Colin Simpson’s Ed Tech must-reads of the week

Examination of the SAMR model for effective technology integration through an adaptive leadership approach from i-Managers Journal of Educational Technology (paywall).

The SAMR (Substitute – Augment – Modify – Redefine) model offers a framework for increasingly sophisticated uses of a given technology in learning and teaching. It is underused in education and particularly in areas responsible for planning educational transformation, but Heatherton and Trespalacios (Boise State University) offer some useful suggestions for its application. While the article does focus on the K-12 sector, their suggestions are easily applicable to tertiary education as well. Their discussion of the need for flexibility in a space where change has become a constant is equally valuable.

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About Twitter Spaces from Twitter

Spaces is new, relatively unheralded functionality on Twitter that enables live audio conversations. It seems to be Twitter’s response to the mobile app Clubhouse, extending some functionality natively to desktop and laptop users. (It is possible to listen to Space’s audio there but not speak). I stumbled across a Spaces session hosted by medical researcher @upulie while idly browsing Twitter one evening and was struck by the tool’s potential for innovative use in teaching and educational CoPs.

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Using head mounted display virtual reality simulations in large engineering classes: Operating vs observing from Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

The recent palaver about Facebook’s ambitions in the Mixed/Virtual Reality (XR) “Metaverse” prompted some discussion about one of the biggest practical issues faced by institutions –  access to and management of sufficient hardware. In this handy AJET article from earlier this year, seven scholars from Engineering at UWA explore whether everyone actually needs to have a go to benefit.

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Microsoft Teams enters the metaverse race with 3D avatars and immersive meetings from The Verge.

While we are talking about XR and the metaverse, it’s worth noting that Microsoft announced last week that they plan to bring their own toys (Mesh and HoloLens) into their communication and collaboration platform Teams next year. The most notable functionality in this would seem to be the ability to be represented by an animated avatar in Teams meetings. Given that one of the struggles of Zoom classrooms in the COVID era has been the cameras-on/cameras-off debate, with students feeling over exposed but teachers wanting connection and non-verbal feedback, avatars may offer a middle ground if they work well enough.

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Simulating a university Twitter thread from @BryanAlexander

Bryan Alexander is an “education futurist” and one of the more engaging speakers I have seen in recent years. He recently posted on Twitter that he was planning a seminar for his students which would involve a game simulating a university over the next decade. He called for suggestions of random events for them to grapple with. The responses were wide-ranging and at times hilarious.

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 and is employed by Monash University’s Education Innovation team. He is also one of the leaders of the TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner