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Hands Free Computing attended STEM..a roadmap to success! This was a key event outlining the issues faced in recruiting students to take a career in STEM subjects and how best to increase the interest and uptake of these subjects in education.
Key speakers from the world of Education, Engineering and Business were there to offer their expertise in this field. It was a perfect opportunity to introduce the concept of the Beaconing Platform right within those who work in this sector and those who have direct access to our target audience.
Some great contacts were made, with valuable knowledge and ideas on how to promote Beaconing gathered. Through the use of the National STEM Centre to spread the word of Beaconing to the introduction of the Big Bang Fair to demonstrate Beaconing to students first hand. This proved to be a great insight into the plight of STEM subjects and uptake of careers and gave us some interesting ways to show Beaconing to the masses in the future.
Here is the official write up:
UK employers are increasingly struggling to find quality candidates for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) roles. Too few students are pursuing STEM subjects, and there is a huge gender divide, with women and girls actively avoiding STEM opportunities.
enei’s thought leadership conference on 28 September 2016 delivered a comprehensive overview of the issues faced by schools and employers around STEM:
- Explaining the issues causing the shortage of quality candidates for STEM roles
- Finding out how best to connect schools and businesses
- Learning from leading global and national organisations about the steps they have taken to increase the STEM talent pool
- Providing delegates with practical tools and advice to take away
The conference took delegates on a journey through the many and varied applications of STEM in the workplace, beginning with the work of the Department for International Development, investigating the importance of STEM across business sectors and education, and following a trip on HS2 ending at the South Pole with the work of the British Antarctic Survey.
On August 22th, has been taken place the 36th edition of the International Design Engineering Technical & Computers & Information in Engineering Conference held by ASME, at Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Some of the BEACONING concepts were presented on the CIE-25-1 VES: Game Ecosystems in Engineering session in the paper Approaches to Reengineering Digital Games written by Antoniu Stefan (ATS), Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge (BIBA) and Ioana Stanescu (ATS) and also on the paper A comparative analysis on educating mechanical engineers through serious games using pervasive technologies written by Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge (BIBA), Dr. Theodore Lim (HWU), Mr. Matthias Kalverkamp, Prof. Francesco Bellotti and Mr. Florian Haase.
In the first paper were presented gamified and pervasive concepts, like the potential of contextual knowledge and motivation using multiple elements (GPS location; Wifi hotspots; beacons; temporal elements; individual interests; group interests), how pervasive technologies can be used to enhance creativity in a user-centric way and which are the issues of adaptable content that may occur during the product design processes in game-based and gamified environments.
The second paper focus on analyzing serious games from the perspective of learning and gaming mechanics and the virtual environment and systems that can be made pervasive and thus both become more appealing to the students, but also to deliver a new learning experience compared to typical serious games used to for engineering education today.
Teachers, pupils and parents in Romania are invited to be part of the European research & innovation project BEACONING
BEACONING promotes game-based learning
Bucharest, 29th of July 2016 – Today, kids come with a lot of new skills, entering life with native digital instincts.. They learn through discovering, using online-communities and social networks on a daily basis.
It is well known that game-based learning has great outcomes. This reality is recognized also in classical pedagogy. Nowadays, more and more education researchers state that integrating the „gamification” learning strategies into education is instrumental for educating the new generations of students. Their basic argument is that, due to very early and extensive access to technology, children think today and process information much different from previous generations. As a result, the teachers, considered by sociologists as “digital immigrants”, have to adjust themselves both to the language and the learning style of these “digital natives”.
The project BEACONING (Breaking Educational Barriers with Contextualized, Pervasive and Gameful Learning), a research and innovation project funded through the European programme Horizon 2020, responds exactly to this reality. It supports education through state of the art technology, helping teachers deal with the digital gap between generations and preparing pupils for a more and more IT-based future.
Having a true innovative role, BEACONING is highlighting continuous learning through games, with help of techniques and technologies of “context-aware” type (systems which adjust to the context in which they are used) and of “gamification” type (transposing a usual learning context into a situation similar to gaming). These support the Problem-Based Learning. Practically, the project’s objective consists in „development of an intelligent software ecosystem, implemented on a large scale, that would support creating lessons models similar to games, adjusted to the existing education resources in schools”.
BEACONING is developed by a consortium of 15 partners, among which is also SIVECO Romania and is coordinated by Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) within the Coventry University (UK).
The project’s consortium is formed of the following organizations: Coventry University (UK), Heriot-Watt University (UK), BIBA – Bremer Institut Für Produktion Und Logistik Gmbh (Germany), Inesc Tec (Portugal), Universidad Complutense De Madrid (Spain), Ort France (France), Succubus Interactive Sarl (France), Advanced Technology Systems (Romania), Imaginary (Italy), Geomotion Games Sl (Spain), Ifinity Spolka Z Organiczona Odpowiedzialnoscia (Poland), Playsoft (France), Sebit Egitim Ve Bilgi Teknolojileri Anonim Sirketi (Turkey), Hands Free Computing Limited (UK) and SIVECO Romania.
Throughout the 3 years, the results of BEACONING will be tested within 5 large scale pilot projects, implemented in five countries (France, Israel, Greece, Turkey and Romania) and will involve 5,000 teachers, parents and pupils.
Having a solid experience in developing and implementing large scale educational IT projects SIVECO will coordinate the pilot project in Romania, where 500 pupils, teachers and parents will be part of.
The project is designed and implemented in collaboration with technological high schools providing the general and vocational training, as well as with gymnasia for children with special needs. The project applies to the disciplines of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
„BEACONING represents a reference in the field of multiple educational technologies, as it develops and implements an educational platform combining physical space with the virtual one. BEACONING brings together the knowledge acquired through formal, non-formal and informal means”, declares Monica Florea, manager of Research & Development projects department within SIVECO Romania.
The teachers, pupils and parents in Romania are invited to participate in the target group’s selection process within the pilot project BEACONING Romania.
The project’s target group is composed of youngsters 15-24 years old, who are attending general and professional training. They have to belong to a teaching unit, from urban or rural areas in Romania. The project is accessible both to normal pupils (without special needs) and to those who are lightly or moderately physical and mentally impaired.
Within the project will be developed an educational platform, where educational games, tools for lessons’ creation, devices of “beacons” type, etc will be integrated, and the target group will benefit of all of these.
The teacher’s role is to coordinate and report on the activities of his/her own pupils and to create a bridge between the platform and the pupils. Throughout the project’s duration, the coordinator teachers will collaborate with SIVECO Romania in order to run the planned activities.
The children’s role is to learn by using all the innovative instruments developed within the project.
Conditions necessary for registering in the project:
- For pupils with special needs it is necessary that each parent / legal guardian shall fill in an Agreement with the school, by which he/she takes notice and agrees upon the child’s participation within the project;
- The coordinator teacher has to express via e-mail the wish to participate in the project and to involve the school in which he/she activates. Also, he/she has to send a list in electronic format with the participants’ names and their e-mail address (teachers, pupils and parents). It is noteworthy that it is not mandatory that each pupil participating in this project shall involve one of his/her parents. Registrations shall be sent via e-mail until October 30th, 2016 to Marius Preda (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is the project responsible on behalf of SIVECO Romania.
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