The Path to Tomorrow: A Critical Academic Reflection Series

Monday, May 14

Our first sort-of synchronous presentation is over. It took two days to decompress even to write this. The whole experience was a blur. I had to re-review the entire Collaborate video. I believe it went very well. Even upon my review, I could see some holes in my performance and research. However, two and a half minutes is a very, very short period. I tried to tighten it up as much as possible. Now I understand the stress and pressure my father had to go through with all those conferences, symposiums and presentations. I should have gotten more sleep the two nights before. Still, I would not have changed a thing. It was a great experience, and we had a chance to lay the groundwork for the other teams. Did we set the bar higher or lower? We will see tonight with MoocTastic’s presentation. I wish the meetings and presentations were earlier in the evening.

Thursday, May 17

Since the start of LRNT – Inquiry into Contemporary Issues in Learning Technologies I have been somewhat apprehensive in looking forward to completing, or starting, my final research paper for the MALAT program. Upon reflection, I find this feeling stems from my fear of writing many years ago. Since then I have overcome this dread of putting thought to paper. This apprehension seems to creep its way into my studies ever so often. It also hastens away as soon as I start to write. In fact, once the research and writing commence, I tend to get somewhat excited about the subject material and the real gems of thoughts I gain from other’s research. I also find that I tend to drift into a zone of absent-mindedness as I am always thinking of my research and the flow of the paper. My wife has been finding bottles of olives and pickles in the oven and coffee beans in the fridge. I am not too worried as this only happens when I write. Fernaeus and Östberg (2009) reveal that those who are absentminded traditionally place greater emphasis on a focused set of thoughts and subconsciously reduce importance on mundane day-to-day activities, to free up more cognitive process power. Let’s see what lies ahead.

References

Fernaeus, S.-E. & Östberg, P., 2009. The AMQ: A four-factor inventory of absentmindedness and memory. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 50(50), pp.193–202. Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6881/06507a30f69bd30ef2db186491cc4895c4e6.pdf [Accessed May 24, 2018].

Tuesday, May 23

Now that I have been thinking and jotting down notes, it was interesting to find two aha moments when completing my research for our presentation. I have been using video-based learning for many years. For me, it is second nature. The only issue I have with video-based learning (VBL) through Lynda.com is the length of each video chapter. I find that for most topics I research are technical, and the range of the video segments run long. The period of the videos is due to the long explanations of every minute detail by the author or presenter.

I remember a series of videos I created back in 2004 – 2006 for a Journalism course I had taught. I specifically made the videos under a minute each, and aptly titled the series One Minute Quick Takes. The videos were posted on a somewhat barbaric streaming server and linked to the college’s LMS. The video series was well received and attracted a steady stream of student traffic. However, due to the time constraints, I moved onto other programs.

Back to my aha moments. I will be looking at the potential of virtual reality (VR) as a possible replacement for VBL. The two items that made me think more about VR as the next VBL method was that of ethics and the technology itself. Evans (2018) revealed that there might lie ethical issues when immersing a learner in VR environments. How would a learner with a background from a war-torn country feel about studying World War II within a VR system? Again, as I stated, each person learns differently, and each person experiences differently. Sánchez, Lumbreras, & Silva (2001) explain that there may be too much focus on the technology and development of the environment maybe and not enough on the experience or the content.

Anyways, tomorrow is my setup day for writing. It usually takes some time to ease into the process. Tonight is BBQ hamburgers.

References

Adam Evans (2018) Pros and Cons of Virtual Reality in the Classroom | ccc-pro. Available at: https://www.ccc-pro.com/single-post/2018/04/14/Pros-and-Cons-of-Virtual-Reality-in-the-Classroom (Accessed: 26 April 2018).

Sánchez, J., Lumbreras, M. and Silva, J. P. (2001) ‘Virtual Reality and Learning : Trends and Issues’, pp. 1–4. Available at: http://personales.dcc.uchile.cl/~jsanchez/Pages/papers/virtualreality.pdf (Accessed: 26 April 2018).

 

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