Amazon Echo in Teaching

How can we use XXX in teaching? Replace XXX with your favourite peace of technology - you see it all the time and it’s a good excuse to buy a shiny bit of kit and play with it in class. So no surprise to see the use of the Amazon Echo crop up at some point. In this case it’s Donald Clark who has supplied the goods (although more related to business). And there are some good things on the list. My picks are:

1. Use it as a countdown timer: great for tests, group work, discussion, staged practicals etc.

2. To Do Lists: I can see this being used by the instructor and students to keep multiple lists of things theyve found hard, topics to cover again, answers to post etc etc. Have multiple lists, that could include voting-up (likes) for topics etc

3. Calculator: easier and quicker than a phone

4. Queries/Questions: ask populations, capitals, parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, names of sensors, expiration dates satellites. The list is endless, useful and fast.

5. Training: text-to-speech, audio briefings. The power of voice is tremendous and this can be a great way to bring further personalisation to learning.

There are some great thoughts in there, although don’t underestimate the complexities of running in a room of people.

Photogrammetry Round Up

With being fresh back from EGU, it seemed an appropriate moment to provide a few brief links to things relevant:

1. UAV PICO: I was the lead convener for the “Unmanned Aerial Systems: Platforms, Sensors and Applications in Soil, Agriculture and Geosciences” which was again hugely successful. There were 14 presentations, everyone turned up and delivered sharp and punchy talks in the 2 minute madness. All were excellent, so its well worth taking a look at he abstracts.

2. Cameras and settings for optimal image capture from UAVs: my own talk went down well with plenty of questions in the interactive session afterwards. This is material that has recently been published in our Progress in Physical Geography paper, so take a look at that for a more detailed exposition.

3. James presented on his PhD work looking at the impact of image quality on 3D reconstruction using SfM. This went down well, generated much discussion and drove some more people to the (full) PICO. Take a look at his synopsis of EGU and read the poster (take a look at the full High Resolution Topography in the Geosciences: Methods and Applications session).

4. As a result of all this work, James has produced a nice summary of Photogrammetry rules of thumb which can be read in conjunction with the PiPG paper noted above.