Afternoon for Teachers: Integrating Virtual Reality with a Camera as a Pen

As part of starting the autumn term, on September, Media Education (ME) program together with Human Technology Interaction (HTI) program in the faculty of COMS offered an afternoon for upper secondary teachers integrating two recent developments: ‘Virtual Reality (VR)’ and ‘Camera as a Pen’. The event was organized to update latest theories and pedagogies to teachers in order to support the teachers implementing new teaching skills in classrooms and passing new methods to learn and study on to students.

Total 20 teachers, almost all of Norssi Tampere teachers specializing in different academic subjects and a coordinator of communication studies from Sammon upper secondary school (lukio) participated to this seminar. Moreover, the event was future-oriented cooperation activity with upper secondary schools for further collaboration especially on teaching media education to youth. This event also functioned as a pre-test for developing teacher education model trough audio-visual teaching activities in PhD student Aki Tulikari’s project and a dissemination event of an ERASMUS+ project, eMediaEducation Laboratory for teachers (eMel.org.), in which UTA has been participating.

Art teacher, Virve Viita. PhD student & Music teacher, Aki Tulikari. Professor of Media Education, Sirkku Kotilainen.

The seminar was composed in total three sessions: 1) basics of Camera as a Pen pedagogy, 2) eMel website for resources of teaching media education, and 3) ongoing studies in Virtual Reality (VR). Each session included either exercise or discussion on the topic. The purpose of this flow were to let participants learn how to use camera as cognitive and constructive tool and let them apply the same logic to VR. During the first session, participants were taught basics of Camera as a Pen pedagogical theory and how it can be carried out in practice inside classrooms under different subjects. Then participants were asked to shoot things using their own cellular phone cameras as their tool to explore and express. Participants shot different themes and shared with each other in the seminar. In VR session, participants tried out VR contents such as City Compass, a language learning program, and VR drawing tool. During discussion, it was shared in which way and direction schools can implement VR into classes. It is not so convenient yet to shoot 360 degree still-shots or videos and view with VR headsets with students due to several circumstances. Still, it is a near future that will reach us very soon. In this seminar, we were expecting synergy between Media literacy and ICT to reach a goal of improving the quality of education inside the school curriculums, see Figure 1 (You Kyung Kim 08.09.2017):

Figure 1

Follow-up event of this seminar will be happening in spring, 2018. It is a SoMeJam Course offered to students of upper secondary schools, refer to the previous course in 2016: https://www.verke.org/event/somejam-tampere-2016/

Special thanks to Arja Aalto-Laaksonen and Heidi Östring of Norssi Tampere for the support and such delicious snacks to share during the seminar!

The organizer of seminar and its activities was MA student in Media Education, You Kyung Kim, as part of her internship in Norssi Tampere. Sirkku Kotilainen (Professor of Media Education), Kimmo Ronkainen and Pekka Kallioniemi (Research assistants and PhD students of HTI) were leading the seminar together with Aki Tulikari (PhD student of EDU and Music teacher in Norssi Tampere) to take part in conducting Camera as a Pen pedagogy session.

AUTHORS: Sirkku Kotilainen, Professor of Media Education, sirkku.kotilainen@uta.fi and You Kyung Kim, Master degree student of Media Education, lime0425@naver.com

Camera as a Pen by Ismo Kiesiläinen in Finnish as Kamerakynä: http://www.mystinenportaali.com/mediakasvatus/kamerakyna.html

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