Another flight back to Denmark (again ) for the Solutors Enhancing Learning, Motivation and Interactive Teaching Conference, in Brøndby, entitled Vision Day 2011 – what is your vision?
ICT is very “hot” in Danish schools, as everywhere, at the moment. Today, we spent some more time with teachers, headmasters, ICT co-ordinators, department for education representatives, local authority education advisors (and many more) from across Denmark, looking at how to motivate and inspire children of all ages, and abilities.
A day of exploring, questioning, developing, designing, devising, stretching, conceptualizing, innovating, thinking, extending, planning, & ENJOYING.
The Solutors building is a little bit like entering a James Bond film set. Virtual chats, across the globe, with multiple participants, means hours of travel can be replaced by almost realistic conference calls.
Solutors design large, small, expensive, inexpensive, complex and simple audio-visual solutions for clients in all industries, and education. They like to push the boundaries of what can be done, so we had fun today.
Brian Würtz, Solutors’ director, set up the company 20 years ago and it now has over 100 employees in 4 offices in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
After the recent elections, which took place when we were last here, there is a new government focus on children from 3 years up to 19 years. A goal, as ever, with educators, is to make education more fun and have an impact as a result of that.
A television interview, with a teenage lad, echoed the need for school “to be more fun”. Engagement is the first step towards enhancing teaching and learning experiences and, therefore improvements in standards across the curriculum.
Everybody, who has children, or who has spent any time with children, has caught a glimpse of “that expression.” You know the one. A child who is utterly, totally, completely wrapped, and rapt, in the thing they are engaged in. It can happen in many contexts. For many children “that look”, that experience, is at its strongest … when they’re playing games. Digital games even more so.
Digital media captures children’s imaginations in a strong way. In fact, the power of digital games, and web2.0 experiences, is so intense that many adults fear them, are bemused by them, and feel that they have to limit them- as in, “Turn off the computer and come and do something good”.
There are times when we need to consider a balance of analogue and digital (something I chunner on and on about at great length) but what if we could USE the amazing pull of these digital games … and harness their positive strengths? Well, there are many teachers who know that – You Can!
You can tilt and turn your way around a sight, zooming in on closer detail, and it is remarkably simple to create these engaging experiences.
Choose a panorama when you can capture everything from a single location with a single zoom level. Great for giving a sense of what it feels like to be in a one particular place. Can be 360° in both directions, but doesn’t have to be. Panoramas are simple to navigate – you can go left/right, up/down and zoom in/out.
Synths are good for capturing different sides or details of an object. More complex to navigate than panoramas because you are moving from photo to photo., and somewhat more complex to create.
To make synths, just install the Photosynth application.
The Photosynth app is available now for iOS (iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPod Touch fourth generation, and iPad 2) in the iTunes App Store.
(This is slightly ironic, as it a Microsoft concept, and it isn’t available on other phone systems… yet).
To make panoramas from your iPhone, get the Photosynth App from Apple’s App Store.
I have tried it on a few scales: sat inside a car, and out in the great wide open. Both have problems but still end up being remarkable, speedy, ways to remember somewhere, and explore it again later. Try it in a room with a group who aren’t able to sit still, and you get some gloriously, almost Picasso-like, mix ups. Worth exploring and developing this aspect, and turn it in to a strength in art project perhaps.
I wanted to give a shout out for PhotoSynth again, as I think it has a lot of additional potential now it has gone mobile. It might also be a good end of year challenge for some pupils: to make a virtual tour of the school they are leaving, for example, whether using the mobile, or desktop, version.
Thank you to Lene Lohse, and Lis Soederholm, product manager for training and service contracts at Solutors.
Category: 1) Events and Training days