Demos, Design Tips and Tricks

Random Number Generator

A little blast from the past. Before the random fortune teller and the random word generator, I started out pairing together Storyline and Javascript with this simple random number generator. It creates a whole integer between 1 and 10.

randnum

Click here to view

How to do this:

  1. Create a variable in storyline called “randnum”
  2. Add a trigger to execute Javascript when the generate button is clicked. Enter in this Javascript:

var randomnumber = Math.floor((Math.random()*10)+1);
var player = GetPlayer();
player.SetVar(“randnum”,randomnumber);

3. Add in a reference to the storyline variable (%randnum%) where the random number will be displayed.

Easy peasy!

VR and Augmented Reality

Stereoscopes: the first VR Devices?

I’ve been particularly interested in the rise of VR tech over the past few years because for a long time, I’ve been a fan and collector of perhaps the first widely popular VR device used for educational purposes: the stereoscope.

stereoscope_003
(None of my stereoscopes are this fancy.)

The stereoscope is a device from the 19th century which operates on the simple concept that our eyes create depth by comparing our left-eye image and our right-eye image. If you view two images that have been taken about 5-10 cm apart (the distance between your eyes), one in your left eye and one in your right eye, then your brain will fuse them into a single, 3D image. The stereoscope enhances this effect by adding in lenses which make the image seem larger in your field of vision.

Educational designers always love to take new technology intended for entertainment and use it in an educational capacity. Apparently, that was even true before educational technology existed. As well as saucy pin-ups, stereoscopes were sold to factories to educate people about work practice and schools for geography and economics lessons. Before the aeroplane, the stereoscope made the world available to the middle classes by placing absorbing 3D images of exotic locals in homes.

d15d51f9e17283f96872c6e9f719142c

Devices like the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR use the same basic concept as the stereoscope, but with screens taking the place of photographs. Perhaps one day they’ll be just as ubiquitous as the stereoscope once was.

Proof that what goes around comes around!

VR and Augmented Reality

Fun with QR Codes: Augmenting your Library

QR Codes have always excited me, a handy way to create a link between digital and analogue (“dead tree”) information sources that doesn’t require any specialist software to create. All you need is a tablet or phone with a QR code reader installed, a website you want to link to and access to one of the many free websites that will whip up a QR code for you.

The big problem is knowing where to go from there. Technically your imagination is the limit, but I think it can be tricky to come up with uses for QR codes which doesn’t feel like a superficial gimick.

Here’s an attempt. A very nerdy attempt. Here’s a copy of Beowulf, an Old English poem, featuring the ability to scan a code and hear the poem in its original language. I feel like this is a genuine addition to the experience, as reading Old English doesn’t give you the same, authentic experience that listening to it does.

(Note, the jump in the video isn’t me “cheating”, I promise! I just live in a rural area with very slow internet. I thought I’d spare you having to wait for 20 seconds while things load.)

Elearning Theory

Do Learning Styles Exist?

When I was 12, my school made me fill out a form purporting to be able to tell me my learning styles. Apparently, I was either an auditory, visual or kinaesthetic learner. My teacher said that how you learn and revise should be different, depending on the form’s conclusions. An auditory learner might create a revision song while a kinaesthetic learner might count on their fingers.

My sensible classmates ploughed through the test and got on with their lives, but I was feeling cantankerous. I didn’t want some stupid label. It seemed silly. I could see myself learning in all three ways. In protest, I spent most of the lesson creating an information sheet on a new style of learning which I called oditory learning. An oditory learner, I decided, learned by smelling things.

I know, I know. I was a bit of a smartypants.

As an instructional designer, I still run into the concept of learning styles. But here’s a secret which shouldn’t be a secret: 12 year old me was right. The evidence behind learning styles is shaky at best, and could be a barrier to the creation of great learning.

Click here to read more over at GLAD Solutions.

Demos, Storyline Challenges

Time to Draw, Version 2!

Earlier in the week I used Javascript to create this random drawing prompt generator!

I shared it around social media and it took off more than I expected it to. I got a lot of feedback suggesting that it would be good to have the facility to draw in the web browser.

The only way I could think to do that was by embedding a Flash object, and since I’m no expert I decided to use the code and assets from this really comprehensive tutorial.

Here is the new version:

shyclown

But you don’t want to look at my art!

Not when I’m about to share the great pieces that have been made based on Time to Draw prompts!
I’ve tried to put links to artist’s websites where I could find them. Click on the image to see more of the artist’s work.

9jssfh6

tumblr_otb1m2hkjc1wtm8d9o1_r1_1280
A giggling dragon with a tiny birthday cake

 

mydrawing_by_timelapse11-dbgtphx
A short ghost with a beautiful hat
limpcat
A blue teacher holding a limp pet cat

Fun, fun, fun! If anyone has any more to add, let me know!