XR for Learning

Charting the future of training and education

Latest Episodes

September 06, 2020 00:24:36
Developing the Pedagogy of Presence with XR, featuring Georgian College’s Rob Theriault

Developing the Pedagogy of Presence with XR, featuring Georgian College’s Rob Theriault

Rob Theriault has recently become Georgian College’s immersive lead, finding ways to employ XR technologies to enhance learning in various courses. He explains how faculties need to become innovation adopters if their students are to do the same. Julie: Hello, my name is Julie Smithson, and I am your XR for Learning podcast host. I look forward to bringing you insight into changing the way that we learn and teach using XR technologies to explore, enhance, and individualize learning for everyone. And today, my guest is a good friend from here in Barrie, Ontario, in Canada. Welcome Rob Theriault, an immersive technology lead from Georgian College. Rob has been a part of the paramedics program, and asked just most recently to start taking over a lot more of the technology at the college. Thank you so much for joining me today, Rob. I'd love to get right into it and learn about your story and your position in the college. So thank you so much for being here today. Rob: Hi, Julie. It's a pleasure. Thank you. You want some background? Julie: Yeah, I would love that. Why don't you do a bit of introduction? Rob: Sure. I've been a paramedic for 36 years and teaching paramedics for the last 20. And I've always had a keen interest in educational technology. But I'm also a skeptic when it comes to technology. So I think educators would be wise to be somewhat skeptical and cautious about using technology, ensuring that it actually enhances learning or provides something new to learning. ...

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August 16, 2020 00:25:13
Cultivating Curiosity & Encouraging Innovation with 3D Learning, featuring AltruTec’s Olivia Wenzel

Cultivating Curiosity & Encouraging Innovation with 3D Learning, featuring AltruTec’s Olivia Wenzel

Olivia Wenzel may be Julie’s youngest guest yet, but her youth hasn’t stopped her from launching a startup — AltruTec — or teaming with Julie on the VRARA’s Parent & Student Resource, or using VR to combat dementia. Julie: Hello, everyone, my name is Julie Smithson and I am your XR for Learning podcast host. I look forward to bringing you insight into changing the way that we learn and teach using XR technologies, to explore, enhance, and individualize learning for everyone. Today, my special guest is Olivia Wenzel, a student and founder of AltruTec, developing video games for adults suffering from dementia. Thank you so much, Olivia, for joining me today on this podcast. Olivia: Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here. Julie: It is so great to have somebody from the next generation join me. You happen to be the youngest one of my guests. So thank you so much for being here. And I'm really excited to be able to share with everyone some of the works that we've been doing, since you and I have been working together for the last year and a half on the student committee with the Virtual and Augmented Reality Association, developing and building out resources for everyone. So first of all, I'd like to give you a chance to introduce yourself and then we'll step into a little bit about some of the work that we're doing. Olivia: Absolutely. I just graduated from high school and I'm headed to Harvard this fall. I'm interested ...

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August 09, 2020 00:35:14
XR for Crossover Podcast - Julie and Alan Smithson Chat About Education and Immersive Learning

XR for Crossover Podcast - Julie and Alan Smithson Chat About Education and Immersive Learning

After a short hiatus, Julie is back with a special episode, where she interviews (is interviewed by?) her partner in business and life, Alan Smithon, who you may know from our sister podcast, XR for Business. Julie: Hi, my name is Julie Smithson. Alan: And I'm Alan Smithson. Julie: And this is the XR for Learning podcast. Alan: Well... which podcast are we on? Is it mine or yours? Julie: I think it's mine. Alan: Yours, so the XR for Learning podcast. Julie: Yeah. Alan: I'm going to interview you. Julie: Yes. Alan: OK, cool. Julie: Hi, my name is Julie Smithson, and I am your XR for Learning podcast host. In all of my episodes, I talk about the way that we need to change the way that we learn and we teach, to adapt to the immersive technologies that are being implemented in enterprise and business today. So today, my guest -- my special guest -- is Alan Smithson. Alan: Hello. Julie: My partner and husband of almost 20 years. And we're going to talk about education. So welcome. Thanks for being on *my* podcast. Alan: Thank you so much for having me. I'm a little nervous, I'm not going to lie. This is an interesting podcast dynamic. Julie: It really is. We've never done this before. Alan: No, we have ...

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June 28, 2020 00:25:33
Designing Accessibility into UX, with Dylan Fox & Devin Boyle

Designing Accessibility into UX, with Dylan Fox & Devin Boyle

Designing a user experience (UX) and ensuring accessibility in XR boils down to basically the same task; addressing the needs of the user. We have Dylan Fox and Devin Boyle from XR Access on to talk about designing with accessibility in mind from the start, and discuss the upcoming 2020 XR Access Symposium. Julie: Hello, my name is Julie Smithson, and I am your XR for Learning podcast host. I look forward to bring you insight into changing the way that we learn and teach using XR technologies to explore, enhance and individualize learning for everyone. Today, my guests come from XR Access. Dylan Fox is a user experience designer, specializing in design for emerging technologies. He brings together user needs, technological capabilities, and stakeholder requirements to design accessible products. And his master's thesis was on augmented reality for the visually impaired, exploring Microsoft Hololens as an assistive device. And Devin Boyle is an advisor to XR Access, working groups and emerging technology lead for the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology -- otherwise known as PEAT -- supporting efforts to ensure emerging technologies are born accessible. She has more than 10 years of experience in policy analysis and development, stakeholder engagement, strategic communication, and advocacy and partnership building. Thank you both for joining me today. So, Dylan, can you give me a little bit of an outline of the work that you're doing in building a better user experience for those with accessibility challenges? Dylan: All right. Thanks, Julie. I'm Dylan. I'm a user experience designer. Just recently finished up ...

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June 21, 2020 00:21:14
Going From What to Why with Experiential Learning, featuring Inspirit VR’s Aditya Vishwanath

Going From What to Why with Experiential Learning, featuring Inspirit VR’s Aditya Vishwanath

Learning complex STEM concepts like physics or chemistry off a chalkboard is no easy task, because it removes a key factor from the equation - presence. Inspirit VR’s Aditya Vishwanath explains how giving that presence back ignites a learner’s innate curiosity. Julie: Hello, my name is Julie Smithson, and I am your XR for Learning podcast host. I look forward to bringing you insight into changing the way that we learn and teach using XR technologies to explore, enhance, and individualize learning for everyone. Today my guest is Aditya Vishwanath. Aditya is a PhD candidate in Learning Sciences and Technology Design and a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University. He's the co-founder of Inspirit, a company that develops virtual reality learning content. And his research focuses on developing technologies that support universal access to immersive learning content. Welcome to the show. Aditya: Thank you. I'm so excited to be doing this. Julie: That's great. And we've had a couple of conversations about education, and the courses that need to be implemented into classes, and that sort of thing. Why don't you tell me a little bit about Inspirit, where you started from, and where you guys are today? Aditya: Inspirit was actually a research project that I started out with a friend and now co-founder of mine -- her name is Amrita -- and the two of us were both researchers in a lab at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. And we really stumbled upon this opportunity to explore and study what it would take to bring immersive VR to a ...

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June 14, 2020 00:23:23
Putting XR Accessibility First, with CNIB’s Yvonne Felix

Putting XR Accessibility First, with CNIB’s Yvonne Felix

XR tech often has a visual focus, but we have to be careful in that line of thinking; those who are visually impaired might be left out of the conversation otherwise. Yvonne Felix, an inclusion expert at CNIB, knows from experience that the visually impaired - or anyone with any impairment - don’t have to be excluded from XR; we just have to be forward-thinking and make accessibility considerations to include users from all walks of life. Julie: Hello, my name is Julie Smithson, and I am your XR for Learning podcast host. Today, I look forward to bringing you insight into changing the way we learn and teach using XR technologies to explore, enhance, and individualize learning for everyone. Today, my guest is Yvonne Felix, who works with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in the Accessibility and Inclusion Division as an experienced community specialist, with a demonstrated history of working in the medical industry. Thank you so much for joining me today, Yvonne. I'm really, really excited to have you here. Yvonne: Thank you, Julie. I'm very excited, too. Julie: Let's start with your role at CNIB. We've had several conversations over the last year just on-- a little bit about immersive technologies and how it affects people with disabilities, such as being visually impaired. And maybe we can start off with what your role is and, of course, how you got involved. Yvonne: Sure. First, I'll start by just sort of explaining why I wanted to work at CNIB and actually how I became interested and ...

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