“University of Calgary’s One Button Virtual Reality Room”

Some universities are using virtual reality for educational purposes. University of Calgary for instance has created a One Button Studio virtual reality room: ” Imagine snorkeling and floating in the ocean with whales … right in the middle of the library. The new virtual reality room on the third floor of the Taylor Family Digital Library (T.F.D.L) at the University of Calgary makes this possible. While the technology certainly has entertainment value, its applications for teaching, learning and research seem endless.” I just might have to attend some classes to adapt this technology in my industrial maintenance lessons.

Older learners in the classroom

Learning Portfolio


This week one of the discussions is about culturally sensitive teaching. There has been talk about privilege, learning style, and how to create inclusive spaces. Lots of reflecting needed on this topic.

However, when reflecting on how culturally sensitive my classroom is, I couldn’t help but think of age and one little thing I notice older learners do: question their ability to learn technology.

In the courses I teach, there is a fair bit of technology: there’s the platform of Blackboard, the textbook online activity site, as well as Microsoft Office Suite assignments in Office, Excel, Word, and Access. Not to mention dealing with the university website to find grades and check course email! It can be a lot to handle, especially for some who is learning a new career after decades away from the formal learning environment.

One thing I’ve noticed in the one year of teaching I’ve done…

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How to Engage Students

Strategy1: Change the classroom setup

One of the student engagement strategies I find interesting is using a different classroom setting. The video in this link is an example of how can it change the classroom dynamics:


My courses are divided into two parts: theory and workshop, and students get bored and disengaged quite easily during the first part. It’s a real challenge for me to find out the right way of teaching the theoretical part to them. Our classroom is also set up in a traditional way with the desks in rows, so I am thinking of trying a new setup in my classroom and see how it will affect the students’ engagement.


Strategy 2: Care about your students

Care about students not only as learners but as persons. If you truly care, you will know about their lives, problems, so you will find better ways of communicating with them, and that’s what the classroom management is mainly about – good communication and trustful relationships. In the 11-minute video below Engaging students in urban schools, Dr. Jabari talks about this and other student engagement problems in today’s classroom.