Empowering the teachers of today, for the citizens of the future

Carlos J. Ochoa, Co_Chair VRARA Education Committee. Piacenza (Italy) 24.09.2019

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination” A. Einstein

New technologies are an emerging industry creating employment opportunities and entrepreneurial possibilities. Virtual reality and augmented reality represent incredible areas of opportunity for future job skills. “VR” failed to live up to the wildest promises when the new VR systems launched in 2015. Nevertheless, the number of job postings for “VR and AR” have risen 93% since 2015, with 17% of that growth happening in the past year. 

According to projections set out by the European Commission, market demands for qualified information and communications technology (ICT) specialists will not be met, seeing a shortfall of up to 500,000 ICT professionals in 2020. Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions are amongst those with some of the highest market demand in the ICT sector by Marketwatch. The global market for augmented reality and virtual reality is estimated to reach USD 766 billion by 2025, registering a 73.7% CAGR during the forecast period of 2018 to 2025

New skills development for more complex jobs is a daily industry demand. Technicians and engineers need to be proficient and continue to change rapidly as tasks become more complex. They need to find the right information at the right moment. Technicians need fast access to all integrated data, to take fast, right and complex decisions.

Education is the driver to sustainability of our economy and functionality of humanity. Educating the individual is the country’s most valuable investment. It represents the foundation for progress and development. Every day we seek to learn new information and the way we take the lessons and apply to our everyday lives, is the core of how we explore we grow and we build futures for ourselves. 

If we wish to prepare a generation of citizens, entrepreneurs and leaders for the 21th. century who can face real-world problems, we must give them real-world problems to solve. Future jobs opportunities around VR/AR.

Through virtual and augmented realities, the technology allows the user to immerse themselves into a virtual experience or location and the immersive lesson is retained at a much quicker time frame with a more impactful lasting memory. VR & Learning, by the National Training Laboratory, advised retention rates for lecture style learning were at 5%, with reading rates at 10%. Meanwhile, the teaching method of VR scored a retention rate of 75%.

Understanding we are moving into a world with exponential growth, there is a necessary requirement to update our education system to support innovative technologies to understand how it will be applied to job creation and support digital support systems and processes.

The demand of the companies in the industry sector, with respect to their future workers, is that they have social skills and competencies such as leadership, motivation, perseverance, flexibility, communication, etc. Focusing on the development of skills and abilities aimed at a specific sector, in this case the Virtual Reality subsector ensures its better assimilation, greater effectiveness of training and a more complete response to what companies demand in profiles of these characteristics. For instance, in the Vocational Training includes subjects oriented to career guidance and orientation, but they lack a transversal skills development approach and these are not addressed directly in the itineraries.

The integration of transversal skills required for the sector, as well as technical competencies related to the latest trends, will comprehensively cover the labour market demands of new technologies and will ensure the best inclusion of VET students in the technological labour market of the future. The Future of Work by EAPN.EU.

It is time to take actions and introduce disruptive elements in our education system. Traditional methodologies and normalization already fail to provide rapid solution to the society needs. Velocity and acceleration are key factor for this unpredictable horizon, where education will play a key role for citizens of the future. Disruptive Innovation in Education?.

Humanity is at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is building on both VR & AR applications and solutions. The changes to the way we teach, and the curriculum needed to support innovative time is required to support the graduating generations into a workforce rapidly changing and evolving using digital applications not yet taught in our schools’ systems. Day to day operations and day-to-day systems will be using VR and AR systems to be engaged in the operations.

VR & AR for Education is mandated for the following reasons:

  • To engage our current students and future generations in the Digital Age
  • To provide education of the tools, the technology, the applications of VR & AR to be used in future jobs
  • To provide best practices for the classrooms
  • To provide engagement tools for Students, Parents & resources for Teachers & Mentors
  • To be the leader and resource of VR & AR applications that relate to extending knowledge to support the application, build or creation of the technology to use in our everyday lives

At this moment, some relevant topics need to be include in the Disruptive School Environment and new teacher’s agenda for Schools of the Future:

  • Reimagining new Smart Spaces at schools
  • Classroom as a set of devices
  • 5 Senses learning a immersive learning technologies
  • Improve the hierarchy of needs in XR in Education
  • Convergence of technologies with and integrated vision
  • Soft skills integration with IT in the “Teachers Training Program”.
  • Collaboration Platforms. Virtual environments where the educational community can share best practices and experiences in a global and multicultural environment. Videos, presentations and forums integrate education materials from different sources in different formats.

It is in this context where Carlos J. Ochoa, Co_Chair of VR/AR Association Education Committee and Co-Founder of ICICLE ( X-Reality for Learning and Performance Augmentation, collaboration with Acer Education presented “Immersive Realities in Educational 4.0 Ecosystems” in the framework of Scuola e Virtuale in Piacenza.  Scuola e Virtuale, an international event along with Liceo Melchiorre Gioia, Impara Digitale, Indire and Microsoft, to spread awareness about immersive technologies in education, where more than 1000 professionals attendants ( teachers, students, managers and experts from different industries and sectors).

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

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