In June of 2017, I was invited to speak at the UAReloaded conference in St.Loen-Rot Germany. The conference theme was user assistance (UA) and invited experts from a range of fields to explore and disruptively change the future of UA. The conference had a refreshing approach combining talks, forums, exhibits and UA Camp, an open-ended activity during which participants could engage and collaborate with other experts.
On the first day of the event, I was fortunate enough to deliver a workshop looking at the application of visual learning resources that convey threshold concepts using bite-sized video and Augmented Reality (AR). Some of the examples in education included using an Airway Managment training dummy in combination with AR to enhance the learning experience for Paramedic Students.
During the second day, I gave a talk entitled The Learning Evolution that looked at how education can leverage the power of technology (in this case AR and Mixed Reality (MR), to the benefit of the student learning experience.
A great example of how AR can be used in education is the work developed by Computer-Human Interaction in Learning and Instruction (CHILI). They have used AR to manage classroom groups and activities. You can see this in action by watching the video.
I also covered the current availability of applications that allow non-technical practitioners to engage and use AR in education. Many of the conference attendees were unaware of the potential of AR, and its application to education. You can see just some of the applications by watching the video below.
During the event I spoke with many participants who were world leaders in their specific fields, working at large multinational companies such as Google and SAP, to individuals who had become experts in their particular area.
What struck me the most was how much companies big or small can learn from each other. An example of this was the excellent talk given by Alison Norrington from Story Central. Alison spoke about how stories are timeless and global vehicles that communicate, explore, persuade and inspire. The advantages offered by Alison during her talk could be applied to companies large or small.
At the end of the event, I spoke with several people who had been inspired by some of the topics covered during the event, including some who would now be looking to try AR in their practice.
If you would like to know more about how AR or other technologies can help your organisation, my position as subject specialist can provide impactful practical support and assistance to Jisc members, in addition to providing consultancy services in the form of thought leadership, training, guidance and facilitation as a ‘critical friend’ to external organisations.