Cloud Storage is an online storage solution that is revolutionising the way that people can access their business and personal files. If a file is stored ‘in the cloud’, it basically means that a copy of the file is located on a server somewhere in the world other than your computer. That means that you can potentially access your files from any computer in the world with internet access. The files can be downloaded or viewed via an online interface and available across a number of devices.
At Coomera Anglican College, we can say goodbye to the days of lost or broken USB sticks that contain the only copy of an assignment. Students can now use Microsoft Windows Skydrive to access their school files at home. To set up this invaluable storage solution, students need to follow the steps outlined in Passmarc.
The Horizon Report is produced every year by The New Media Consortium. It describes the ‘continuing work of the NMC Horizon Project, a research-oriented effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative expression within higher education over three time horizons — one year or less, two to three years, and four to five years.’
In 2010, The Horizon Report identified cloud computing as a key trend, and 2011’s edition pinpointed Augmented Reality as a technology that will take two to three years to embed itself as a key teaching and learning tool.
Augmented reality (AR) refers to the addition of a computer-assisted contextual layer of information over the real world, creating a reality that is enhanced or augmented. (MNC, http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2011/sections/augmented-reality/#0) That may sound complicated, but it is already being used in companies all over the world. One such company is BMW. To see AR in action in a BMW workshop, click here and watch the movie. To conduct your own fun AR, click here to drive a new BMW Z4 on your desk. To do this, you will need to download some software, and print a ‘marker’. You will also need a webcam.
How will this be used in education? A recent article in the Australian explains how Australian researchers are building toolkits for teachers to use AR in the classroom. You can easily use AR on your mobile devices via apps like Aurasma, Action Movie and Heads Up Navigator. Here’s an example from the real estate world; you walk past a For Sale sign in front of a house. It looks good, but it is Sunday and you can’t organise a guided tour. Simply take out your smart phone, open the associated AR app, point it at the marker on the sign and instantly you will be guided through the house via a video streamed directly to your phone. This is just one basic example that is happening right now. Check out the CBA’s version of this technology.
There are many great examples on YouTube. I have added a few below. Watch out for this technology in the very near future.