Category Archives: resource development

Prototyping AR with processing and blender

I’m interested in exploring the use of augmented reality (AR) in learning experiences.  I’ve decided to prototype my early simple AR experiments with Processing and Blender. These early explorations will make use of augments placed with fiducial markers. My goal is to then explore developing AR learning experiences with Layar that can then be viewed through iOS and Android mobile devices. I’d then like to explore placing augments without using fiducial markers. These augment could be determined by location. One step at a time.

I used Processing, Blender and NyARToolkit to create this very simple zombie wound augment. This needs a bit more work as the augment is displaying bounding box information and the low-poly modelling is not as smooth as it should be. The augment could be made to look a little more integrated with my body with improved modelling and texturing. That will come with the next iteration.

Days later or maybe even weeks later

Days later or maybe even weeks later is a concept for a collaborative workplace/institute/teaching centre-wide activity for staff and students designed to mend the physical and psychological effects of the Victorian government’s $300 million in cuts from the state’s TAFE sector. Physical and psychological effects could include closure of campuses, a reduction of courses being offered and job cuts.

This blog post contains exerpts from a conversation about the concept I had with myself on our organisation’s Yammer network. This blog post attempts to consolidate the concept.

I saw the activity taking place after the catastrophic event. It could’ve been 28 days later or even 28 weeks later. It doesn’t really matter. Just as long as the scenario provides an exposition,  defines the goal(s) to be achieved by staff and students and also describes the resources/materials that are available for use.

I saw the activity involving the every staff member and their respective teaching centre. From the top to the bottom of the organisational chart. The CEO would actually play a pivotal role in activity. They would be responsible for broadcasting/providing updates on the progress of the activity. These updates would also allow activity facilitators to adjust the activity if/when required.


I saw each teaching centre being responsible for helping students contribute a specific artefact or service from their particular area of expertise. The artefact or service (and production of) would contribute to the activity while also satisfying the students scholastic assessment requirements.

Nothing about the activity changes the need for students to demonstrate their skills and provide evidence of their competence. It’s just their output or artefact may change, but not how they work through the process of creating the artefact.

I didn’t want the activity to involve only our Australian based campus. I wanted the activity to be inclusive. What better way to reach out to our state and international counterparts than a part in a inter-campus activity.

Hospitality Tourism planning is highly complex and requires integrated and flexible approaches. The activity would reflect the typical nature of each particular area of study. for example, hospitality and tourism is a complex industry that requires flexible approaches and unique problem solving skills, particularly in the context of responding to a natural disaster. Real-world examples that require application of employability skills and dimensions of competency.


Scientist area always important in an activity involving zombies. They serve as one of the last hopes – finding a cure!

The activity would take place in real time and play-out over an entire semester, perhaps even the entire scholastic year. Although maintaining momentum over this period of time could be difficult. The pacing of the narrative would be informed by the deliverables of each course.


Testing the activity on a teaching centre could be a good way to identify issues.

Then I realised. Yes. This is a zombie game.

This activity would take place openly and in public. Non-students and staff would be able to observe the progress of the activity via the organisation’s website. Completing the activity publicly gives people the opportunity to see the work the students and staff are doing together (Outside an open day, showcase or expo context).


Then I realised the zombie metaphor is problematic.

Staff and students are not to blame for the funding cuts.


Although the activity may not be completely appropriate at this point in time, I do think there is potential for a collaborative workplace/institute/teaching centre-wide activity for staff and students to occur.

Know your audience – Anti-graffiti community service announcement

An interesting approach to an anti-graffiti community service announcement by a local City Council. I’m curious if the outside of the bus is the most effective location for this kind of message. Would the outside of the bus be seen by the intended audience of this message. Are the target audience more likely to be inside the bus? Perhaps locating the community service announcement outside the bus ensures the message is exposed to as many people as possible.

I didn’t see inside the bus, but I reckon this kind of message (framed in the format that it’s warning against) could also be placed inside the bus and perhaps be more likely be seen by the intended audience.

My wave

I shed a little tear every time I receive a reminder email from Google telling me about the looming closure of the Google Wave service. I really liked Wave and where possible I tried to use of it when discussing or reviewing concepts with project team members. I’ll miss it when the service is turned off on April 30.

Here’s a composite of some screen captures from one of my Waves. I also exported this Wave as a PDF with attachments (PDF, 544 KB).

Concept: Slope of the land under classified vegetation determines the severity of a bushfire

Concept for an interactive device that demonstrates how slope of the land under classified vegetation determines the severity of a bushfire.

The learner can increase or decrease the angle of the upslope and downslope. As a result the severity of the approaching bushfire will change. The bushfire’s severity is based on a premise of the fire’s intensity doubling for each 10° rise in slope.

Concept: The distance of vegetation from a building determines the level of bushfire risk to the building

Concept for an interactive device that demonstrates how the distance of vegetation from a building determines the level of bushfire risk to the building. The learner can select a vegetation type, increase or decrease the distance of vegetation from the building and increase or decrease the angle of the slope. The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating, description and level of bushfire risk for permutations of the vegetation, distance and slope variables are displayed based on learner interaction. The BAL rating, description and level of bushfire risk to building is based on data from the Australian Standard AS 3959–Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.

Updated working drawing for the Distance of vegetation demonstration with amended distance and slope controls. Show risk consent button has been removed.
Updated working drawing for the Distance of vegetation demonstration with sequencing instructions.
Original working drawing for the Distance of vegetation demonstration

Concept: The activity flow

During the initial design stage of an activity I like to use pen and paper to quickly map out the flow of the activity. The tactile nature of paper allows for scribbles and scrawls, coloured pens or pencils, hasty redraws, cutting, tearing, taping and a rendezvous with the scanner or photocopier. I think something like an iPad or Samsung Tab style device could also give me similar functionality to pen and paper. I’d like one of those. These drawings describe the flow of an activity for an e-learning resource.

 

The 2011 Trainer and assessor currency program

Today I participated in the Trainer and assessor currency program. I had completed the Certificate IV Training and Assessment in 2010, so taking part in the program will help to make sure my qualification stays current. It’s also a requirement under Standard 1 of the AQTF guidelines for vocational education and training (VET) practitioners who deliver training and assessment.

The 4 steps involved in maintaining VET practitioner currency.

The program covered the 4 steps involved in maintaining VET practitioner currency. To remain current I must:

  • model high standards of performance
  • determine professional development needs
  • participate in professional development activities
  • reflect on and evaluate professional practice.

Model high standards of performance
The Model high standards of performance topic discussed:

  • how I can use organisational support mechanisms to help me model a high standards of practice. For example, I can could contact the marketing, compliance or ICT department for help.
  • how state and federal government policy guides the work I do. For example, the AQTF 2007/10 provides standards to make sure training and assessment is consistent across the country.
  • Contestability in Victoria. More information about contestability can be found at Shaping our future.
  • Professional techniques. For example, I must provide best practice examples of OHS, ethical behaviour/professional conduct
  •  Organisational/legal requirements. For example, documentation I prepare for the delivery of my training must contain VET sector legal requirements such copyright, privacy, duty of care, OHS and AQTF.

Determine professional development needs
The determine professional development needs topic discussed:

  • how currency and minimum VET sector teaching requirements can shape my career in the VET sector. For example, Dr John Mitchell refers to the ‘advanced VET practitioner’ in his article Capabilities of the emerging ‘advanced VET
    practitioner’ (87Kb PDF)
    .
  • how to maintain my CV to meet VRQA requirements. For example, include a detailed work history, education history, professional development activities, projects I’ve undertaken, subscriptions relevant to my work, documents I’ve published and networks I participate in.
  • how to find out about my rights and obligations as a VET sector practitioner. For example, Fair Work Australia, Multi Business Agreement and Australian Education Union, AQTF and VRQA.
  • how assessment must occur in the workplace or a simulated workplace. See guidelines for a simulated workplace described in the AQTF 2010 Users guide to the essential conditions and standards for continuing registration. I think that assessment could occur in the context of a workplace based Alternate Reality Game (ARG).
  • how organisational objectives are aligned with state, federal government policy for the VET sector.
  • how my professional development plan should outline my work and personal objectives, identify areas that require development, identify opportunities for learning, identify relevant work projects and relate to my organisational training needs profile.


Participate in professional development activities

The participate in professional development activities topic discussed:

  • how to choose professional development (PD) activities. For example, PD activities sold take into consideration my learning style, career goals and aspirations and contribute to the maintenance/currency of my professional VET practice.
  • how there are many external sources of support. For example, websites related to my professional practice, my Twitter stream, my personal learning network (PLN).
  • how informal (people working in industry, peers) and formal (industry organisations, communities of practice) professional networks can provide PD.
  • how technology can be used for PD. For example, using my Twitter stream to create my own personal learning network (PLN), participating in online events like MOOCs or webinars and subscribing to edtech related RSS feeds.

Reflect on and evaluate professional practice
The reflect on and evaluate professional practice topic discussed:

  • how to monitor VET sector developments and trends that impact VET sector professionals. For example, follow the research by the National Centre for VET Education Research (NCVER) and Australian VET Research Association (AVETRA)
  • how to manage feedback from colleagues and clients
  • how continuous improvement techniques and processes can be used to maintain professional practice. For example, evaluation and reflection on my own professional practice (my blog), ongoing education and training, team meetings and networking.