of learning in a virtual environment. Research shows that visual representations help in maintaining information and learning new vocabulary (Jones, 2010). In addition the use of images helps in making abstract ideas more specific to students.
Google Expeditions is a virtual-reality teaching tool. It gives students an opportunity to explore a variety of amazing environments and areas that they may never have the chance to visit in person. You can swim with sharks, visit outer space, walk through a museum, and more without leaving the classroom.
There are over 500 Expeditions trips available at the moment. Everything from the Great Wall of China, to the Buckingham Palace, and even the outer space are available as destinations for your students. Each Expedition is a 360-degree experience that allows students travel to an amazing place while being guided by a teacher.
To join an expedition, each participant needs a Wi-Fi-connected tablet or smartphone. Teachers choose the content that they want to show to the devices connected on the same Wi-Fi network and can pause, play, or change what students see.
Virtual reality provides an interactive, immersive experience. Instead of sitting passively, students stand up. Instead of looking at one aspect of an image, they literally turn their heads and move their eyes to view angles of a scenery. Instead of remaining aware of their classroom environment, they are immersed inside of a virtual reality setting.
Νearpod is an extremely powerful presentation tool. It allows teachers to create digital lesson plans, share it with students during class, and track individual progress. Lessons are comprised of teacher-created slides that can include text, video, images, websites, questions, quizzes, polls, and assignments. Teachers can use Nearpod effectively in the classroom to support student learning in a variety of ways. Give students opportunities for interaction and immediate feedback by having them draw on a map, respond to a poll question, post to a collaboration board, or take a multiple-choice quiz. Besides, teachers can incoroprate virtual reality trips and 360° views into their slides using the build-in capabilities the Nearpod offers. By watching videos and reviewing notes students can review the key concepts of the lesson. In addition they are able to follow the lesson on their own devices at their own pace or teachers can lead a synchronized session where students can follow the lesson in real-time. This way the learners become active participants in their education while teachers get valuable feedback on student learning.
According to Gee's evaluation criteria (2003), educational video games must be pedagogically driven and appropriate to promote learning. These criteria refer to the motivation given to the student when using the application or game, the potential problems he / she will be faced with and his / her level of interactivity.
Johnny Grammar's Word Challenge is an application suitable for Android and IOS devices. It is really beneficial for students who learn English and want to improve their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. The aim of the game is to answer as many correct questions as possible within a minute, with the user receiving badges depending on his performance (Grammar Guru, Word Wizard and Supreme Speller badges). By winning badges the player is placed on a leaderboard competing with other players worldwide.
Socrative is a tool primarily designed to evaluate the learner. The application (response system) allows the educator to create several kinds of quizzes: Multiple Choice, Right or Wrong, Brief Response, etc. Those quizzes are accessible by the tutor who has access to view the responses of each student (Kokina, & Juras, 2017). There is also another option called “Exit Ticket”, which provides a direct insight into the students' understanding of the main points of the course. (Tretinjak, Bednjanec & Tretinjak, 2015).
QuizUp is an application designed for IOS and Android devices where two compete in a quiz. This means that there is a need for an internet connection throughout the game. Initially, the user creates his or her own account, uploads an image that differentiates him from the other contestants and selects the categories of interest, thus giving the necessary meaning to the game.
There are a number of categories from which the user can choose, some of them are of educational content and others are simply less connected to the learning process. These categories include topics from history, technology, literature, science, geography, mathematics, business, film, and even video games. The categories are given beautifully and clearly for the user, while the database of available quizzes is huge, with new quizzes being added daily. It is worth mentioning the ability of the user to compete in two types of play modes. The Single Player Game is a mode where the player is playing alone, essentially struggling without an opponent. His goal is to advance as far as he can in the selected category. The second mode is called Random Opponent Game, where the player faces other players from around the world. Both players have to deal with 7 questions, gathering points according to the answer and the speed that the correct answer was given. Winner is the one who has collected the most points during the session.