Using WordPress to capture student progress worked very well. In the group context it provided a forum where the students could collect their ideas, thoughts, and progress. It was interesting see how the two teams responded to the opportunity to use word press. One team did not see any value in the exercise and chose to avoid keeping a word press, while the other team appointed one person to keep the WordPress blog current and produced an interesting artifact.
The team that did keep a WordPress benefited from having an edited diary of all decisions that transpired. The ability word press has to generate clean presentation of a groups thoughts is also a great plus. I think the success of the teams WordPress can be attributed to appointing one person to maintaining the site, or that the appointed person came up with the idea therefore having higher buy in.
In future we I will be rolling this out in a number of classes. I can see the creation and maintenance of a word press site by students could easily replace activities like class presentations and provide a space for not only practicing critique but receiving it too.
AR layers (and Geo-location)
Trialing Geo-location was a bust in the web apps class. I had a feeling that this would be the case as a device with a keyboard is needed to code and a mouse or other such accurate pointing device is needed to create the graphics needed. As this was most likely going to fail given the subject matter it has been pushed to another section of the paper. Geo-location will be used in the next assignment which involves shooting in various locations, rather than sitting static in a lab or home PC.
While exploring geo-location, we stumbled across the idea of using augmented reality markers. This idea does side track from the idea of geo-location but is often packaged with the tools. The basic idea of augmented reality markers is they allow for the overlapping or converging of digital and physical space. Some ideas were kicked around as to how this could be used with both the students and other lecturers. One idea with potential was using physical notes to generate digital ones.
Students will often begin all ideas with pencil and paper. As most designers know this is because they are tools we have been raised to use from a young age, and are very efficient with. Most attempts I have seen as a lecturer to replace pencil and paper in the class often leads to double-ups in effort from students. As students start on paper then repeat there thinking within another context (as asked for by assessment criteria often) while adding affordances of blogs and social media, ect. There is good in this, in that the translation exercise often forces reflection, but I am curious as to if this step is needed and how students would perform if it was not needed. The ability AR markers give do allow students to skip this step which in theory seems more efficient.
The idea of using AR markers is that they allow for a student to pencil all their ideas down within a note book or on sheets of paper. Then they can go back to that doodle, scan and upload the page to a service such as layar and then add digital content on top. For example a student could draw a mockup for an interface with written notes, then augment that drawing using layar to include links to examples of similar interfaces, related imagery, blogs on the theory used, ect. See it in action.