The summer of 2016 will be remembered for the Pokemon Go phenomenon, which made augmented reality a mainstream technology. “Pokemon Go touched so many lives,” said Tiphanie Gonzalez ’05 M’07 of the free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game that sent humans of all ages outdoors with their mobile devices in hand. The game taps into devices’ GPS capability to locate, capture, battle and train virtual mythical creatures that appear on the screen as if they are in the same real-world location as the player.
“So many people were playing, and that is one of the things we are seeing now: Augmented reality is part of our everyday lives,” said Gonzalez during her SUNY Oswego Technology Conference presentation, “Using Mixed and Augmented Reality in the Classroom.” Through augmented reality technologies that are readily available, “a student can explore the world and be immersed, even explore the universe,” she said.
Gonzalez shared different types of technology from free and low-cost apps available on smart phones to the use of augmented/virtual labs used for training programs. Her presentation drew middle and high school teachers from throughout New York as part of the Department of Technology’s 77th Fall Conference for educators/professionals from different school disciplines held Oct. 27-28.
The approximately 350 conference attendees took part in more than 50 programs offered by nearly 100 different presenters — many of whom are alumni — plus the Technology Innovation Showcase, a reception at Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, professional development/ contact sessions and numerous commercial exhibits with the latest for the classroom and laboratory.
Richard Bush ’92 M’97, conference chair and a technology department faculty member, said alumni play a critical role in the success of the conference’s programming.
“Over 90 percent of the conference’s participants are alumni,” Bush said. “The draw is certainly to see what’s new in the profession, what’s new at the college and to see old friends.” Other topics covered during the two-day conference included a look at the Makerspace Movement, including software and 3D printing by SUNY Oswego technology Professor Donna Matteson ’83 M’88 and Richard Kulibert ’05.
Robotics programming, including how to start and maintain a program, was the topic of a session prepared by Joe Gallina ’02 and Justin Montois ’14. And Clark Greene ’81 spoke about the National Academies Report on STEM Integration and its implications for technology education. Greene’s presentation highlighted key elements of the report and its importance as a tool to advance the inclusion of technology and engineering education in STEM initiatives at all levels.