Episode #114. Saturday July 23, 2022, 11:30 am Eastern (6:30 pm or 18:30 in Kavala, Greece)
This episode of Silver Lining for Learning (SLL) will showcase a series of virtual, augmented, and immersive learning projects being undertaken in the Advanced Educational Technologies and Mobile Applications (AETMA) Research Lab of the Computing Science Department of the International Hellenic University (IHU) in Kavala, Greece. Three researchers, Drs. Tsinakos Augustos, George Terzopoulos, and Ioannis Kazanidis, will detail a virtual school project for preparing for emergencies. Second, they will discuss augmented reality (AR) tutors and mobile applications that are available free and open for educators around the world to download and deploy. A third demonstration will relate to technology for professional development for crisis control training in an industrial setting. Attend this session of SLL and become inspired by the range of ideas and the extensive passions of three Greek researchers working at the cutting edge of technology-enhanced learning. Don’t miss this session!
More about our guests below the video
Demo and Discussion #1. Virtual School (Presenter A. Tsinakos)
The Virtual School (VS) project was inspired by the tragedy in Mati Athens, where a disastrous fire on the 23 July 2018 resulted in 96 people losing their lives; the initial VS project was designed in the memory of the nine years old twins Vasiliki and Sofia who lost their lives during the fire.
The main objectives of the Virtual School are to:
- Respect that every life has value,
- Raise students’ awareness of the prevention and management of natural disasters and 3-digit emergency numbers through innovative technology-enhanced methods such as educational games and augmented reality (AR),
- Make use of high-end technology to achieve the established goals,
- Include innovative technology in education procedures,
- Make technology free for schools, and
- Create a network of innovative schools.
The Virtual School attempts to educate students to recognize good practices dealing with Natural Disasters and the use of 3 digit numbers. The project is based on the following items for the successful implementation:
- A three-dimensional school model created by the students.
- The use of a computer with an Internet connection, printer (monochrome or colour), and a mobile device, such as a tablet.
- The use of the educational material and instructions provided to teachers and students by the AETMA Lab.
- The instalment of the ARTutor, which is an Augmented Reality educational platform developed by the AETMA Lab.
During the application of Virtual School, the students divided into teams and with the use of the ARTutor attempt to solve puzzles/scenarios relevant to natural disasters and 3-digit emergency numbers. The scenarios are already developed and augmented in the ARTutor. Using these scenarios, the students attempt to solve the problems through a process similar to a game. It is worth mentioning that Virtual School Team can easily update and enrich remotely the associated educational scenarios and that they can be applied in any space with internet connectivity, thereby bringing to life the school of tomorrow–the school without boundaries.
Virtual School supports several pedagogy theories such as inclusive and problem-based learning, game based and MAR (mobile augmented reality) learning, as well as discovery and cross-context learning. Virtual School is an innovative project which offers the flexibility to be implemented in a variety of contexts with great educational results and without excluding any region or student. The summative evaluation of the project revealed a near 90% positive mental shift of students’ awareness on how to react in case of emergency situations.
Demo and Discussion #2. ARTutor (Presenter G. Terzopoulos)
ARTutor is an Augmented Reality Educational Platform developed by the Advanced Educational Technologies and Mobile Applications (AETMA) Research Lab of the Computing Science Department of the International Hellenic University. It consists of a Web Platform for creating Augmented Reality (AR) experiences while the Mobile Application is used to view the AR experiences in the mobile device. An advanced tool, AR Experience Editor, for creating complex augmentations in the 3D world was added in the latest version ARTutor 4.
Thanks to its simplicity, ARTutor can be used by any educator, regardless of their technology know-how or level of programming skills. It can be applied in any domain from mathematics and history to the arts and philosophy. Another standout benefit is that this versatile platform supports all levels of education, whether it is at the primary, secondary, or university level.
The ARTutor application is available for download, free of charge, via Google Play and the iOS App Store. The main aim is to help educators and students develop technology enhanced educational material and improve educational performances and experiences on a global scale. It embraces the UNESCO initiative “Education for All,” in its effort to break down the socioeconomic or cultural barriers which prevent access to high-end educational technologies and to technology-enhanced learning, as a whole.
Demo and Discussion #3. Professional Training (Presenter I. Kazanidis)
Immersive technologies are gaining momentum in professional training. They can provide users with authentic learning experiences that are close to real‑life conditions, problems, and applications. At the International Hellenic University, we operate the Virtual Crisis Control training room which is consisted of three sub-rooms. In the Crisis Control Operations room, trainees can be educated in various industrial crises. The Dispatch Center simulates the communication with public services. Finally, in the Developers Room, the trainers can design and implement various educational scenarios as well as record in real-time the trainees’ responses. However, even though the provided procedure allows trainees to deal with various scenarios, there is no direct image from the field, and even more, there is no experiential involvement of the trainees in the field.
A new VR platform was implemented which immerses trainees into the field with the aid of VR technology (VR headset and VR gloves). It allows trainers to create an infinite number of crisis scenarios as well as monitor trainees’ actions. On the other hand, it provides trainees with active experience than passive information, boosts their creativity, helps them to understand complex concepts, and expands their efficiency to gain knowledge.
Dr. Tsinakos Augustos is a Professor and Director of Institutionalized Research Laboratory of the Advanced Educational Technologies and Mobile Applications (AETMA Lab) of the Department of Informatics of the International Hellenic University (IHU) in Kavala, Greece. The main object of the Research Laboratory is Innovation in Technology Supported Learning with emphasis on Mixed Reality technologies as well as exploring learning through mobile devices and using Artificial Intelligence in Distance Education. Notably, the AETMA Lab laboratory has been deployed since 2018 and has received eight awards (both National and International) for Innovation in Education to date. The overall funding of the laboratory in terms of educational research issues exceeds 30ME (thirty million Euros) at the project budget level, 19.7 ME concerns research funding for the period 2019-2025. In the context of his academic activities, Dr. Augustos participates and collaborates scientifically with several Open Universities such as Canada, Spain, the Netherlands and of China. Since 1997, he has been engaged in research in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Education from Distance. Starting in 2010, Dr. Augustos began teaching in Greece and abroad in thematic units that concerning distance education, new technologies in education and learning, development of mobile applications, and augmented reality. His list of publications includes four books in English and one book in Chinese with an impact on over 2,000,000 readers, and four book chapters. Dr. Augustos can be reached at http://tsinakos.cs.ihu.gr/tsinakos/ or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Education Pilar for the Con-E-Ect” UNESCO Chair Greece (2016 to present)
Member of the Institute of Educational Research and Development of the International University of Greece (12 / 2019- today)
Member of the Advisory Board of GRNET Advisory Committee – (ΕΔΥΤΕ) (4 / 2020- today)
SELFIE Ambassador in Greece JRC Seville Spain, EU
Founding Director at International Association for Blended Learning (IABL) (September 2014 – present)
AETMA Members: https://aetma.ihu.gr/?page_id=4377
George Terzopoulos graduated from the Department of Informatics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2002. He received a MSc in Information Systems from the Department of Informatics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2011. He received his PhD on Grid and Cloud computing in 2016 from the Department of Informatics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Since 2004, Dr. Terzopoulos has been a teacher of Informatics in Secondary Education. In addition, he is an Adjunct Assistant professor at International Hellenic University (IHU) and postdoc researcher at the Advanced Educational Technologies and Mobile Applications (AETMA) Lab at IHU. His research interests mainly focus on cloud computing, augmented reality and educational mobile applications. Dr. Terzopoulos can be reached at: email@example.com.
Ioannis Kazanidis is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science department of the International Hellenic University and researcher at the Advanced Educational Technologies and Mobile Applications (AETMA) of the same University. Dr. Kazanidis has published more than 120 papers in international journals and conferences. His research interests mainly focus on Educational Technology and on the adoption of innovations in different fields of study on education such as e-learning, immersive technologies (AR/VR/MR) in education and learning analytics. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.