ASU

Unconference: Dreamers Doers & Drivers of the Future of Learing

asu_unconference_agenda.jpg

On April 25-27, 2018 I joined a small group of higher education change-makers for an unconference around the "Future of Learning in a Digital Age" in Scottsdale Arizona. The Conference was structured loosely around three main tracks: 1) Research to Action, 2) Mixed Reality Environments and Student Centered Learning Frontiers, and 3) Organizational Network Models.

An unconference, also called an Open Space conference, is a participant-driven meeting. The term “unconference” has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization.
— wikipedia.org

The unconference structure of this convening allowed for a free (open) conversational flow with loads of great ideas (big and small) and a variety of perspectives on the emerging themes. While there were many high energy "neighborhoods" of discussion, I was particularly drawn to the discussions around Mixed Reality and discussion around use, deployment, contextual relevance, and scalability within the context of one-three-five years. Additionally, on the last day of the unconference I was engaged in conversations around the growing desire and challenges of Micro Credentialing.

Throughout the event participants used the Twitter hashtag #shapingEDU to share the ideas and connections from the unconference with the intention of continuing the conversation long after the two day event was completed.

asu_unconference_digital_learning_time_line.jpg

The event (including presentations and discussions and share-outs) was captured via graphic facilitator. The full unconference is available at: https://uto.asu.edu/shapingedu where you can access all of the images and files shared. 

I am very much looking forward to continuing the discussions around the future of learning in the digital age.

ASU+GSV Summit 2018 - San Diego California

The week of April 16-18th, 2018 roughly 4,000 people ascended on the beautiful city of San Diego, CA to attend the 9th ASU+GSV Summit. The event proved to be a wonderful experience to share information, listen to engaging presentations, and make new meaningful connections.

IMG_0774.jpg
Started in 2010 with a collaboration between Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley (GSV), the annual ASU+GSV Summit is the industry catalyst for elevating dialogue and driving action around raising learning and career outcomes through scaled innovation.
— asugsvsummit.com

As the Director of Technology Initiatives for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College I went to the summit with the goal of showcasing our development of the new IgnitED Labs that are designed as open, hands-on, learner-centered creative spaces where users can explore and play with new and emerging technologies that can serve a role in teaching and learning. The IgnitED Labs were designed to go beyond the scope of traditional computer labs and provide students opportunities to create knowledge, and skill sets through emerging technologies. These innovative spaces allow for users to create and tweak, tinker and play, and ultimately improve the learner experience through their discoveries.

ASU Booth at ASU+GSV Summit 2018

ASU Booth at ASU+GSV Summit 2018

To help showcase the variety (sample) of equipment that will be used in the new lab spaces I packed a high powered gaming laptop and an Oculus Rift into a Pelican travel case and threw in a Shpero SPRK+ and a Raspberry Pi touchscreen as well. The IgnitED Labs project was graciously allowed to join the folks from ASU Ed Plus in their booth.  The booth was well positioned in the summit floor and had a high amount of visibility and traffic.

Overall it was great experience and opportunity for us to share the innovative work taking place in our office / college / university in a truly connected and global event.

INTED 2018 Conference Presentation: Beyond Web 3.0

Image courtesy of  INTED 2018

Image courtesy of INTED 2018

After a short 6 months following our initial meeting in Washington DC, our small group of researchers from Arizona State University and Dublin City University converged on the beautiful city of Valencia Spain to deliver our paper on our initial collaborative work to develop an international research group on future educational technologies. As a milestone in our efforts to form a research collaborative, this paper serves as our initial plans on how we intend to develop our network.

The 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, was held in Valencia Spain over the 5th, 6th and 7th of March, 2018.

Beyond Web 3.0: International collaboration exploring learning ecologies and teacher professional development for the Diamond Age

Link to paper abstract: INTED 2018 Proceedings

Abstract
The purpose of this oral presentation is to share the process and outcomes of an international collaboration exploring the futurology of educational technology. This multi-phased collaboration centers on envisioning the impacts of future technologies within the classroom and articulating resultant implications for teacher professional development. It leverages interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise from within and beyond educational colleges in partner universities, namely, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College in Arizona State University, United States of America, and the Institute of Education in Dublin City University, Ireland.

A question at the heart of this collaborative study was how can we prepare the teachers of tomorrow to use technology in the classroom in the most effective way possible? Given the rapid development of technology and the subsequent adoption in formal and informal educational settings, how can we prepare a new generation of educators to adopt, and optimize technologies in their classroom? According to the 2017 New Horizons K-12 Report, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be generally adopted by 2022 (Freeman, Adams, Becker, Cummings, Davis & Giesinger, 2017). Artificial Intelligence is often thought of the “next wave” of technology, but our goal is to move beyond the near future, and look to what will be the “new” technology 25 to 30 years from now. Using the forecast of common “narrow” AI implementations across classrooms within five years as the baseline for our model, we aim to envision what technologies will have an influence on, and be implemented within, learning ecologies over the next several decades, an era we describe as the ‘Diamond Age’.

The proposed oral paper presentation will discuss the need for such a collaborative project, the current development of the multi-phased, multi-year project scope, and the future directions and joint-program goals. In many cases, the education sector handles new and emerging technology in a reactionary fashion. One of the aims of this collaborative project is to look at educational technology from a futurist perspective to lay a thought provoking foundational model in order to redefine what education may look like in the “classroom of tomorrow”. The intended goal of this futurist model of educational technology is to re-conceptualize how teacher preparation programs think about preparing future educators.

References:
[1] Freeman, A., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Davis, A., and Hall Giesinger, C. (2017). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K–12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Keywords: Educational technology, futurology, emerging technology, futurist model, semantic web.

Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Build

In an attempt to create a more engaging experience at a high profile event for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, I suggested that instead of using iPads or laptops, that we build and deploy several Raspberry Pi's to act as participant feedback/input stations.

Key aspects of the event

The event entitled Education by Design was held in the Phoenix Art Museum on February 6th, 2018. The event was focused on laying out the work the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is engaged in around several key areas of redesigning education as we know it. The event allowed for participants to roam through several educational design "vignettes" which included:

Education Workforce Development
How should we develop and deploy 21st-century educators?
                               
Community Design Labs
How can we work with schools and communities to tackle a wide range of problems?
                                  
Contextual Models
How can we prototype successful systems in schools?  

As an interactive element, participants walked through a hallway with several Raspberry Pi's configured to be small terminals that allowed for the attendees to leave their questions related to Education.  The Raspberry Pi's were intended to serve dual roles, first to simply act as a terminal to collect participant feedback, and secondly (and perhaps most importantly) to serve as an educational technology artifact. The latter purpose seemed to engage the most number of participants. Over the night I was engaged in many conversations exploring the variety of ways in which schools and districts might think about deploying technology [such as the Raspberry Pi's] throughout their schools in a technology infusion model as opposed to a more traditional and limited technology integration model.

Event participants were able to submit their questions using a web-based form on each of the Raspberry Pi's that were placed strategically around the room. The results were projected in real-time on the wall of the hallway so attendees could see the supplied questions pop-up in a chat bubble format when submitted.

For more detailed information on the event checkout the ASU Now online article: Education by Design, re-imagining the classroom.

To build this project I turned to a rather quick "all-in-one" or kit solution rather than buying each component separately. You might pay a bit more per component in a kit, but when time is of the essence the cost of convenience is well worth the price. For this project I ordered four NeeGo Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits for $150/ea. This kit contains everything you need with the exception of a screwdriver and a few lines of code. Even though this kit uses a touchscreen and technically doesn't need a keyboard... I wanted to error on the side of caution and ensure I had a physical keyboard for each device as well in the event an end user is more comfortable with that setup. So I opted for a mini keyboard-touchpad combo with the Rii mini k12 Stainless keyboard for less than $25/ea.

Assembly

Putting the Raspberry Pi kits together was very simple and straight forward. There are no instructions that come with this kit, although you can look up everything you need online and see an almost endless tutorial stream on YouTube. I have been working with Raspberry Pi's for several years so in all honesty the longest part of this build was un-packaging all of the parts.

A few Terminal Commands to finish it off

Once the entire device was assembled and powered on there are a few more steps to get the device fully operational in the way intended. You can of course tackle these in any order, but for most the fist issue that needs to be addressed is the screen orientation. Out of the box the orientation of the screen in the screen case is upside down and needs to be flipped 180* degrees. To accomplish this, and the other adjustments we need to use the Terminal.

In the terminal we need to call up the config.txt file so we can make a couple of updates. To do this once, in the Terminal prompt type the command:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Scroll to the end of the text file and add the following command: (The number 2 refers to the degree of rotation. 1=90*, 2=180*, 3=270*) So for this project I needed to flip the screen 180 so I used the (lcd_rotate=2) command.

lcd_rotate=1
lcd_rotate=2
lcd_rotate=3

Once you have added this line you can exit the config file by hitting "Ctrl + X" on your keyboard, then Y at the prompt, then ENTER to save the updated config.txt file. Once this step is complete with the Terminal still open, you will need to restart the device for the change to take effect. you can restart the devive in Terminal with the command:

sudo reboot

When the Raspberry Pi reboots the screen should be rotated.  (Note: if you use the display_rotate=2 command instead of lcd_rotate=2 you might run into an issue where the image is rotated but not the touch sensor grid, so your touch input is off by 180 degrees)

The final few Terminal Commands are some general housekeeping, first we will update the system to ensure that it has the most up-to-date version of the drivers etc. for the touchscreen. To complete this you will first run the "Update" command followed by the "upgrade" command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo reboot 

Once your device has rebooted with the updates the last item is to install the touch screen keyboard. To install the keyboard run the following command in Terminal:

sudo apt-get install matchbox-keyboard

sudo reboot

For more information and ideas on the multitude of ways in which you might deploy a Raspberry Pi for educational applications, or just for fun visit the official Raspberry Pi Website.