Thursday, April 16, 2020

EduTech Asia with Avatars

Eric Hawkinson's avatar
In 2018 I talked on flexible classrooms and energy use at EduTech Asia in Singapore. It is not certain when the next face to face event will be held due to COVID-19. But a series of free video conference based sessions are being held. At the moment there is one on immersive technology (also known as eXtended Reality), combining augmented, virtual reality. Eric Hawkinson got my attention. After talking about avatars, Eric's  live video image was suddenly replaced by an animated cartoon character, who's month moved to match what he was saying.

Something I did not expect is that EduTech sent me a signed certificate of attendance.  I guess I can use this towards the 30 hours Certified Professional Development I have to do to keep my Australian Computer Society status.

ps: I prepared a talk for EduTech 2020, but don't know when, where, or how, I will get to present it:

Coronavirus Response with Flexible Learning

Images used under a Creative Commons License.

In 2016, as part of research on higher education, Tom Worthington identified the risk to Australian universities from a sudden disruption of the flow of international students to Australia. To mitigate this risk, he developed an approach combining blending e-learning with flexible classrooms. This was trialed during 2019 in the new Marie Reay Teaching Centre at the Australian National University, and is now being implemented in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. All students access the same e-learning materials, including e-books, videos, quizzes, and discussion forums. There are then on-campus workshops in classrooms which can be quickly reconfigured for different teaching formats. Students who are unable to get tho the workshops in person, have the option of participating online. This approach allows one course design and one building design to be used for classes mixing on-campus and remote students.
pps: This also allows  for a gradual return to the classroom after a COVID-19 outbreak. It is not feasible to set a deadline when all classes return to "normal" campus-based teaching. Rather than having all students stop online learning at once and return to campus on the same day. On-campus components can be gradually added. However, the online components can be retained, in case of future emergencies, and to cater for individual student needs.

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