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Tema: VRAR

#0612: VR / AR as the learning technologies of the future

Gjest: Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland

professor of NTNU


Med Vert Silvija Seres

In this episode of #LØRN Silvija talks to a professor at NTNU and leader of INTEL (Innovative Immersive Technologies for Learning), Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, who might be Norway's first VR professor. Ekaterina has been working with educational virtual worlds and immersive technologies since 2002, with over 100 publications in the field. She has been involved in developing educational XR simulations for a wide range of stakeholders, from the aquaculture industry and hospitals to the Norwegian Armed Forces and Labour and Welfare Administration. She is the founder of Women in VR/AR Norway and is on the board of XR Norway.
Full transcript (Available soon)

Who are you and how did you become interested in innovation/technology?
Some call me 'Norway's first VR professor'. When I was little, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasized about how to fly around the Galaxy, make friends with creatures from other planets, use technology to achieve super abilities, and save the world.

What is the most important thing you do at work?
We call it the 3 E, which are all equally important: Educate, Experiment, and Explore: our IMTEL VRlab is used in teaching different subjects such as geography and teacher education; we experiment and research the development and use of VR / AR solutions for learning and training; we invite the public to explore what VR/AR/XR technologies can be used for. 

What do you focus on in innovation/technology?
At our IMTEL lab, we research innovative 'immersive' technologies and methods for learning and training: how VR / AR can support learning today and in the future when society and especially the labor market will be quite different from today. 

Why is it exciting?
Because in VR / AR you can literally do anything you want, follow your imagination, and break boundaries and physical laws. 

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
With these technologies, if you use them in a certain way, you can literally 'reprogram' the brain and change attitudes towards people. Are you in danger of ending up in Matrix-like states? As with all technologies, balance and common sense are important

Your own relevant projects last year?
Perhaps our most exciting project in recent years is virtual internships or virtual job seekers in VR for NAV, where young jobseekers can gain insight into different professions in VR in a safe and engaging way.

Your other favorite examples of similar projects, internationally and nationally?
National: XR Norway. International: VR and Climate Change Awareness: Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience; VR and awareness of the refugee crisis: Project Syria by 'VR godmother' Nonny de la Pena.

What do we do uniquely well in Norway from this?
In Norway, there are several support schemes for innovation projects and infrastructure, both within academia and from innovation Norway to the business community. It is great that, for example, NAV in Norway dares to invest in innovative solutions and introduce VR at several of its workhouses and offices, this is quite unique.

A favorite future quote?
I usually tell my students that while a picture says more than a thousand words, VR says more than a million words. 

 

Refleksjonsspørsmål

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Spørsmål:Is VR an antisocial technology, because we have to leave the “real reality” to enter the virtual reality?

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RESEARCH

This is what you will learn:

VR hardware Education
Safe testing 
The balance between real life and fantasy 
XR
A picture says more than a thousand words, while VR says more than a million.

- Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland

Recommended literature:
The state of XR and immersive learning
Women in Immersive Tech

This is NTNU

IMTEL is based on the idea of bringing various types of competence and interests together. Today, an increasing proportion of dissemination, presentation, communication and collaboration will occur through ICT-mediated channels. The on-going digital transformation represents a challenge for the education system and captures the tension between tradition and innovation. This applies to both the students' expectations for education and training and the teaching staff. IMTEL group researches innovative immersive technologies for learning in several contexts, ranging from university education to emergency and medical training and workplace training.