Short article with some advice that seems, on the face of it, obvious. Start with the cheap cardboard VR headsets and maybe have some students do demos for their classes. After experience with this, purchase one or two higher-end headsets and do some exploration projects. Have some students support those teachers who may be interested. Don't buy full-class sets of VR headsets; it's way too early for that. Maybe do some reading (some articles are listed at the end).
"E-textiles, or electronic textiles, refer to 'fabric artifacts that include embedded computers and other electronics'." E-textile programs are now be implemented in some Ontario schools. It's a pretty new part of e-learning, though research dates back to 2012 or so. The authors report (29 page PDF) that e-textiles have been associated with the rise of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) learning in schools. Anyhow, the focus of the current article is on the "production pedagogies" employed in the field, "a focus on the cultivation of participatory and equitable spaces, where students can engage with ideas and issues as joint seekers and co-creators of knowledge and producers." The study is a design-based research project working alongside students in e-textile projects. They conclude that "choice, collaboration, and making for purpose are three vital elements that promote engagement and deep learning." Good paper. Image: Steve Auslander, Exploring e-Textiles in Indiana.
I think this is a good article but I think that readers in the education sector should read it critically. Parts I agree with. For example, 'tech is not neutral'. The tech we choose changes not only what we do but also what we can do. Others need clarification. For example, the statement 'tech is not inevitable' may be true for some specific piece of tech, but about tech generally. Others need a lot of clarification. For example, "most people in tech sincerely want to do good" is true only if you have a very wide definition of good. Compare, for example, what Mark Zuckerberg thinks is 'good' with what you think is good. Also, I want to point out that 'tech' means way more than 'tech companies'. We have people working in schools, people working in government, people working in open source, all of whom are 'in tech' but who are not in tech companies. That's probably the biggest thing tech journalists overlook.
Here's what the article says: "According to Susan Dumais, distinguished scientist and assistant director of Microsoft Research AI, the most important reason for launching free, publicly available AI training courses is to lend a broader push throughout the technology industry to fill a gap in workers with skills in artificial intelligence. 'AI is increasingly important in how our products and services are designed and delivered and that is true for our customers as well. Fundamentally, we are all interested in developing talent that is able to build, understand and design systems that have AI as a central component.'" So long as corporations need specialized training, MOOCs will continue to be a viable educational solution.
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