Teachers around the world are experiencing using the Myo armband in the classroom. We spoke with David Lockhart of Kennesaw, Georgia about his experiences using Myo for education and where Myo can benefit teachers in the classroom.
What do you subject teach and where?
I am an Instructional Technology Coach who works for Kennesaw State University on a contract with a Metro Atlanta School district to provide coaching in their schools. I am also a former High School Social Studies Teacher.
What got you into teaching and why do you enjoying technology for education?
Teaching is a family business. My mother is in education, and my father took time every weekend to teach a 4 year old Sunday School Class. After my father passed away, I became an aide in those 4 year old Sunday schools classes. From that, I realized I had a love for children, and working with them came easy to me. As I grew older, I realized I wanted to be on the high school level because I also wanted to be a coach.
My love of technology in the classroom came gradually. I like to say that I am in the in-between years of digital natives and digital immigrants. The internet was around when I was in school, but it did not grow to the Web 2.0 version until after I left. As I started my teaching career, it was always something that interested me. Gradually, I began to add more and more technology to my classroom, and my love of it really opened up when I got my first Mac in 2007. I saw the power of a device that let students create digitally, and I shifted focus to add more and more creation and choice in my classroom. By 2012, I began speaking about all the great things that are out there in the land we call ed tech, and by 2014 I left the classroom and began doing it full time as an instructional technology coach.
How can the Myo armband help teachers in the classroom?
The whole idea behind the Myo is mobility, and that is something every teacher desperately needs. In today's world where students have access to so much, it is the job of the teacher to be mobile and facilitate in their classroom. They don't need to be tied to a computer in the front of the room, and that is the beauty of Myo. It can be an incredible piece in classroom management.
What applications for Myo would you suggest to a teacher?
I would suggest a couple of things with Myo all the time, and then there would be others that I would use when the need called for it. The first thing that is an absolute must-use is presentation mode. Presentation mode gives the teacher the power to present, zoom, and point from anywhere in the classroom. While this of course has great use when delivering content, it could even be used with things like the internet and maps to zoom at point at digital content online. I think the other connectors that are must uses for any teacher are the media controls. The ability to stop videos and explain them quickly from anywhere would be incredible, and the ability to listen to music while students are working with a quick advance of songs when needed is awesome. The Myo also has a number of small apps and connectors that can add to the classroom experience such as Sphero control, controls for Virtual Reality, and many others.
Outside of class, do you use Myo for anything else?
I love my Myo and I wear it everyday!. I am an education technology presenter so it has become a major part of all of my presentations. I have even had to put a slide in to explain it because it blows people's minds. I also use it with my Spheros during presentations. It's a great way to show off those devices, and again, it's a great way to blow people's minds. The main thing I use it for on a day to day basis is music in my car. I am the type that is always changing songs, and I use my Myo to do it. It has even made me a safer driver as I don't have to look down at my phone anymore.
What other technology do you enjoy using (at work and home)?
I use all kinds of other technology on a daily basis. My Pebble watch has become almost just as important as my Myo as I feel lost without those direct notifications to my wrist. I am also a major Apple nerd who works on several different Apple products to get my job done. Swivl is another device that has become a big part of what I do, allowing me to film presentations as it follows me around the room. Last but not least, I have become very involved with the Maker Movement and have a host of maker tools like Sphero, Osmo, Little Bits, Kano, Makey Makey, Google Cardboard, and Tiny Duino.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share about your experience with Myo?
I think the thing about Myo and education is that it is JUST scratching the surface. From the get go, it will give a teacher added mobility, but where it will be an unbelievable tool is when it starts adding education connectors such as things like Nearpod and Kahoot.