Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daqri - Build Your Own Augmented Reality

Daqri is a new service for creating augmented reality layers for your mobile devices. Daqri will enable users to create augmented reality products without writing any code. The service is so new that it isn't open to the public yet, but it is accepting sign-ups for their private beta. Learn more about Daqri in the video below.

Not sure what augmented reality is? Watch the video below from Common Craft.

Applications for Education
One of the potential uses I see for build your own augmented reality services is having students create layers of information about important buildings and landmarks in their towns. Students could use a service like Daqri to create walking tours of their towns that people can follow by using their mobile devices.

Wikispaces Now Offers Free Wikis to Higher Ed

To date, Wikispaces has given away more than 980,000 free advertising-free wikis to K-12 classrooms. Wikispaces has the stated goal of giving away two million advertising-free wikis to educators. To that end, Wikispaces is now giving away advertising-free wikis to higher education users. These wikis never expire and are full of the same features you would find if you were purchasing one of Wikispaces's premium $50/year wikis for a business. The free wikis for educators can be made private or public.

If you would like to learn how to create a free wiki on Wikispaces, please see my Wikispaces tutorial.

Teachers Interviewing Teachers - Reflective Practice

Image Credit: Rusty Sheriff
In the last week I've been interviewed for two different blogs, Hack Education and Against the Wind. Last month I did two live web interviews, Higher Ed Live and Classroom 2.0 Live. One of the reasons that I like to do both text and live interviews is that it gives me the opportunity to reflect on my practices both as a blogger and as a teacher. I was thinking about this this morning when it hit me, "more teachers should interview each other."

Applications for Education
Teachers interviewing teachers would provide a forum that stimulates reflection on our classroom practices. This could be done as an exercise in a staff meeting or department meeting. Develop a set a interview questions, but feel free to go off-script as necessary, and have teachers actually conduct interviews with each other. The interview doesn't necessarily have to appear on the web to be a meaningful exercise. In fact, in some cases it might be best to not have it appear on the web because some teachers may be reluctant to share their true thoughts on the web.

Snag Learning Film - Going Hollywood: The War Years

This week's Snag Learning film of the week is Going Hollywood: The War Years. Using clips of films made in Hollywood studios during World War II, Going Hollywood: The War Years explains the role of movies in shaping the American public's knowledge and opinions about WWII. You'll see clips endorsing the purchase of war bonds, endorsements for enlisting in the army, and clips encouraging viewers to support "our boys." Some of the actors and actresses appearing in these clips include Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire.
Watch more free documentaries
Applications for Education
For teachers of US History, this film could be a good resource for showing students the role of movies in shaping citizens' actions and attitudes during WWII. You can find discussion/ viewing questions for the film here.