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Brisbane teachers keen on mixed reality, robotics and wearable tech

Brisbane teachers keen on mixed reality, robotics and wearable tech

Published:31 October 2017

Dr Michael Cowling, from CQUni, says there was enthusiastic support for the ‘Weaving Technology into the Fabric of the Classroom’ workshop.

Sixty-five teachers converged on the Brisbane CBD this week to learn how to use mixed reality, robotics and wearable technology in their classrooms.

Mixed reality technologies, including virtual reality and augmented reality, can enable teachers to create a new blended reality that gives students a seamless digital experience.

Robotics can embrace small ball-shaped robots controlled via mobile phone through to pre-built anthropomorphic robots designed to complete human-like tasks.

Meantime, cloud computing technologies enable robot systems to be endowed with powerful capability whilst reducing costs by offloading processing to computers in the cloud.

The hands-on workshop hosted by the CQUniversity Brisbane campus in Ann Street stressed a focus on effective learning, or ‘pedagogy before technology’, rather than the other way around.

That’s according to Dr Michael Cowling, from CQUni, who says there was enthusiastic support for the ‘Weaving Technology into the Fabric of the Classroom’ workshop.

“One option is that robotics be taught as part of the curriculum, but what if robotics could be used more directly to support teaching activities in the classroom?” Dr Cowling says.

“Specifically, what if a robot could be used to provide direct assistance to the teacher, serving as both a proxy for students as well as a teacher’s aide?”

The workshop for primary and secondary school teachers was supported by a Google CS4HS grant and hosted by The CREATE Lab and CQUniversity’s Centre for Professional Development.

As well as the 65 teachers attending, there were more than 40 others on the waiting list.

Presenters included Dr Cowling from CQUni, Dr James Birt from Bond University and Dr Carina Bossu from the University of Tasmania.