4D Learning - the future is now
Can You Dream of a World That You Experience in 4D? iPad Educators' Sabba Quidwai and Dr Rebecca Osborne took a trip to the Daqri Expo to see it in reality.
"To dream a dream as big, as big could ever dream to be. Then dream a dream ten times as big, as that one dream you see.” - Dallas Clayton
On Friday February 21st, 2014 we (Ms.Q and Dr.O) had the pleasure of attending the Daqri 4D Expo where we experienced the world of Daqri, a team of individuals who dreamed to dream as big could ever dream to be. They took us into a dream where we imagined the world in 4D.
As educators naturally we imagined the world of learning in 4D and found ourselves asking over and over, "Are we preparing students for this imaginary world that is becoming a reality?" Are we providing learning experiences where students are able to not just learn and evaluate information but interact with it in ways like never before? Are we creating learning environments where learners are able to take the knowledge they have and collaborate with others to create new ideas and possibilities? Are we providing opportunities for students to dream and environments where they can work to make their dreams come true?
The Daqri 4D Expo was all about how we can make the above a reality not just in our classrooms but also in our day to day interactions with the world. Augmented reality (AR) is a medium in which digital information is overlaid on the physical world that is in both spatial and temporal registration with the physical world and that is interactive in real time. The iPad Educators and Prep TEC have been dabbling in the idea of AR in the classroom for quite some time now. With the emergence of apps released by Daqri such as Anatomy 4D and Elements 4D what so many had imagined is coming true.
The opening keynote speaker, DAQRI Vice President of Research and Development Chris Broaddus, started the day with an explanation of how AR can be used to explore problems and troubleshoot pitfalls before we start building or repairing. AR allows us to use metrology (measurement) data to create full-scale models in 4D of items such as a plane fuselage to explore the effects of welding points, seat placement, and even color design before these are added to the final product. We started to imagine the possibilities of this technology in education. Can our students now build 4D models of engineering projects, lab experiments, and art installations to examine possible problems before they put finishing touches on their work?
Dr. Alan Craig led the first session focusing on education where he explored the possibilities of what can occur when the edges of the digital world and physical world collide. What does this look like? Well he says, “Students begin not just looking at images of molecules but interacting with them. They don’t just plant seeds and wait to see what happens, their books come to life and they can watch how that plant will grow.”
Dr. Craig left teachers in awe of what can be achieved through the use of AR in the classroom. Above all though he reminded us that like with all technologies students must not simply be consumers but they must be producers and evaluators as well. He left us with the following thought, “Imagine a world where not just the device in your hand but anything you wear can let you interact with your world.”
It was at this moment I remembered a question posed by Greg Kulowiec at the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit in San Diego a few weeks ago, “Will the iPad be the primary device that students are using 5 or 10 years from now?” As we moved throughout the day imagining the world in 4D with Daqri, for the first time we were able to see how the iPad really will be the weakest device that this generation is going to use. After all, with wearables coming into fashion who wants to hold a device to experience the world around them?
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, after 20 years of legislative policy making in the California State Senate, Dean Florez invited us to re-imagine the classroom. His questions throughout the lecture were incredibly thought provoking. He reminded us that there is a difference between students not liking school and not liking learning. The latter is not true; the first, well that depends on the experience we are providing them while learning.
The student of today is a digital native, Florez said, who needs to be knowledge-able vs. the digital immigrant who is knowledgeable. Students of today must be able to find, sort, analyze, and create new information and knowledge. The technology that can be brought into the classrooms of today can allow for students to connect, organize, share, collaborate and publish their works. “How many students do not like school? How many students do not like learning?”As educators are we harnessing the full potential of the tools available to us to allow students to do the above?”
One of the most important points brought up by Florez was the idea that we need to move away from an approach to education where we standardize what gets taught and how kids get assessed, to an equity reform approach, where we standardize how schools get funded and how teachers get trained. His organization, 20 Million Minds, seeks to bring digital learning to higher education as they believe, “the status quo is ridden with unnecessary barriers for struggling students. Our priority is to identify and scale innovative solutions that promote, support, and build-upon best practices to improve student opportunities and outcomes.”
How do they remove these barriers? They do this through a variety of strategies the most significant one perhaps being their development of open-source textbooks, relieving the financial pressure on students and allowing faculty to customize their books.
And finally Florez said, “it’s time to move towards competency based learning, challenging our cherished beliefs in education such as hour-long classes, seat-time requirements, lecture based teaching and on campus courses.” This involves the transition away from mandated seat time towards a learning environment that provides flexibility and that allows students to progress as they demonstrate competency in academic content, regardless of time, place or pace of learning. These experiences create personalized learning opportunities. This type of learning leads to better student engagement because the content is relevant to each student and tailored to his or her unique needs. It also leads to better student outcomes because the pace of learning is customized to each student.
Students of today, Florez says, want the following:
- Interactive technology
- Teacher Mentors
- Innovation in Teaching and Learning
- Real World Application
Are we as educators providing these opportunities? Are we giving the students the learning experiences they are asking for?
Everyone wants their dreams to turn into reality and if you are wondering how you can bring this to your students then you are going be excited to learn that Daqri are launching 4D Studio. In their hands on session we got a firsthand look at to the possibilities that this web based tool has to offer. You can use the Daqri app to experience AR using your iOS or Android device. The intuitive interface and advanced features will allow you to get up and running with AR. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Dallas Clayton, author and illustrator of children’s storybooks, closed the day explaining how often times we build walls that prevent us from having these childlike experiences of adventure, exploration, curiosity and dreaming. Embrace these experiences and break down the walls and take a moment to dream and imagine your world in 4D. What does it look like? What does learning look like? If you could dream a dream so big, as big could ever dream to be, what would your dream be?