The 2019 ATXpo- Academic Technology Expo held at Santa Clara University on October 7, 2019 was the sixth annual ATXpo that brought together the insightful and bright minds from eight Bay Area esteemed universities that included- University of San Francisco, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and Saint Mary’s College of California. These universities aimed to provide an exposure to the recently acquired technologies that are going to promote learning and improve the conventional methods of teaching.
This was a full day event where participants interacted with each other. The agenda included a Keynote Session, highlights on featured projects, and three sessions of IdeaLabs. These sessions were engaging and were experimented on through play .These sessions exhibited the projects and technologies that are surfacing to, promote an interactive and better learning environment. It demonstrated the new generation teaching methodologies that can be acquired by universities for more equipped classrooms and knowledge transfer experiences.
Attendees from San Jose State University left an remarkable impression and their efforts worth their weight in gold. So it’s worth taking the time to find just the right words to describe their work below.
Jennifer Redd (Director of eCampus- San Jose State University) talked in her introductory presentation about how important is it to communicate she said, “the development of a communication plan that encourages creativity is a great supplement to providing technical and instructional support.” She mentioned how eCampus proudly produces artwork catered to the campus community. The artwork creates a safe, welcoming, and inclusive atmosphere. Every month eCampus showcase one person, who has impacted the world in a positive way and illustrate them on our, ‘Person of the Month’ wall. She clearly made us all understand that, you have to find a way to communicate to cultivate the learning and knowledge.
During the second IdeaLab Session, Jennifer joined Assistant Professor of Psychology Valerie Carr as she shared how she designed a neuroanatomy lab by using augmented and virtual reality. Dr. Carr, a previous eCampus Immersive Learning Institute Participant who worked closely with eCampus Lead Instructional Designer Yingjie Liu, described how she selected and implemented the use of different AR/VR apps into the curriculum to provide students with an immersive experience on a complex topic (the brain).
Bethany Winslow (Instructional Designer at eCampus- San Jose State University) talked and demonstrated about this intriguing topic, “Tinkering in Virtual Worlds: Experiential Preparation & Networking for VR Ready Educators” She presented a demonstration of the Hypergrid Resources Library she built, that connects different virtual worlds in the OpenSim metaverse. Bethany volunteers with The Community Virtual Library, which has had a presence in virtual worlds for over a decade now. Open-source virtual worlds like the one she showcased are hosted on a distributed system of servers all over the world. She offered participants with an opportunity to try navigating an avatar on the laptop to explore the library and to Hypergrid jump to another location. Bethany shared her experiences in the last year and a half of networking and collaborating 100% in the virtual world with a global community of educators and librarians, of attending multiple virtual events, and about presenting in-world at virtual educational conferences. She urges any educators interested in integrating virtual reality with their teaching to make sure they are familiar with the long history of desktop virtual reality used for teaching and learning.
Bethany’s avatar in virtual world library with some of the posters she presented
Yingjie Liu (Instructional Designer at eCampus- San Jose State University) gave an impressive tour, where participants immersed in the world of augmented reality. Her topic was, “Using a Self-guided Augmented Reality Tour as a Service Learning Project that Teaches Students and Others about Campus Sustainability”
She highlighted the initiatives going on in our University and mentioned students in a Geology of California course at San Jose State University (SJSU) during the Spring’19 session, created an augmented reality sustainability tour of the campus as part of a service-learning Earth Day 2019 project. This project was designed to:
1) Teach students concrete ways to live sustainability
2) Draw attention to the sustainability practices on campus and
3) Contribute to the school’s sustainability mission.
These goals were accomplished by having students research sustainable practices, locate examples on campus, then create augmented reality (AR) tour stops that highlight and explain the sustainability examples. The students contributed to SJSU’s sustainability mission by providing an AR tour that teaches others about sustainability and encourages participation in the school’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
She demonstrated how this project, revamped San Jose State University’s outdated online Sustainability Map and elevated the user experience by making it mobile (accessed via smartphone or tablet), and immediate (instant on-the-spot information). She concluded that by saying, “Overall, students had a positive experience creating, using, and learning from augmented reality. Students’ reflections revealed that prior to doing the project, they had little knowledge of SJSU’s sustainability practices. After having completed the project, students displayed a sense of pride for all that the school does to be environmentally sustainable. They also felt that they gained knowledge about what sustainability is, and learned something new about sustainability at SJSU.”
She encouraged people on how this example set by San Jose State University should be a motivation for thousands of such initiatives and guided on how these initiatives can take a kick start.
2. Winslow, Bethany. (2019, Oct 10). Interview type [email].
3. Liu, Yingjie. (2019, Oct 10). Interview type [email].
4. Redd Jennifer. (2019, Oct 10). Interview type [email].