Trends of E-learning for 2017

Going forward in to 2017 I have no doubt that the items listed in the infographic above feature in the pedagogic, deterministic, budgetary and strategic discussions variously held throughout UK Higher Education. I just wonder how quickly they will permeate down to the experiences of academics and students in the classrooms, and which institutions will be among the first to make the most capital out of each one.


From Twitter: VR meeting spaces

If Virtual Reality (VR) is to become successful/popular/widespread, it will meet the “needs” of online communication. Something like AltSpace VR will provide a social space similar to instant messaging, facebook messages, hangouts and so on. The implications of doing so are worth studying, as we merge our human self with the machine in an “alternative” universe which exists solely through binary code running on computers somewhere on the internet.

From Twitter: Virtual Reality Classrooms?

If you can get your preferred platform, system, device in the classrooms around the world then you stand to gain financially. So why not talk up your investment’s future.

But it also works both ways. Will education demand the technology?

Virtual Cinema

A comment on Eli’s blog around this image which I hastily crafted in Photoshop to illustrate my point regarding a sense of nausea induced by movement on-screen that’s either jerky or not within the viewer’s own control:

I ended up watching this piece of youtube content:

What I took note of was the three camera points, which is not uncommon in VR youtube content, but worth pointing out

  1. The “experience” shot, i.e. what is being viewed (in 2D) by the person who is viewing it in 3D within the headset
  2. The headmounted display’s external view, from a camera in or on the device (e.g. the HTC Vive’s built in front-mounted camera)
  3. and a  fixed shot of the play-area

When using VR, we are augmenting our own ability. To see what our normal vision would let us see. But we’re also cutting our own body off from stimulus that we can physically touch. Nevertheless, watching someone using VR, certainly brings to mind thoughts around the organic merged with the physical. It will become normalised. I was recently asked “Do I feel silly wearing it”. The same person tried VR and realised how “feeling silly” just doesn’t come in to it. Assuming VR is not a passing tech fad, and Gartner ( would have VR placed on the “slope of enlightenment” having passed through the “trough of disillusionment” already, that’s got to suggest that it will become more mainstream than it is perceived currently. I wonder if anyone looking at the video and thinking the person looks silly perhaps has not yet tried this form of VR and can’t project themselves in to that person’s position.


Base Image sources:

Occulus Cinema :

Screenshot taken from “Eli’s EDC Blog” :

What a party! From slaying robots to a hottub, across the Scottish Borders to Canada

It was my birthday. I hired a house with enough room for friends and family. I am not the only avid consumer of hi-tech entertainment in my family. In sharing the experience of VR, it is clear there is a direction of travel that I suggest would be common place among many people: “immersion” is good. My brother-in-law, a long-time fan of computer games played the HTC Vive that I set up. He played a game called Raw Data in which you defend you and your team against rogue a rogue AI and its evil robot henchmen. He claimed it was “the best gaming experience of [his] life”. He was connected in VR, fighting robots alongside a woman from Canada who was helping him learn how to play the game. We are citizens of the web during such times. The hot tub… well that was just awesome, sitting in water heated to 40 degrees Celsius, under the stars with a glass of wine, chatting with those sharing that “real” experience with me.

from Twitter

January 16, 2017 at 09:11PM

From Twitter – VR art at its finest?

This is my first post on “VR” commonly referring to the latest crop of virtual reality head mounted displays offering an all-encompassing field of vision through screens, and movement tracking. With the talk of cyborg augmentation of a human, and the concept of trans-humanism appearing in the readings, I realise I very much fit the look of part-man, part-machine when I’m wearing the device. I was also struck about how art forms much of our cultural heritage, and how that can now be consumed in a very different manner, forcing artists to rethink their creations, and how they are consumed. I wonder too if the formation of this visual “bunker” now completes the digital reality highlighted by Hand (2008).

“Digital reality is perfect. It provides the bunker self with immediate, universal access to a global community without people: electronic communication without social contact, being digital without being human, going on-line without leaving the safety of the electronic bunker .” (Kroker and Kroker 1996: 96-7 in Hand, 2008 p39)

from Twitter

January 12, 2017 at 08:03PM

ref: Hand, M (2008) Hardware to everywhere: narratives of promise and threat, chapter 1 of Making digital cultures: access, interactivity and authenticity. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp 15-42.