Sunday, 17 March 2019

Bite-Size Teacher Development from Language Fuel

Over the last few weeks, I have been looking through LanguageFuel's online courses for EL teachers.


They have a great selection of teacher development courses, around 35 at present, with some really interesting content and a great selection of different topics, that vary from basics like Using Flashcards to more complex issues like Intercultural Awareness.


The courses are ideal for short bursts of study on your laptop or mobile as they have been divided into bite-size learning tasks and input. To do a complete course takes between 15 mins and about an hour.

The main content is delivered through a mixture of text, interactive activities and animated videos which visually reinforce the concepts being introduced.
Many of the courses also include some useful practical tasks that you can try to do with students and some templates for classroom planning or activities.

What I particularly liked about the courses was that many of them integrated some digital skills development for teachers and links to useful web-based resources which can help save some time with the day to day business of planning and delivering lessons.

These courses are great for novice teachers or to fill in or refresh some knowledge gaps for more experienced teachers.

Language Fuel is still at quite an early stage at present so it will be interesting to see how they grow and what else they come up with.

You can join their community for free (https://www.languagefuel.com/community-membership) and this also gives you access to their facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/LanguageFuel/

The courses aren't free, but they are very reasonably priced and one price covers all courses. You can get a free 14 day trial at https://www.languagefuel.com/memberships
If you sign up for premium membership you can also get private one to one training through video conference.

Language Fuel is a great way to boost your training, especially if you are working in isolated conditions as so many teachers do these days.

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Nik Peachey

Friday, 8 March 2019

Creating Augmented Reality Experiences with Metaverse

Three types of technology seem to be creating a lot of interest in educational technology circles at present. These are AI (Artificial intelligence) VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality).

Of the three I feel that AR is the most accessible for teachers and students. This is largely because of apps like Metaverse which enable teachers and students to quickly create enjoyable interactive games and activities that can mesh with their physical location.

For those of you who are new to the concept of Augmented Reality, at its most basic, it is the ability to overlay internet-based digital content onto physical locations. This process is usually enabled through a mobile device of some kind and triggered by either location or some form of digital code that your mobile device can scan, like a QR code for example.

Metaverse can use either of these techniques, so it enables teachers and students to create either location-specific games and activities or ones that are triggered by scanning a code.


The best way to understand what that looks like is to see it in action, so here are two VR experiences I created.

This first one is a tour of some of my work. You can either watch the video below or use this link to download the app and try it: https://mtvrs.io/LawngreenWigglyNutcracker


The second is an interaction with my fairy godmother! You can either watch the video below or use this link to download the app and try it: https://mtvrs.io/AngelicMagentaOcelot

Creating experiences like these for students is quite simple and there are lots of different types of interactions and characters you can choose from to build your AR experience.

Building involves selecting different types of interaction, adding images and buttons and connecting them together. There are some useful tutorials built into the platform to guide you along each step of the way.



Then when you have finished building your experience you can easily test it and publish it.

Then it's just a case of making sure your students have the app installed on their devices and pointing them at the QR code.
To make experiences location specific, be sure to click on the advanced settings when publishing and this allows you to put the experience into a group and add a GPS location for the group. This will mean that your experience is only available to students who are close to the location you specify. When using this feature with students you'll need to make sure the Metaverse app has access to their location through their phone.


This is a great tool for creating interactive engaging content with your students. It's especially great if you are taking students outside the classroom on field trips or if you just want them to explore their locale in their own time to do location-based homework assignments.

If you want to get your students creating their own AR experiences you can also use a new feature called 'Collections' this enables you to view, edit and manage your students' creations in one place.

Here's a video explaining how this happens.


I've really enjoyed using Metaverse and I'm sure I'll be using it a lot more. I also feel that I've only just begun to scape the surface of what it can do, so I'm looking forward to understanding more of the interactions and creating more innovative learning experiences.

You can find more tools like this in my article 'Getting into Virtual Reality Part 1: Creating Virtual Reality Worlds' and lots more tools and tips for training teachers in my ebook 'Digital Tools for Teachers - Trainers' Edition'.

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Nik Peachey

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