#ImmersiveLearning Environments in Disruptive Advanced #Education #Ecosystems. Episode I.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein.

Man is by nature a social animal. From birth, he absolutely needs others to develop physically and socially. Enhancing our intelligence in the face of our physical weakness. We are social creatures by nature and we need to learn how to be part of society, how to interact with groups of people, and how to work as a team. We are emotional, social, rational beings, with conscience and intentionality, will, freedom and personal identity, ethics…

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein.

Man is by nature a social animal. From birth, he absolutely needs others to develop physically and socially. Enhancing our intelligence in the face of our physical weakness. We are social creatures by nature and we need to learn how to be part of society, how to interact with groups of people, and how to work as a team. We are emotional, social, rational beings, with conscience and intentionality, will, freedom and personal identity, ethics…

We live in times of complete uncertainty. The world, had never faced a similar situation as we have today. Where there are too many questions in the air, still waiting for the correct answer, if there are any.

During this last months, I have got the perception that we were trying to hide ourselves into an increasingly virtualized world, behind decomposed avatars, robots or new small particles into a new virtual scenario as part of this new reality. Losing the control of our free brain activity, dominated for external unknown forces, as part of a live experiment drive by some kind of superior intelligence. But with some common feelings…the lack of affection, recognition, and human touch.

In this new world, governments face heedlessly to the new academic year, terrified of a new outbreak that will leave the system naked again, yes, let’s contribute something earthly. Let’s say things by their name, since, after several months of uncertainty, the capacity to anticipate, prepare for this new scenario has been nil and we continue to learn from the mistakes of the recent past.

There are no longer shortcuts, online paths traveled by elements devoid of the minimum preparation to face these new challenges in today’s society.

Today I lost my avatar, and I believe that there is only one possible path, towards the digital transformation in Education, from a completely disruptive and non-evolutionary approach. Since there is no time for it and these generations will not allow it.

Do we want to be remembered as responsible? Or guilty?

Episode I

Why do we want, need Immersive Learning Environments? Is it a new fad? is it a trend in education? does it really add value? is there proven evidence? Not it is not new, but what do we want it for.

  • Create immersive spaces in the image and likeness of real existing classroom spaces, but that adapt to different subjects.? Where classes are taught with immersive Caves / HDMI devices, etc.
  • Create a universal space, accessible by the entire educational community, both inside and outside the classroom, where to share experiences, activities, projects … etc.
  • Develop a learning methodology, where virtual spaces are recreated, with scenes adapted to the contexts and where students actively participate as members of the group. Customizing to your image and likeness? Future open worlds? Contributing your vision of the new virtual classroom?
  • Turn the classroom into an inspiring experience, each and every day of the year.? Are we ready for it?
  • Convert the workshops into creative, interactive and inspiring spaces, where students learn from good practices and develop their skills beyond their limitations?
  • Create multiverse spaces, where futuristic experiences are created, anticipating solutions to the world of the future? From the lessons learned from the past and through the use of new technologies? What would have become of … if we had acted …?
  • Imagine spaces that are transformed and adapted depending on the needs, the context, the problem … simulating unforeseen situations and seeing how the students react.
  • Learn from the silence, the stones, the walls, the art of the works hidden in the walls of history and understand the reason for the evolution of things, the need and the use of inventions … in contexts adapted to time.,

to be continue…

Have a nice and safe day.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

The New “Immersive Learning Experience” Paradigm.

Personal highlights from the “Immersive Learning Research Network 2020 Conference” #iLRN2020

Last June, I had the honor of participating in the Immersive Learning Research Network International Virtual Conference held in the VR collaboration platform VirBELA, and through live streams on iLRN’s Youtube channel.

During the 5 days Virtual Event, hundreds of speakers from all continents, conferences, panel discussions, networking meetings, poster sessions, showcases, live demos, and many other social events were organized by an amazing team of professionals and volunteers.

It is evident, that due to the #Covid and its impact worldwide, the spread of virtual events has been exponential, and with it, the opportunity to participate in global events around the world, without having to move from one place to another, suffer the terrible jet-lags and the consequent savings for the pocket. But if there is something that, especially for me, has special relevance, it is the opportunity to share experiences with experts from all over the world, which would otherwise be materially impossible. Having this wide spectrum of professionals in the same setting, event, campus, or networking activity is a unique opportunity that not everyone knows how to take advantage of and organize properly.

The organization of a global event like that is something really complex. But if this is virtual, and you have to coordinate equipment, rooms, people, and technology in real-time and at a distance … this is much more complex and is not available to everyone. This requires planning, resources, teamwork, and good technology partners. And all of this was brilliantly accomplished during Immersive Learning Research Network. So, my first words are of recognition, gratitude, and congratulations to the whole team.

Personally, it was a magnificent experience, and having the opportunity to meet great friends and colleagues was very refreshing and healthy for the mind. There is always that moment, in which you see someone, you approach to greet him … and you realize that you are an avatar, talking to another avatar … but it is you and it is him. That is really mind-blowing and fantastic at the same time. But I’m counting the days when I can really come up in person and give my friend a real hug … congratulations on that. Very good work.

Professionally and academically speaking, I found it very inspiring due to the number of conferences and presentations that I was able to attend and in which I was able to see first-hand, the real use cases of VR in academic institutions, its evolution and ongoing projects , as well as its vision and evolution for the coming years.

At this point, an article that I recently reread about “It will be 2016 the year of the definitive takeoff of VR / AR” comes to mind. And every year it seems that we keep asking ourselves the same question, without being really aware that this technology is implanted in those industries where it provides value, competitive advantages, and cost savings. But it is constantly evolving and there are multiple ways of using it and adapting to the environments of use. The truth is that there is still a long way to go and meetings like this allow us to confront experiences, opinions and evaluate the degree of progress and results of these experiences. But we will talk about this later.

My contribution was concentrated in two main activities: a presentation and the presentation of the Magical and Mistry Tour around the Cultural Heritageshowcase.

The Magical and Mystery Tour around Cultural Heritage of Cuenca, it is a unique project experience that was born with the vision of being a cultural and transmedia platform, as multicultural support where cultural heritage, history, archeology, society, and music are accommodated. In short, a space full of life and spaces for imagination and the discovery of magical worlds, from the Islamic to Christian times to the present day. Crossroads of cultures that can be traveled today thanks to immersive technologies from a unique perspective.

More than ten years of work, from the beginnings of the first Islamic reconstructions to the integration with current 360º videos, or flights around the city from Google Earth to recognize the vestiges of those ancestors who filled the city of Cuenca with magic. Advanced 3d immersive multimedia technologies are a powerful tool to create value around the Cultural Heritage. The Magical and Mystery Tour around the City of Cuenca project is aimed to integrate Virtual Reality technologies and methodological and scientific approaches for the representation of cultures across history.

And last but not least, I want to express my most sincere gratitude to Anna Xygkou for the permanent support, and the amazing intro to my session, and the amazing team with Jonathon Richter, Heather Dodds, Donna McTaggart, Tiago Peres, Mark J. Lee, and all the friends and more I met there…Lorelle Vanfoseen, Karen Alexander, Lucia Binotti, Tim Jackson, Julie Andersen Smithson, Daniel Dyboski-Bryant, Amanda Fox, Rob Theriault, and Patrick O’Shea from Versatilist Podcast…;+)

Have a nice and safe day.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

#VIRTUALREALITY platforms for #VR in #EDUCATION and #CORONAVIRUS.

Today, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a large part of the world population is confined at their homes and millions of children around the world have closed schools. A situation that forces all education community, to search for efficient and possible alternatives, in order to keep up the pace of the educational year and keep the attention of students in their educational activity.

These days there are many alternatives offering quickly and running like miraculous solutions capable of solving even the unimaginable.

But the truth is that between 17/22 of February, thanks to the initiative of Educators In VR, a group of teachers, students and volunteers from all over the world, with the sponsorship, among others of the VR/AR Association and the #Education Committee. During these days, we were able to bring together more than 150 speakers, almost 100 volunteers and several thousand attendees to the largest Virtual World Event on Education ever imagined. A six days non-stop Summit, with speakers from all continents, in a marathon week in perfect coordination. An exceptional work and developed with great professionalism and enthusiasm by a group of authentic pioneers, among whom we can give thanks for meeting and having lived that fantastic experience in first person.

2020 Educators in VR International Summit brings together educators, learners, researchers, and experts in VR, AR, and XR to share their passion for integrating immersive technology in education.

We want to thank Daniel Dyboski-Bryant, alma-matter of the Summit and Lorelle VanFossen to make it happened: “More than 150 top speakers from all over the world during more than 100 sessions in 6 days”. It was just an amazing experience as “Really Pioneers” and putting in common best practices, lessons learned and case studies in #VR / #AR in #Education.

During this event, the VR/AR Association #Education Committee in collaboration with MetaVRse and ONE Digital Consulting organized the #VRARA Panel.

Julie Andersen Smithson, and Carlos J. Ochoa Fernandez ,leaded the conversation with the contribution of Olivia Wenzel and Pat Owens. During the presentation, we talked about our mission and activities to promote and develop a professional VR in Education Global Ecosystem, working with top professionals and top companies all around the world.

The VR/AR Association is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the VR and AR ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies. There are over 70 VRARA chapters, with more than 30 Industry experts Committees around the world that meet regularly in person and online.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernandez is President of VR/AR Association, Madrid and Co_Chair of Education Committee.

Now you can see the complete session here, and get the immersive perception of what is Immersive Learning in #VRSpaces.

Have a nice day.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©