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Eric Hawkinson: Making Bridges in the Classroom


 

An Arizonian living in Japan, Eric Hawkinson has taught in all sorts of classrooms to all different types of students. Currently, he’s working at a public university in Japan as a teacher while also tinkering with all sorts of technology related projects.

Eric Hawkinson

 

One of Eric’s biggest projects right now is his work with AR. For those of you not familiar with the term, AR stands for augmented reality. It’s a way to connect the real world with the world of technology. One well known example of this is Pokemon Go. The game takes the environment you’re in and using a device, usually a phone, a digital layer is added that allows you to see things that aren’t actually there.

 

Eric loves taking AR and using it in the classroom. One example of the way he’s used the technology is with a textbook he wrote for Japanese students studying English. He redesigned the textbook so that the students could point their smartphone or tablet at it, and it would recognize the page and the students could then hear the written dialog or see a video related to that dialog on the page. It’s a novel way to experience the world!

 

Teachers can use AR in different ways. For example, they could take a stack of normal playing cards, and make them associated with certain videos or audio that students could access by pointing their phones or tablets at the cards. This is especially helpful when teachers want their students to visualize something that can’t be visualized easily.

Eric presenting at a TED talk in Japan

 

It’s a powerful ability to be able to take the real world and connect it in very visual ways to technology. Eric sees AR “like a bridge from whatever you have in the classroom to wherever you want to go, whatever you want to talk about.”

 

All you need to do is learn to use that bridge! Check out Eric’s website for more information about what he’s doing in the technology world and to learn how you too can make bridges in the classroom.


 

Helpful Links and Resources from this Interview:

 

Eric’s website: http://erichawkinson.com


Twitter: @Eric_Hawkinson

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Corey Engstrom, Eddie Gonzalez

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