Welcome humans. Here are just a few EdTech projects that I am currently working on or have recently completed.
Cultures of AI Ethics in Education: Architects of Trust
To date, much has been written about generalised ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) and on what a technical architecture for ethical AI would look like. This study, beginning mid-2020, focuses on the little investigated area of the architects of AI ethics within the professional cultures of the field of education. What types of design, implementation and governance issues and solutions do teachers, researchers, policy-makers, the technology industry, professional organisations and leaders in education see as essential to ethical AI? What are the here and now actions that need to be undertaken so that stakeholders in the field of education can influence the ethical road ahead? What would it take to build trust in AI and is building trust in the technology what are the major sticking points? Stay tuned!
New Book from the VR School Study
Released in May 2020, the book represents three years of research across multiple schools investigating the use of high-end VR for STEM and Drama learning. The book has new pedagogical frameworks, a chapter on ethical and practical implications, and in-depth case studies that illustrate how to use the technology for deeper learning in real classrooms. Whether you are an educator in school or tertiary education, a developer or designer, or a policy -maker interested in technology-enhanced learning, this book has something for everyone.
The YAI in Education Project
In 2019, I collaborated with colleagues from the University of Wollongong, NSW Department of Education and Intel to organise ‘YAI? – Inaugural National Roundtable on AI and School Education’ followed by a Data Safari to industry sites. A report was produced from the 2019 National Round Table and the project has continued to develop a program of research and events aimed at engaging teachers and school leaders, students and community, industry stakeholders, and policy-makers in education on debates on ethical and efficacious use of AI in schools. If you are interested in becoming involved please contact me for more details.
360° VR for Primary School Language Learning
This action research seeks to harness the creative potential of 360° VR content creation to engage primary school students (aged 10-12 years) in learning Italian. Funded by the South Australian Department of Education’s Innovative Languages Program, teachers at the Athelstone School are working as co-researchers to develop curriculum and new pedagogical approaches that can facilitate language learning. Their students are building their own virtual words to display content mastery and to share their informative creations about Italian language and culture with peers and community. The project uses the VRTY platform which provides media rich content creation tools so that 360° virtual environments can be explored and joined together to form fun and engaging narratives. The project continues until 2021.
National Research Report: Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies in Schools
This project, commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education, provides an evidence-informed blueprint for the integration of artificial intelligence an immersive technologies (virtual, augmented and mixed reality) in Australian Schools. The report comprised: review the literature on AI and immersive technology for teachers and develop recommendations for practice and future inquiry; a mapping of curriculum-aligned and professional learning resources with a quality checklist tool for teachers; classroom case studies written by teachers; and a national consultation with experts. In addition, the report includes the new Education, Ethics and AI (EEAI) framework developed by Erica Southgate. The research was conducted by the interdisciplinary team: Lead chief investigator (CI) Erica Southgate, CI Karen Blackmore, CI Susan Grimes and CI Stephanie Pieschl.
Infographics on Artificial Intelligence for Students
As part of the national Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies for Schools project we produced a set of free infographics on AI for younger and older students that can be printed out as classroom posters or used as online resources.
Creating 360° Virtual Environments for Deeper Learning: The VRTY Industry Partnership Project
This industry partnership project with the VRTY 360° platform aims to explore how an accessible and a developmentally appropriate form of VR can be used to enhance creative, deeper learning in schools. The project focuses on understanding how teachers can pedagogically adapt the learning affordances of the platform in both primary and secondary schools and across subject areas, the student experience of creating virtual environments to demonstrate mastery, and the curriculum implications of this. Follow the VRTY project journey at www.vrschoolresearch.com.
The VR School Study
What happens when you provide students and teachers in low-income schools with the opportunity to use immersive virtual reality, in this case access to Oculus Rift, for learning? The VR School study uses a mixed method participatory research design to investigate how curriculum and pedagogy can be tailored to use immersive virtual reality for deep learning? It examines the opportunities and challenges of using the latest VR technology in low-income school communities which would otherwise not have access to the technology. It explores the questions – How do students and teachers experience immersive VR in their classrooms and, importantly, given the developmental stages of learners, how can we use this type of technology safely and ethically in schools? The VR School study is producing a robust, evidence-based dialogue on these questions and we openly and ethically share our insights and the resources we produce as part of the project so that the use of immersive VR in classrooms facilitates powerful learning. Visit the VR School website for more – https://vrschoolresearch.com/
VR Learning Affordances for Powerful Pedagogy
I am committed to translational research. This involves taking findings from studies, including my own, and putting them into accessible formats so that teachers and students can be inspired by technology for learning. In this case I produced an infographic classroom poster on the learning affordances of VR with a top tip sheet for teachers. These can be downloaded for free here.
Robo WordQuest: An Open World Computer Game for Literacy
This project is all about developing an inclusive virtual open world game designed to develop the literacy skills of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in tertiary and higher education, particular for those living in rural areas. This project extends on our approach to literacy learning in our previous arcade games Apostrophe Power and Sentence Hero. Robo WordQuest is available for FREE download from the Apple App Store.
Sentence Hero & Apostrophe Power
Apostrophe Power and Sentence Hero are a free educational computer games that aims to help students of all ages improve their use of punctuation. They are designed for engaging personalized mobile learning and integration into formal curriculum. They have been rigorously evaluated for their effectiveness in improving punctuation use. Download Apostrophe Power for FREE from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Download Sentence Hero for FREE from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Shifts in Space and Self: A Digital Storytelling Project
This project is a collaboration between the University of Wollongong, The University of Newcastle, and University of New South Wales (funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education). The project seeks to explore how students from rural or remote areas experience the transition to university, especially when they have to leave their communities to do so. The medium is digital storytelling and the website is here – https://shiftsinspaceandself.wordpress.com/the-journey-begins/
Theorising Serious Computer Games
I am involved in an ongoing project to theorise and empirically investigate the efficacy of serious computer games for learning. Part of this is developing resources for the teaching profession. We have produced a series of papers on this topic that are relevant to school and higher education, including an article for teachers explaining the research on serious games and providing a practical framework for serious game use.
Immersed in the Future Report
As part of my national Equity Fellowship I produced two major reports. One was a primer on emerging technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, for teachers and career counsellors. The other was report on how to increase access to high status university degrees, including engineering and IT. for people facing social and economic disadvantage. You can find the report here – https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Immersed-In-The-Future-A-Roadmap-of-Existing-and-Emerging-Technologies-for-Career-Exploration.pdf
The Uni Tune In App
Uni Tune In is a free app that gives handy video hints on note-taking, understanding assessment, reading research papers, academic writing and much, much more. The videos are integrated into the app so no internet is needed. The app was designed for first-generation university students who were commencing study, but is a handy ‘just-in-time’ resource for all students.
Children’s Digital Footprint Project
This was a great research project that investigated how children (10-12 yrs), their carers and teachers understand digital footprint and management of online identity with some surprising here and here.
Top photos: B. Baltimore Brown, robot attack, https://flic.kr/p/AJSy
Photo Children’s Digital Footprint Project: Brad Flickinger , student_ipad_school – 030 , https://flic.kr/p/b9wdHv