[#EduTECHAsia Webinar Highlights] – Q&A with panellists on Immersive Learning

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#EduTECH Asia’s Webinar series has been put together to continue sharing with our education community on what is upcoming in EdTech and how schools and universities are continuing with teaching and learning during current challenging times. 


With the emerging trend in immersive learning, we put together our second Webinar, “Will 2020 be a year of Immersive Learning?” on 16th April, featuring Craig Hansen, Director, University of Applied Research & Development, Indonesia, who moderated the panel; and Tim Evans, Educational Technology Specialist, Stamford American School, Hong Kong, Ankit Jain, Deputy General Manager – ICT, Podar  Education Network, India, Eric Hawkinson, Associate Professor of Learning Design & Technology, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Japan, Dr. Henry Y.K. Lau, Associate Dean of Engineering (Innovation) , The University of Hong Kong joined us as panellists.

Following our webinar, we sat together with our panellists to get you some more insights on this important topic. These are responses to some of the questions that came in from our attendees during the Q&A session during the panel discussion.

1. Technology is becoming a primary driver in education. However, institutions are composed of “young” and “seasoned” faculty, several issues and concerns come to exist that hamper the progress of an innovation to facilitate teaching and learning in target classes (e.g., “some” seasoned faculty do not conform to technology-aided facilitation of classes the way “young” faculty use technology).  How do you bring together the “young” and “seasoned” into the same vision towards immersive learning?

Tim Evans: We use a buddy system where an “experienced tech” user would support a “not so experienced tech” user – where possible, in the same department. However, education is changing where there is more of a reliance on tech use, therefore teachers need to be sure they can use technology. Schools need to therefore offer support and PD to ensure this.

Henry Lau: While central policy to encourage the adoption of technology in education is often used in our institution, initiatives of addition funding provided for members of staff for innovative projects of technology in teaching and learning, and positive sharing of good practices are also effective drivers.

Ankit Jain: The best way to address this is have continuous professional learning, where each group and individual has defined goals to achieve based on their strength and areas of improvement. There should be pair goals/group goals for subjects or levels so that people collaborate and help each other to learn. Everyone should be graded for individual progress and some weight should be given to group and collaborative learning.

Eric Hawkinson: Leadership is key in onboarding new tools of technology, not just immersive tech. The environment, including technology infrastructure and institutional culture have a high impact on collaboration around using new technology. The tone and direction of these aspects of the working environment are influenced highly by leadership.

2. How do you do assessment or evaluation of student learning outcomes in terms of cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains in immersive learning? Can you share some of your best practices?

Tim Evans: We use the MYP Design Cycle. A great tool for assessing projects.

Henry Lau: Independent surveys conducted to collect feedback from student learning experience, and teaching and learning quality surveys are carried out for every course module.

Ankit Jain: Best practice is assessment should be used for helping the child and teacher to learn and plan better. In our context, we are in early stage and had no time to assess students on all the parameters that you have defined. But for all the three domains- group projects on solving some of the real life problems are the best way to evaluate. We use the same principal for our 3D learning program.

Eric Hawkinson: While we are encouraged, especially when implementing new case uses of immersive technology to experiment and conduct research. Our university will only expand initiatives to more students and programs if they are cost effective and facilitate learning in a way existing technology can not.

3. Aside from cost, what are the biggest challenges when incorporating immersive media into the curriculum?

Tim Evans: Meaningful use. It has to add value to learning – and improve on what has already been done. Check out the SAMR model for more support.

Henry Lau: Curriculum design and technology support with regards to experienced staff, content designers, as well as ICT infrastructure.

Ankit Jain: There are two main challenges. First one is defining the outcomes and selection or creation of quality content. Second is effective use of technology by all stake holders. For this you must be ready to invest time and resources apart from money.

Eric Hawkinson: Finding the case use of immersive technology that adds value to course content and learning objectives. It may be cost effective and novel, thus attractive to implement immersive technology into different learning contexts, but many times in practice older more established tools are likely to be better. For example, we abandoned AR in fieldwork research because it took focus from the environment to the tech, but still use VR for tour design and guiding virtual tours because the focus of the learning is on the process of designing and curating tours, which VR is very helpful.

4. How can we balance the use of technology and at the same time not sacrificing our actual learning applications? Learners will be engaged in on-line learning and will spend most of their time on their gadgets to accomplish tasks than when it comes to actual application, they will no longer be as interested as they were when they were glued to their screens.

Tim Evans:  Technology use has to be productive, and where possible be used in a creative way. What are students doing on their devices? Are they using thinking skills, creative skills and also problem-solving skills?

Ankit Jain: That is why we should not see technology as replacement for real experiences. It has to be used wisely. For example, no one can learn car by watching videos, you have to drive a real car to do so. Similarly, technology can enable or enhance learning but in many cases the real learning will happen or will be tested in real life which should not be replaced.

5. Do you believe we will rethink the role of school after this experience?

Tim Evans: Face-to-face interaction & relationships are becoming more important, I think we will appreciate these more too. So school will look at how to encourage more of this. I think technology use, with the new tech skills we have all acquired, will be more meaningful, hopefully freeing up time to develop important interpersonal skills.

Ankit Jain: Yes, but in a positive way. I can see everyone associated with school system is realising how broken the system is. Technology will be able to fill the knowledge gap (IQ) but what about emotional quotient (EQ). For many parents, students and teachers technology in spite of being advanced, interactive and attractive is failing to engage students for learning. This is because schools are not only the places of knowledge distribution they are also the places where these little hearts are given the environment to flourish and express.

6. How and what kinds of immersive learning can parents do for their kids when it comes to online learning? Do you think game-based learning or educational games like Minecraft Edu and Planeteers can be effective tools?

Tim Evans: Both of those tools can be effective… if used the correct way. However, I would be mindful of too much screen time if education is now predominantly done online. Tough to get a balance, but where possible, students could look at other non-tech activities whilst outside of their virtual classroom.

Ankit Jain: There is a mix feeling for this answer. Factually, there is already a digital divide, as if now not even half the population of India is using internet. So there is a divide. However, the fastest , effective and affordable way of bridging this divide is through technology only. Remember the hole-in-the -wall project by Sugata Misra.

If you missed watching the live panel discussion, you can watch it on demand here.

Watch this webinar on-demand now >

Watch this webinar on-demand now >

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About EduTECH Asia 2020

At EduTECH Asia, we pride ourselves on bringing together thousands of educators from across Asia to evaluate and plan for the future of learning. In 2020, we’re be going bigger and better than ever before. Spanning across 4 exciting days, the event will feature 2 conferences with 12 theatres of content spanning topics in K-12 Education and Higher Education. Plus, there will be Practical Workshops, EduSHARE Roundtables and more. The event will also feature an exhibition showcasing the latest edtech innovations and technologies. Join us at Asia’s largest education festival!

Book your seat now before the ticket price rises.

See you there!

If you have big ideas and experience in using technology to transform teaching and learning, we want you on our stage at EduTECH Asia  – Asia’s largest education festival! Email preeti.varadarajan@terrapinn.com to discuss speaking opportunities.

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