18 October 2016

Trekking the Mind with VR, Drones and Cyborgs


Today I had the opportunity to attend the opening of  Mindtrek 2016  held in Tampere, Finland. The opening plenary talk was presented by Neil Harbisson, who was born colour blind and today is a well known
artist, cyborgist and colorologist. Pushing boundaries of what it means to be a cyborg, Harbisson amazed and even shocked some members of the audience. 

Among talks ranging from Game Vaporware as Design Fictions  (by Joseph Lindley and Paul Coulton), to Future visions concerning cities and city networks as innovation ( by Gilles Betis) and Petteri Järvinen who gave a keynote on Cybersecurity and Privacy in 2020, touching on the new challenges in data security in modern, everyday life and the loss of privacy, there was a special talk on the uses of Virtual Reality and using drones in education

Aki Puustinen and Jukka Sormunen, both part of the dynamic team made up with Timo Ilomaki, of FinEduVR, presented on the use of VR and drones in secondary schools.

This group is pushing boundaries of innovative educational practices in Finland by using VR for physical education, teaching history and learning biology. The implementation of drones is not forgotten either, as they are used for students to learn technology, becoming prepared for their futures where drones may happen to be more common than used today. This involves careful planning of activities as safety for learners is obviously a priority (e.g. no student may be outside when drones are being used, in case there is a glitch and drone falls).

Here below are two short clips of their talk:

Throughout the day, key words were collaboration and cooperation - whether for finding smart solutions for urban spaces or investigating the nature of creativity among game developers. FinEduVR  was founded on the principles of constructive collaboration, transparent cooperation and a fearless energy to innovate, bringing the future to the hands of learners. 

If you are keen to know more about VR and drones in education, why not get in touch with the three members of FinEduVR to find out  how they are driving innovation in secondary schools in Finland. 

Further Suggestions:

Wearable Sensor Turns Color-Blind Man Into 'Cyborg'

7 Ways to Use Drones in the Classroom

Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification - A selection of articles and media on Virtual Reality

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