VIRTUAL WORLD: New ways to augment Noosa classroom learning experiences.
VIRTUAL WORLD: New ways to augment Noosa classroom learning experiences. Contibuted

A view to virtual learning in Noosa classrooms

A NOOSA immersive workshop intends to demonstrate local teachers don't need huge budgets to enhance students' learning through virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.

The latest in the series of popular Weaving Technology into the Fabric of the Classroom presentation will focus on 360-degree video and budget VR options.

That's according to a CQUniversity academic Associate Professor Michael Cowling, who will lead a team of specialist academics and expert teachers on Tuesday, May 7. Support academics include Jim Picton, Dr Steven Boyd, Dr Robert Vanderburg and Darryl Clare OAM.

"Mixed reality technologies, including virtual reality and augmented reality, can enable teachers to create a new blended reality that gives students a seamless digital experience,” Dr Cowling said.

"Our hands-on workshop will focus on demonstrations of how to ensure effective learning, or pedagogy before technology, rather than the other way around.”

Originally funded by a grant from Google a few years ago, the Weaving Technology into the Fabric of the Classroom' series has already reached over 150 teachers at six locations across Queensland.

Dr Cowling says it's important to prevent students feeling stuck on the outside of mixed reality simulations.

"The issue with most mixed reality simulations is that the user is separated from the spectators, wearing the mixed reality hardware and waving their arms about whilst everyone else in the room looks on with confused looks on their faces,” Dr Cowling says.

Despite his technology background and love of computers, Dr Cowling says that his experience adding technology to the classroom in the last few years has shown him that technology is not the be all and end all when it comes to learning.

"My students love using technology, but even in my classes I've realised that technology for technology's sake is a waste of time,” Dr Cowling said.

"The technology we introduce must serve a purpose and that purpose must be to enhance learning through improving pedagogy.”

Workshop registrations are open until May 1 via http://weaving.tech.


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