Wednesday, November 14, 2012

VT Fest 2012

Last Thursday I attended the VT Fest Tech Conference in Killington, VT. I want to highlight two sessions in particular.

The first was presented by Susan Hennessy and Audrey Homan from UVM's Tarrant Institute. The presented about the online game platform, ARIS.

Here are some of my notes from the session.

ARIS: Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling (iOS)
  • Open source platform, runs through web browsers
  • Plaques pop up through landscape
  • Assigning players quests
  • Characters can give quizzes
  • If Then logic script
  • Free App
  • Support robotics integration--can create physical tasks through programming
  • Notebook feature--players can record reactions to game as they’re playing
  • Teachers can collect notes in a webpage (keep track of student progression through game and interactions)
  • Game design to tell local VT history and uncover truths/mysteries about local history
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Incorporate skill and content (flesh out these ideas)
  • Drag On Tape (youtube cutter)--check out later
  • Use QR Codes for scanning
  • Map overlay: Use for fictional locations in books
  • Connect directly to content with specific items as prizes/badges from text
  • They are building V. 3.0 and looking for student developers with teachers
  • Students have to create an account, but don’t need a valid email address (teachers can create accounts for students)
  • How is notebook share to teacher: linked to Game Developer tab (sent to developer)
  • Only works wirelessly-not 3G yet
  • Can be created on Mac or PC, only played on iOS

The other great session was iBooks Author by Matt Henchen.

Matt's session led us through the basics of using iBooks author to create textbooks and other media sources for students. Matt's presentation materials are located here: http://www.vermonteducator.com/ibooks/

iBook Author is an excited new tool to create materials for our classrooms that include a variety of media sources like videos, interactives, images, text, and websites. This tool can really be a game changer in the way we present and facilitate interactions with information in our classes. Just think, now you can combine information from a variety of sources into one book for your students.

There are a few drawbacks to using iBooks author, namely that you can only create an iBook on a Mac, and that students then need access to a device to read the book. While this is an initial investment, in my opinion, it will pay off in engagement and savings from purchasing textbooks, and other print media.

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