¿Real o Virtual?. El nuevo paradigma en la Educación 4.0.

La Realidad Virtual se ha convertido en el nuevo “Big Bang” de la innovación tecnológica y lleva rumbo de convertirse en otra “Nube Explosiva“, si no lo remediamos a tiempo. Cuando el “mundo” de las nuevas generaciones descubre algo novedoso, “lo último” lanzado por el “mundo” de la industria, epata y se deja llevar por imágenes, experiencias virtuales, anuncios…y olvidan filtrar y analizar toda esa información, procesarla convenientemente y ponerla a la disposición de su cerebro, para que de una manera inteligente aporte valor a su vida.

Si, desgraciadamente nos hemos convertido en una sociedad que se mueve a modo de impulsos, titulares y tweets y todo lo demás es información que sobra. Nuestro buffer sólo es capaz de procesar 140 caracteres y los 10 primeros segundos de un video en YouTube.

Aquel que dijo “que la información no ocupa lugar”, era un auténtico ignorante. Ya que el gran reto de la sociedad tecnológicamente avanzada, es almacenar, procesar, analizar y operar las grandes bases de información y convertirlas en datos de valor. E insisto, “VALOR”; no toda la información tiene valor, ni todo dato es susceptible de convertirse en información para crear valor.

Y con la innovación y las nuevas tecnologías y su aplicación en el día a día, ocurre algo muy parecido. Inteligencia artificial, digitalización, fotogrametría digital, robótica, realidad virtual…son conceptos del siglo pasado, en los que algunos hemos estado investigando y desarrollando durante años. Aplicando nuestros conocimientos y experiencias en distintos sectores y ámbitos de nuestra vida.

Y sin embargo aparecen hoy en día ante nosotros como los estandartes de la nueva revolución tecnológica. Reivindico la “memoria histórica”, la necesidad de estudiar en las escuelas y centros educativos, la evolución de la sociedad y en paralelo el impacto de las tecnologías en ella, aprender del pasado y afrontar los retos del futuro con imaginación y creatividad.

En particular, en el sector de la Realidad Virtual, algo que parece que está de moda total, el gran avance en los últimos años, ha venido de la mano del desarrollo de los dispositivos móviles. La oportunidad de poder disponer de soluciones complejas en un entorno móvil, sencillo, de fácil manejo y precios razonables. Esto es, innovación disruptiva en los terminales y democratización del acceso a aplicaciones, hasta ahora sólo accesibles a través de sofisticados dispositivos de hardware y software avanzado.

Pero lo que sin duda se convierte en una oportunidad, puede revertir en un gran fracaso si no se comprende y adapta convenientemente la tecnología a los entornos de uso o aplicación.

A lo largo de estos dos últimos años, hemos estado desarrollando aplicaciones para el sector educativo, turístico y artístico, basándonos en nuestros más de 15 años de experiencia aplicada y participación en proyectos de I+D europeos. Y vamos realizando nuestra labor de “misioneros avanzados”, explicando la tecnología, formando a usuarios en el manejo eficiente de la misma y presentando los beneficios y valores que aporta en los distintos ámbitos de aplicación.

La respuesta que encontramos habitualmente es de asombro, sorpresa…y en muchos casos de incredulidad ante lo que ven y pueden trasladar a su mente con un poco de imaginación y creatividad.

Por otro lado nos encontramos con otro grupo de usuarios, teóricamente algo experimentados, que cuando observan nuestras experiencias y proyectos, se sorprenden de una manera singular y particular…Se quitan lentamente el dispositivo de la cabeza, nos miran…y nos dicen con asombro…·esto es otra cosa”…y yo les pregunto, ¿ qué es otra cosa?…¿qué es lo que habías experimentado hasta ahora?…pero, esto será muy caro?, insisten, no?…

RV Cardboard

Y descubres, con cierta preocupación, que no sorpresa, que han experimentado algo, que realmente no sabría cómo calificar…” malas experiencia o malas prácticas”, a través de un “dispositivo” por llamarlo de alguna manera. Caja de cartón, con lentes de plástico y con un móvil sin “giróscopo” ni “acelerómetro” …sin resolución suficiente para el fin que pretende…etc. En definitiva, algo parecido a las gafas de diapositivas que nos vendían el siglo pasado en las puertas de las iglesias y monumentos de las ciudades, para pasar fotos con el dedo.

Esto no es tecnología avanzada, es más, no es tan siquiera tecnología, no es Realidad Virtual, no es SERIO. Y desde grandes multinacionales, se fomenta el uso de dispositivos muy dañinos para niños de corta edad, que además de no cumplir con unas mínimas normas de sanidad, no cumplen con la misión, ni objetivos que pretenden cumplir, según su publicidad. Internet está lleno de videos y fotos de niños menores, sentados en sus pupitres, mirando fijamente una pantalla de cartón, tras la cual, nadie sabe lo que pasa…o quizás si…eso no parece divertido, más bien un castigo ¡!!

Según algunas encuestas realizadas en centros escolares de EEUU, se dice que una de las barreras de entrada de la tecnología VR en la educación, es el precio de las gafas de Realidad Virtual. Hablamos de Gafas VR, y sinceramente, creo que no se está diciendo la verdad (por desconocimiento o falta de información). Ya que la diferencia entre unos dispositivos económicos y otros profesionales apenas varían en unos 30 euros, sin embargo, la calidad de los mismos en cuanto a óptica, funcionalidad, prestaciones y usabilidad, no tienen nada que ver. Por otro lado, ambos dispositivos requieren del mismo nivel de calidad y características del terminal móvil o Smartphone, hablando en el entorno Samsung, S6 mínimo. O dicho de otra forma, no se puede confundir un patinete con una moto GT.

Y la pregunta es…qué sentido tiene adquirir unas gafas VR por 10/20 euros vs un dispositivo profesional de 35/50, si el terminal móvil mínimo que necesito será el mismo en ambos casos y el coste final estará entre 300/500 euros?…O estamos hablando de otra cosa?.

No hay atajos a la tecnología, al igual que no hay atajos en la educación. Pero si hay métodos, formas y tecnologías que facilitan el acceso, la comprensión y la práctica de casos y experiencias reales a partir de entornos simulados o virtuales. Al igual que los ordenadores y las tablets entraron en las aulas, la Realidad Virtual y los dispositivos móviles entrarán, pero de otra manera.

No con el afán de sustituir a los terminales antiguos, que ya intentaron sustituir a su vez a los libros, no. Será para definir un nuevo entorno de aprendizaje disruptivo, en donde profesores y alumnos descubrirán experiencias conjuntamente, desarrollaran actividades siguiendo procesos aleatorios e interactuando con distintas tecnologías que facilitaran el acceso a soluciones reales y la compresión global de las actuaciones que se planteen, desde la concepción hasta el desarrollo final o solución. El desarrollo de experiencias, los métodos de trabajo orientados a acciones, la colaboración de equipos multidisciplinares, el manejo de distintas tecnologías para afrontar problemáticas diversas, acercan a los estudiantes a la realidad, pudiendo comprender la relación entre la teoría y su aplicación práctica de una manera más cercana y real.

VR Education Picture

La realidad virtual en la educación puede aplicarse de innumerables maneras, pero yo las simplificaría en dos: Bien y mal.

Una tecnología que permite desarrollar la creatividad de profesores y alumnos para aportar valor al conocimiento, facilitar el acceso a situaciones de la vida real, que de otra manera seria imposible y muy costoso, comprender las materias en su contexto, interactuar con situaciones reales en entornos virtuales. En fin, afrontar y resolver problemas del mundo real desde un entorno virtual, tan complejos como sean y tan sencillo y divertido como interactuar con un video juego.

Desde SmartEducationLabs, apostamos por la tecnología avanzada, aportando valor real a la comunidad educativa, a partir de buenas prácticas, soluciones avanzadas y metodologías contrastadas, al servicio de la comunidad, contribuyendo así al desarrollo de una sociedad más sostenible, justa e igualitaria.

SmartEducationLabs, es la primera plataforma de Educación, diseñada y desarrollada en España, por un equipo multidisciplinar con más de 20 años de experiencia en las tecnologías avanzadas y su aplicación a la Educación.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Anuncios

Building artificial realities from Virtual experiences.

Disruptive Innovation for Smart Life Experiences

The image is use to deceive the senses and the intelligence by means of the illusion (Platón)

Let us imagining for a while we were “teleported” into the “Year 2050” …close your eyes and try to “imagine “how it looks like. Think about it for a minute. We can imagine a futuristic picture of the world, but all our pictures looks different. Our imagination is restrict by our education, knowledge, background, and social environment. However, our creativity has no limits.

Now, try to reimagine the past as it was many centuries ago…but with the knowledge from today…it could be something like a: “Virtual Ancient ” scenario. Think about the ancient society’s needs and demands, the citizen’s skills, without internet, smartphones, tablets, social media… This could be a script for a science fiction film…or a new storytelling for a Virtual reality immersive experience.

We are living in a new digital century, where immersion and technological dependence condition our lives and the society´s development. A “Smart society” in which the power of the image and the recreated illusion predominate. Through television, movies, mobile devices, smartphones, gadgets, video games and now the immersive reality, we are the permanent object and destination of messages through millions of images and subliminal sensations that ends in one way or another, setting guidelines, and trends. In short, a different way of understanding present, past and future reality and of interacting with it.

Throughout history, human has used the image as an element of communication. The creation of maps, communication routes, recreation of inventions and illusions … have served man as a tool for development and technological evolution “Leonardo Davinci”

The human condition can almost be summed up in the observation of things, whereas all experiences are from the past, all decisions are about the future. It is the great task of human knowledge to bridge this gap and to find those patterns in the past, which can be project it into the future as realistic images. Reimagining the future, therefore, is the key to all choice-oriented behavior.

Nowadays, Immersive technologies allow us to bring human to unimagined paradises, to reconstruct ancient spaces, worlds and invented realities. Allowing us to experiment and interact with them as if we were living in a figuratively imagined reality.

The development of communications infrastructures, smartphones and RV and AV devices at affordable prices are dramatically revolutionizing application sectors and user environments. Related to the world of culture, tourism and education, the opportunities for massive use of these technologies, is nowadays a reality. What contributes with high value to the society, developing accessible applications and contends that are available to global community.

 The opportunities that open up around us, for the promotion of cultural tourism or high benefit, and its dissemination and approach of knowledge at the global level are enormous:

To put in value the cultural heritage of the humanity through its recreation, recovery and conservation

  • Incorporation of RV and AR as tools for study, analysis, evaluation, reconstruction and visualization, bringing knowledge to the community in a simple and intuitive way
  • Create promotion centers, with tools that are easy to interpret, manage and accessible, accessing content of high value and in a fun way, where different communities and groups of knowledge can interact and contribute value and experiences in network. Edutainment
  • Promoting and disseminating tourism through the recreation of spaces and unique and spectacular environments, immersive and interactive spaces, combining past, present and future, as if we are in a time machine, as a call to on-site visits.

From its earliest origins, humanity has always sought to augment the story-telling experience, whether with arts expressions, music, theatrical performance, machinery or technological innovation. Virtual and Augmented Reality are simply the next step on this curve: a means of authentically bringing ideas to life and creating a realistic narrative that others are not only able to imagine, but can truly experience for themselves.

Cuenca.jpg

I have been working with Virtual Technologies for many years in different areas of knowledge and application, but specially focus on education, cultural heritage preservation and tourism promotion. It was fun, but tough to share nonacademic communities, because the cost of technology, infrastructures and broadband availability. Now everything is changing very fast due the smartphone ecosystem and the high-speed broadband infrastructures development.

Virtual Reality has long been moot as an educational tool. From SmartEducationLabs we are promoting different initiatives like: My Smart Destinations (Tourism Promotion & Education), My Smart Classroom (Education)…and many other. We already used the technology to create immersive learning ‘experiences’ for citizens, learning and knowledge communities, and we are exploring many life experiences about the possibilities of creating virtual disruptive ecosystems.

In addition to many others projects to come along this exciting year.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©

Virtual and Augmented Reality at School. Disruptive Innovation in Education?. Is it the Educational Community ready to redefine a new Educational Ecosystem?

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

vr-image-01

The future framework for smart digital education, leave permanently redefined from the continue impact of new technologies, communications and infrastructures development, experiences and case studies and last but not least international experiences from a more global perspective.

Virtual reality is not a passing fad, is not only a question around nice 3d pictures, disruptive words or video games…we are talking about the “Future of the Society”. Imagination, Innovation, Inspiration, Interaction, Interconnection and Improvement, a new paradigm pushing from the pillars of education “that needs to be agreed and adapted to the reality of each environment, preventing breaks and digital divides in access to knowledge and technologies that impoverish citizens and therefore to society.

Let’s talk about “Imagination”.

The convergence of digital forces such as social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing is driving transformation across industries as well as in our personal lives. Disruptive Innovation is making headway in this complex interconnected world, where the contribution and converge of creativity, imagination, knowledge, technologies, procedures and methodologies, is revolutionizing the world of smart education though a more global and qualified professionals scenario. It is not a question about technology, is all about a new way of learning: We need to reimagine the Education from a new perspective in a new complex context.

Let’s imagining for a while the “Year 2025”…close your eyes and think about how it looks like. Your thoughts are sorted and limited by your background, education, knowledge and social issues. But try once again with an open mind, and try to reimaging the world in 2025. Think about the new society needs and demands, the new citizen’s skills, the Environmental challenges, the new Smart Ecosystems, the Internet of things implications, the eHealth and Well-Being ecosystem…And try to find the best answer to your imagination. Do you really think we are on the right track?

What about “Innovation”.

If we wish to prepare a generation of citizens as entrepreneurs and leaders for the 21th. century who can face real-world problems, we must give them real-world problems to solve.

From my personal years of experience, I nurtured an interest in cultural heritage, topography, photogrametry, imagering and geography and learned a lot about ancient civilizations recreating Virtual Worlds of old cities, places and cultures. Similarly, millions of students have played with games and learned about the hazards of world culture. When we talk about the potential effect of virtual reality on education, we are talking about 4 main new concepts in education: 1) the ability for students to learn within immersive and transportive digital environments, 2) the gamification experiences of the learning process, 3) the process of learning by doing based in real experiences, and 4) the new paradigm where the student is in the center, not the teacher.

Some studies and early experiences have shown that VR is indeed a potentially transformative educational platform, where educators, teachers and students need to reimagine their new roles. Meanwhile, educators will have to learn how to best incorporate VR into their curriculum and class activities, while managers must create the flexibility for their teachers to learn and experiment. ¡¡¡This is the greatest challenge!!!.

vr-image-02

 Talking about “Inspiration”.

I have been involved in this technology for many years. In the early beginning it was focus on professional environment and technical applications. Very expensive, sophisticated and complex technology for common use. Now, thanks to the “Mobile Revolution” schools, universities and private training providers are using VR & AR in a smartphone environment, having an amazing impact on students’ learning experience. Examples of practice in video-game industry and higher education tend still very much to be centered on Engineering and eHealth. But I don’t think it will be long before we see more VR experiences being used across other industries and in a larger proportion of educational environments.

vr-image-03

VR and AR technologies offer new possibilities in the educational and professional training environment, allowing a greater involvement of students in their own learning context and a continue evolution of digital content and tools.

The teacher / tutor-student relationship is enhanced by the facilities that offer VR & AR technology when creating virtual communities and tools for use in the classroom in an effective, simple and friendly community. The efficient implementation of new technologies in old organizations needs to adapt methods and procedures in a new paradigm and changing the teacher/student role.

vr-image-04

Think about “Interaction”.

VR based on Actions Based Learning, is a new technology based training approach. Depending on the organization and training project to address, creates a matrix that meets the requirements for every action: which user profile addresses each action, which type of learning program, capacitive or training, the exchange of information and documentation to be used, the format and method to deliver information, the method to archive results based on Kpi´s and the best technology to be used in every action.

Nobody can realize how VR will looks like in 10 years, but one thing is for sure, VR is one of the big challenges for the next years. Almost all big players are making significant announcement every day, like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Huawei… The mobile virtual reality market is predicted to reach US$150 billion by 2020, and this will pit companies against each other as they seek to grow into these new rich and contextual environments. What’s next? It will be interesting to see how new players will respond to this new big challenge, how will interact with internet of things in smart environments, and what kind of Educational Ecosystems will be developed…we will see as main actors.

Making real impact on education “Interconnection”

Maybe there is a big pressure from big companies pushing the VR sector based on hardware platforms, new devices and gadgets. But what about apps and availability of contents?. Perhaps most relevant issue for next years is investment in “educational digital content”: games and experiences with educational value. In this new VR environment, storytelling plays a new roll and must be redefined according the new focus: “the student”. Contents must be well designed and ideally, including collaborative and social components. Here, there is much to learn from recent research into gamification of learning, fueled by the increasing availability of computers and devices in classrooms.

vr-image-05

Immersive Virtual Reality Education must be placed into a new context. For students of all ages and abilities who wish to learn through experience rather than memory testing. Using Immersive AR & VR Environments we can place students in any real world or virtual situation with an active role in proceedings through various tasks they will need to complete. Situations and outcomes will dynamically change depending on the students input and this will keep the student active and engaged throughout the lesson.

According some research and studies, students of all ages typically retain between 10% and 30% of that they read and see. Traditional educational materials fail to inspire and engage further learning with most students as it forces them into a form of memory testing rather than retaining knowledge through practice and experience. Traditional lessons are also taught through ridged structures that don’t change if repeated. This causes fatigue and boredom with less student retention. Interactive 3D solutions have been shown to increase student’s attention levels by 92% and increase test scores by 35% – while at the same time creating a new level of engagement for students and staff.

As an ITC & Smart Education Consultor with 25+ years’ experience integrating technology, it is exciting for me to see a technology that so quickly captures the attention of the students, motivates them to make the effort to learn the procedures, and then opens them up to the relevant content.

Surfing the Web
New Educational Open Spaces

Virtual and augmented reality is going to be a disruptive technology in education and we need to learn from experiences and permanently reimaging the context to make an impact on education. On one hand, virtual reality is already being tested and discussed all over the world through applications as diverse as training advanced medical students, in K-12 classrooms, and exhibits in cultural institutions and museums– virtual reality’s attraction is the immersive environment that it creates, and it seems intuitive that students are a perfect test case. But still there are a lot of issues that must be resolved: Standardization on devices, apps, internet access, availability of specific educational content, prices, stability of versions…

vr-image-06

Bring VR & AR experience to your school “Improvement”

So what are we doing about Virtual and Augmented reality in education?. Well you might be confused by the VR & AR related headline, and wondering why the classroom needs that. Six months ago, we launched an innovative project “Smart Education Labs” embedded into 6 Learning Resource Center. This was our pilot experience with the Ministry of Education of United Arab Emirates, and a lot of changes and improvements were applied in the meantime. Now, we are working on a brand new platform that will be soon available with a whole range of affordable and new services and accessible materials for different devices and platforms (Oculus, Samsung VR and Cardboard).

But I know this is not enough, we need to improve a lot. We are creating Workshops to train teachers as a key success factor to implement new technologies in the better scenario and learning from the best practices. And we need to share experiences with the educational global community, in a continue learning process to adapt technology and process to the learning programs and users demands.

We are working hard on developing specific educational environments, contents and experiences based on our previous experiences, and implementing all these case studies in our new platform.

Our focus is to implement Smart Education Labs as an Innovative VR&AR space for the Global Educational Community. This is just the very first step to the future.

Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández (c)