Join the Conversation : Is the Future of College Online?

Founder Dan Lejerskar shares his thoughts on the future of colleges and how it could lead to greater educational equity.

“COVID-19 may just be that event that leads us to the democratisation of knowledge. There are existing pockets of education innovation, taking MIT for example, to suggest that well designed online classrooms can offer the same learning benefits as an in person one.”

 

Opinion | The Future of College Is Online, and It’s Cheaper

The coronavirus forced a shift to virtual classes, but their continuation could be beneficial even after the pandemic ends. By Mr. Taparia is a clinical associate professor at the New York University Stern School of Business. Forty years ago, going to college in America was a reliable pathway for upward mobility.

Will we see greater equity in higher education after COVID-19? Join the conversation here.

Related:

How VR and AR can help in a pandemic

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Join the Conversation: 5G Powered AR/VR Classrooms

 

Founder Dan Lejerskar shares his thoughts on the future of AR/VR classrooms powered by 5G technology.

“A recent study found a 76-per-cent increase in learning outcomes when students used a VR simulation and a 101-per-cent increase when they used it in combination with traditional teaching.” – Teaching faster and better is no longer out of reach, we have the technology, we have the speeds, now all we need is the will to see this through.

How 5G will help make classrooms smarter

Canada’s education system needs a transformation, and experts say 5G technology – with its increased speed and reliability – could help make it happen more quickly. “I think education needs to be disrupted, a little bit of creative destruction,” says Ryan McLaughlin, a senior economist and research analyst at the Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada (ICTC).

How can we turn 5G powered AR/VR classrooms into reality? We invite you to join the conversation here

Related:
Immersive Technology and 5G for Telco Providers – Why It Matters Now

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An Introduction to the Courtroom in AR and VR

Who’s who and what’s what in the Courtroom – An Introduction to Courtroom 101 in AR and VR.

A courtroom can be an overwhelming place, with its formality, its procedures and understanding the court system in the United States is no easy task. There are multiple layers of jurisdiction, authority, and responsibility that span state, county, municipal and federal boundaries, and employ thousands of individuals in roles such as judges, commissioners, clerks, bailiffs and advocates. Adding to the confusion are the many state and federal regulations, case types, and court processes that make it difficult to understand the role of the courts or to describe their place in the overall administration of justice.

On the AVR Platform, students can now gain an introduction to the Courtroom, learn about appropriate behavior in a courtroom and prepare for the setting of the oral arguments, among other learning possibilities in AR and VR!

For the full, hands on immersive learning experience, please click here.

 

 

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The Egyptian Museum in AR and VR

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, also known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, is home to more than 120,000 pieces of ancient Egypt. It was first built in 1835, but was moved many times until it was finally moved to its current place in 1902 Tahrir Square. Here are some key artefacts that EON is bringing to history teachers and students around the globe in AR and VR.  Open a new portal to digital learning with more than one million digital assets in our lesson library.
These lessons show off the possibilities of learning using AR and VR. Anyone can transform even the most basic of spaces and subjects into a fascinating educational moment.  EON Reality is now offering free access to the AVR Platform , just click here to start!
Related:

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Role of AR and VR in Learning and Assessment

Peter’s Pedagogical Corner

This week, we invited Peter Looker, Chief Learning Officer to share his vision on the role of AR and VR in authentic learning and assessment. He will be sharing his perspectives from the intersection of education and technology which will be featured on this blog as part of a regular series. We welcome your comments and thoughts!

The Role of AR and VR in Authentic Learning and Assessment – Why and How?

We hear a lot these days about the need for more “authentic assessment” of students.  But what is it, why is there a call for more of it, and how can it be achieved?  I want to consider in this post a few of the key issues to do with authentic assessment, authentic learning, and their relationship to augmented and virtual reality.

Why the need for assessment?

First, we know that assessment has a strong influence on what students consider to be important in a course. We often say in education circles, “Students will learn what they are going to be assessed on.” This means, for example,  that if the assessment tests students on memorisation and factual knowledge, a large number of students (though not all)  will focus only on memorisation and facts, even if you want them to learn concepts, critical thinking and application.  If you want concepts, critical thinking and application, then those qualities need to be explicitly tested and given significant weight to signal to students that they need to put effort into them.  That’s the first point about authentic assessment – its validity in terms of measuring what you really want to measure.

The second, is that authentic assessment is a way to relate learning and work, to ensure that theoretical understanding is transferred to real-world application (Villarroel, Boud, Bloxhm, Bruna & Carola, 2020).

Where are the gaps in current assessment practices?

A major problem with students finishing higher education – and this is a global problem – is that they often graduate with a lot of knowledge, and theoretical understanding, but have little idea how that knowledge is applied in the real world.  One of the main reasons for this is the way students learn, especially through lectures, and the way they are assessed. (See this interview with Harvard Physics Professor Eric Mazur https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2012/03/twilight-of-the-lecture)

Authentic assessment means assessing students’ ability to activate and perform their knowledge in real-world situations, to solve real problems, rather than answering paper and pen tests. But we can take this a step further and talk not just about authentic assessment, but authentic learning, which Farley (2016) describe as placing “the learner in the environment of the doer”, where the environment “resembles some ‘real life’ disciplinary context or activity.”  One of the aims of this form of learning (which resembles the traditional apprenticeship model) is that students go from being novices to experts in their actual field of application.  What is needed is real-world environments that are safe to learn in and where it is safe to make mistakes.

The role of AR and VR in authentic assessment

It should be clear where this is going.  Augmented and virtual reality can create safe spaces that enable not only authentic measurable assessment (performance) but authentic learning experiences. Augmented and virtual reality allow for the four key themes Rule (2006) identified for authentic learning: real-world problems; inquiry activities; sharing and collaborating; and individual empowerment through choice. Importantly, students can encounter scenarios that are risky, even dangerous, in the real world.

So, what’s the evidence?  In looking at evidence, we need to be careful about what we are measuring, just as with student assessment.  A lot of early studies in the effects of educational technology, including AR and VR, tended to compare one group of students who learned in the traditional way with another group who learned with the technology.  Often, they found little difference.  The problem, however, was that they were using the traditional assessment to measure both groups.  For the sake of simplification, let’s say that students were required to remember a set of 20 facts and formulae.  The comparison might show that the experimental group who had learned using the technology performed no better than the control group who did not.  But as the following study points out, this may be a problem with the kind of assessment given to the students.

The Evidence

In an article published in 2019, Makransky, Borre-Gude & Mayer compared groups of students learning laboratory safety.  There were three groups: the control group who learned from the traditional safety manual; one group who used desktop VR, and one group who used immersive VR. The outcome of the research indicated that all three groups performed equally well on the basic knowledge test.  (Just as many earlier studies found.)  No differences between the groups were detected until they were required to perform in a real laboratory, where they were faced with real problems.  It was here that the immersive reality students “significantly outperformed” the others, and the desktop VR students outperformed those who used traditional media.  The immersive VR students were able to solve problems in a high stake’s environment.  So, where it really counts, in actual lab performance, the immersive VR students performed better.

The authors comment that to understand the advantage of immersive VR in this situation, the right kind of assessment needs to be applied, not just the traditional knowledge assessment.  What this seems to mean is that the learning advantages for students are best seen with a combination of authentic learning (here, immersive VR), and authentic assessment (performance in a real laboratory).

The AVR Platform for assessment and learning

It’s time to get learning out of the lecture theatre, and assessment out of the examination hall to improve the learning outcomes for students, now we have the opportunity to create both authentic learning experiences and authentic assessment. Designed to create both authentic learning and assessment experiences for students, the AVR Platform is an easy way to get started with introducing the benefits of AR and VR into your classroom.

 

References

Farley, Helen S. (2016). The Reality of Authentic Learning in Virtual Worlds. Learning in Virtual Worlds: Research and Applications. Edited by Gregory, Sue, Lee, Mark J. W., Dalgarno, Barney and Tynan, Belinda. Athabasca, Canada: Athabasca University Press.129-149.

Guido Makransky, Stefan Borre-Gude, Richard E. Mayer (2019) “Motivational and cognitive benefits of training in immersive virtual reality based on multiple assessments.” Journal of Computer Assisted Engineering, July, 2019

Veronica Villarroel, David Boud, Susan Bloxham, Daniela Bruna & carola Bruna (2020) “Using principles of authentic assessment to redesign written examinations and tests” Innovations in Education and Teching InternationaI, 57:1 38-49

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How to Run Facebook Ads for Local Businesses: Driving Foot Traffic

Does your local business need more walk-in customers? Want to know how to use Facebook ads to drive more foot traffic? In this article, you’ll discover how to run Facebook ads with the Store Traffic objective to generate more business for your local business. To learn how to properly set up and run a store […]

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SpaceX Crew Astronauts Get Used to Space Station

NASA astronauts and Expedition 63 crew members (from left) Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley and Chris Cassidy.
NASA astronauts and Expedition 63 crew members (from left) Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley and Chris Cassidy.

The International Space Station has two new NASA astronauts after the SpaceX Crew Dragon arrived on Sunday. The newly-expanded Expedition 63 crew will now be ramping up microgravity research in the coming days and weeks.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are getting up to speed with space station systems and operations on their first full day as Expedition 63 crewmates. The duo is also unpacking the Crew Dragon vehicle today and integrating its systems with the space station.

The duo joined NASA Commander Chris Cassidy, who has been on orbit since April 9, for a news conference today and talked about the historical nature of the first crewed Dragon mission. Hurley and Behnken, who each flew on two space shuttle missions, also described the differences between the Dragon crew ship and the now-retired shuttles.

Cassidy primarily spent Monday on ongoing lab maintenance activities. The veteran astronaut, who also flew on two previous shuttle missions, serviced research hardware and plumbing gear throughout Monday.

The two Roscosmos cosmonauts, Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, focused on science and routine operations in the Russian segment of the orbiting lab. They joined their NASA crewmates in the morning to review Crew Dragon emergency procedures. Afterward, the duo explored advanced Earth photography techniques and ways to improve space exercise.

Lenovo Announces Standalone 4K Headset Designed For Enterprise VR

4K visuals, hands-free control, and a removable face plate ready for mass use.

Developed in partnership with Pico interactive, the Lenovo Mirage VR S3 is an upcoming all-in-one VR headset designed specifically for enterprise use. Unveiled earlier today during a keynote speech by Nathan Pettyjohn, Commercial AR/VR Lead, Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo, at the VR/AR Global Summit Online Conference, the VR S3 includes a variety of enterprise-focused capabilities aimed at pleasing professionals across various fields.

This includes a crisp 4K display, support for either hands-free or single controller interaction, built-in audio, a rugged, lightweight design, and a removable, easy-to-clean face plate; resulting in a convenient standalone experience aimed specifically at workforce training. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, the 3DoF headset features a 101-degree field-of-view and a battery life of approximately 3 hours. Enterprise-focused applications can be accessed via ThinkReality, Lenovo’s device-and-cloud agnostic AR/VR platform. Running on the VR S3, this software allows employers to manage applications on a global scale with the support of a professional IT support team.

“VR helps achieve better, faster training at lower cost,” said Nathan Pettyjohn in an official release. “Our enterprise customers are looking for solutions to build and enable more skilled and efficient global workforces. They are increasingly looking for cutting-edge solutions like VR and AR supported by ThinkReality’s flexible platform to scale applications enterprise-wide.”

The easy-to-clean face plate and standalone functionality makes the Lenovo Mirage VR S3 an attractive training solution for healthcare workers working on the front line of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Safe, repeatable training solutions are in high demand among hospitals and healthcare facilities across the globe, whether it be retraining retired healthcare professionals looking to lend support during the pandemic or educating new personnel working in post-acute care and long-term care facilities.

“Lenovo is placing a significant amount of resources into developing emerging business solutions to support our customers’ sophisticated needs and endeavors,” added Ganesh Raghu, Director of Lenovo’s Emerging Technology Solutions & Services. “These solutions require an elevated support model, like Lenovo Integrated Solutions Support, that goes beyond individual products and instead focuses on managing complex issues across the entire solution to limit downtime and create a better customer experience.”

The Lenovo Mirage VR S3 will be available for purchase Q3 2020 in North America, China, Japan, United Kingdom, France, and Spain for under $450 (North America price). The VR S3 is also included as part of the Lenovo VR Classroom 2 education solution. Companies interested in learning more can contact a Lenovo representative or visit here.

Image Credit: Lenovo

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VR Escape Room ‘Survival’ Simulates Being Stranded On A Deserted Island

Explore the beach, find your friends, and survive the elements in this location-based VR adventure.

VR escape room developer ARVI VR Inc. this week announced a brand new addition to its line-up of family-friendly immersive experiences, Survival, a tropical themed VR adventure in which players explore a uninhabited island located somewhere across the Pacific Ocean. It is there players will be tasked with surviving the elements while completing a series of objectives in an effort to escape their tropical purgatory.

“The game is a great way to get away from it all and spend an awesome time with friends,” said Michael Dementii, CEO of ARVI VR. “Not only will players be able to enjoy the beauty of a tropical island, but they also get an opportunity to test their skills in the role of a plane crash survivor. A new unforgettable adventure for the whole family is guaranteed.”

The experience begins with you and your friends flying aboard a private jet as you make your way to the vacation to end all vacations. Along the way, however, your plane is struck by lighting and you soon find yourself frantically paddling towards the warm shores of a mysterious tropical island.

Though the game is being advertised as a multiplayer experience similar to past ARVI VR Inc. releases (Jungle Quest, Mission Sigma, Sanctum), it sounds as though players will begin the journey on their own and will need to traverse the island in order to locate their teammates. The official release indicates a focus on exploration and puzzles, similar to real-world escape rooms; you’ll need to locate supplies and seek shelter from the weather if you hope to survive long enough for the search team to locate you.

ARVI VR Inc. states that Survival will be available at over 150 location-based VR venues and arcades worldwide, though it’s unclear how the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak will impact its deployment.

Image Credit: ARVI VR Inc.

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Sony Postpones PlayStation 5 Reveal Event Previously Set For June 4th

Today in a tweet Sony announced the decision to postpone the PlayStation 5 reveal event that was previously scheduled for June 4th. Sony cites the need for “more important voices to be heard” at this time.

You can see the full message embedded below:

As of now there is now new date attached to the news, which means we will need to wait for an announcement about the rescheduled PlayStation 5 reveal event. Since the event is expected to be a livestream-only affair, it doesn’t have any physical limitations that would make rescheduling difficult.

We don’t know what to expect with this reveal event once it does happen, but common predictions usually involve details on what the PlayStation 5 looks like, specs, gameplay footage of upcoming games, and more. This was expected to be the big thing to replace Sony’s usual  E3 presence, an event the company was planning to skip for the second year in a row.

Without a major focal point for the summer, most gaming news is trickling out gradually over the course of several months. For the second year in a row we’re hosting our own digital event: The UploadVR Showcase: Summer Edition. Last year it was E3 VR, but since E3 is canceled this year we adjusted the name. The event will include tons of new gameplay, unannounced games, exclusive interviews, and more.

In the meantime: what do you hope to find out at the PlayStation 5 event once it does happen? Do you have any big predictions or deep down desires? Let us know in the comments below!

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