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What is Augmented Reality and Does it have a Bright Future in Training?

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What is Augmented Reality and Does it have a Bright Future in Training?

Webopedia defines Augmented Reality (AR) as: “ Augmented Reality is a type of virtual reality that aims to duplicate the world’s environment in a computer. An augmented reality system generates a composite view for the user that is the combination of the real scene viewed by the user and a virtual scene generated by the computer that augments the scene with additional information. The virtual scene generated by the computer is designed to enhance the user’s sensory perception of the virtual world they are seeing or interacting with.”

Have you ever watched the film Avatar? If you have try to remember back to the scene where they are looking at the map of the Na’vi’s tree, that is augmented reality!

Or how about those QR (Quick Response) codes you are seeing everywhere nowadays?  QR codes are becoming more popular for storing information like URLs and ads for companies.  A new trend that is occurring is QR codes that tap into augmented reality. Imagine scanning a QR code with your mobile device and being able to interact with an application using augmented reality.  In the training world, perhaps QR codes could be used to open up tutorials on site that are AR based.  In the video below you can see how QR codes might open up an AR application:

Is augmented reality just a technology fad or will it become a permanent part of everyday life, including training?  The browser Layar for iPhone and Android allows users to view their world augmented with guides popping up on screen for restaurants and even historical facts about places.

In the future using something like interactive holograms, a multimedia team could create training replicating the environment and situation of the learner with little to no repercussions.   Click the link below to check out the video created by Ivan Tihienko showing interactive holographic projections.

What’s your take on AR and its future in training?

– Melissa.

Once Upon a Storyboard…

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I have not really covered any instructional design topics as of yet.  I thought I would discuss a crucial element of the instructional design process: the storyboard. Everyone has their own style and software that they prefer, (or must use) to create a storyboard.  In the past I have used PowerPoint and Word to create storyboards.  To the bottom right is an example of my first storyboard which was done in PowerPoint for an instructional design class.

When I first began to create storyboards, I did not really appreciate the impact it could have on training.  As I learned more about developing storyboards, I found that it can be one of the most rewarding parts of instructional design.  Creating storyboards can actually be fun if you have some creative freedom.   I am going to discuss some of the essentials needed for storyboarding before discussing some creative storyboarding ideas.  If I miss some essentials for developing a storyboard be sure to comment, that way I can add more!

Storyboards provide: guidance such as page #’s, title, &  module #’s, audio script, text, list multimedia, show interactivity, list objectives, show assessment items and answers, a section for notes, provide navigation.

Storyboards can be a good place to express creativity( if you have the option for creative reign).  Designers can create a story to follow,  a theme around the learning, or use a learning agent who guides you through the eLearning. 

Storyboards bring ideas to life (before they may become permanent).  I decided I would create a visual on some key reasons to have a storyboard, especially since storyboarding can be very visual!

Storyboards map out an entire project from screen to screen and can be outlets for creativity.

– Melissa.

Thinking Worlds via Jing

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Today Thinking Worlds, Jing, and I had a love/hate relationship.  Sadly, I just got to demonstrate five minutes of Thinking Worlds because the free trial of Jing only allows for five minutes of screen casting. Despite the Jing set-back, Thinking Worlds was relatively easy to use. Keep in mind this was my first time in Thinking Worlds. The great thing about it is that it can be customized using 3DS Max, so you are not limited to the environments, characters, and objects that are defaulted to you.  The biggest issue I had by far was that I couldn’t figure out the combination of nodes to make things work exactly as I wanted (this is probably due to only attending a one hour webinar, also I have never seen any tutorials).  I wanted to show a brief demo, showing how easy Thinking Worlds is to use (more so with practice).

Therefore onto the link of my very unfinished 5 minute presentation…Voilà!

Thinking Worlds via Jing


Check Back Soon !

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I’m going to be demoing Thinking Worlds from a beginners perspective!

A Review of Thinking Worlds Webinar “Building 3D Sims and Games without Code”

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This past Friday I attended the Thinking Worlds Webinar, “Building 3D Sims and Games without Code.”  The webinar was hosted through GoToWebinar.  The attendees were able to see Thinking Worlds in real action as Chris Brannigan, CEO of Caspian Learning shared his desktop. The best part about Thinking World’s is that basically anyone could create a simple game after attending a one hour session like the one on Friday or watching a few tutorials.  I found that there were far more positives than negatives for the software Thinking Worlds, especially considering that no programmer or professional is needed in order to create a 3D simulation or game.

First, I will start out with the bitter sweet.  I was glad that audio could be included in Thinking Worlds but was sad to find out that in certain cases it would not work out as I hoped. Such as there was no audio included in the quizzes; I would’ve liked options read the quiz questions and answers.   Also I found the issue with locating errors to probably be a bit overwhelming for a novice developer in Thinking Worlds, if there is a lot going on with different nodes.   Other than that I believe that any other confusion would come from accidentally messing up branching interactions.

I have viewed Thinking Worlds two times before testing.  After seeing the branching nodes for the first time, I was a bit hesitant to even work in Thinking Worlds.  After the webinar with Brannigan my fears were eased because he made it look super easy.   I really really love the fact that 3DS Max can be imported into Thinking Worlds because of course that means customization!  There are many sites where 3DS Max objects can environments can be bought and also designers/developers out there willing to create them. My other question that was answered was how to bring posters into Thinking Worlds.  It’s easy to create flat one sided objects; they only have to be imported in (in image format not developed in 3DS Max). There were many other aspects of Thinking Worlds I liked including the interactivity and how games can be designed to reward learners; such as: the video below that Caspian Learning developed.

Learndirect Immersive Simulation from Caspian Learning on Vimeo.

Of course I am not saying that it would be a piece of cake to just dive into Thinking Worlds without knowledge but I believe it is much easier and could be cost effective. On that note,  I will most definitely be testing out Thinking Worlds in the future as part of my software trial reviews!

– Melissa.

Machinima Madness!

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I think machinima’s are a great way to tell a story or to teach a short lesson. The first time I heard the term machinima was when I used to play World of Warcraft(WoW). If you don’t know what a machinima is well… basically a machinima is telling a story using video games or virtual worlds (recorded and usually edited).  An example of a video game machinima would be using WoW to create a movie trailer, such as the example of 300 below.

The machinima below was made in Second Life with the screen recording software Fraps.  The machinima was edited using iMovie.  It was the first machinima experience I have had, it was worked on as a project for Dr. Kapp’s, Virtual Worlds class.

The Beginning

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A little bit about myself.  I am 24 years old currently living in Wilmington, DE.  I will be a graduate in August 2011 of the MSIT (Instructional Technology) program at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.  I became interested in instructional technology after becoming one of the first members of our university’s student blog, Our adviser for BUNow told me about the instructional technology program and I was hooked from the beginning.

Why instructional technology?  I have always wanted to be a teacher but I also love learning and technology.  Instructional design combines many of my passions into one job. I love technology, software, learning theories, instructional design processes, and creating learning! Now onto the reason for starting a blog:

I have been toiling with the idea of starting an instructional technology blog.  I am really excited to share my ideas and get some new ideas from fellow technology enthusiasts and instructional designers. I also added samples of work that I have done solo or with group members.

My first objective in blogging is to test out trial versions of software.  Comment to suggest any software that you’d like to see me test out.  eLearning software is a must!

Until next time,