Last week, part of the team from the University of Colima were attending the International Conference on New Horizons in Education (INTE 2013) held in Rome Italy.
We presented two works with advances on our smart classroom project. The papers will be published in Elsevier Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences journal.
Students involved in these research works are: Juan Carlos Rojas Santos from Telematics Engineering, Fabian Quintero Hector Carrillo from Software Engineering and Jose Alejandro Nieblas Castellanos from the Master of Computing.
Towards Smart Education: Ambient Intelligence in the Mexican Classrooms
The rapid adoption of portable devices, like tablets and smart phones, has allowed students to have access to information directly in the classroom. However, this is not enough. Due to the new trends of interaction with computers and wireless interconnection networks between heterogeneous devices and the growing interest in improving the teaching-learning process, has led to the educational field the application of a discipline known as Ambient Intelligence (AmI) with the purpose of provide intelligence to the ordinary classroom. AmI is a new information paradigm, in which people are immersed in a digital environment that is aware of their presence and context, which also suits their needs. In this research work, we describe a smart classroom, which aims to realize the AmI vision in education. This vision applied in Mexican schools can significantly enhance the educational domain, through personalizing and adapting of the learning environment to enable natural interactions and context aware education in the technologically augmented classroom of the future.
Natural User Interfaces to Teach Math on Higher Education
A common and known problem among students on higher education (in general throughout the scholar life) is the difficulty of learning math. Nowadays the teaching methods for learning math remain relatively the same. Though, with the emerging of new technologies like portable devices (smart phones and tablets) and movement interaction devices (Nintendo WiiMote, Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move), learners and teachers have big interest on new ways of interacting through the teaching-learning process. In this sense the Natural User Interactions (NUIs) offer a great potential to facilitate new ways of computer enhanced learning, these have the potential to enhance classroom interactions, by increasing learners participation, facilitating the teachers’ presentations and creating opportunities for discussion. We present a system that combines gestural and touch interactions to support teaching math across multiple personal devices and public displays to enhance and support math education for college students. In a formative usability study, learners and teachers were positive about the interaction design and the learning possibilities for math education. Thus, this created good intentions in the users of continuing using it.
Now we are engaged on developing a app for learning mathematical concepts through the use of natural user interactions. You can find a couple of screenshots of our first prototype.
After testing with Arduino for our smart classroom project, we are working on prototyping two boards (master and slaves) in order to gather and process all the information in the sensor network at the classroom.
The master board is responsible for interacting with the smart classroom, monitoring the temperature, the amount of indoor light and the teacher’s presence to turn on the projector, as well a graphic LCD display for monitoring all the components. This card works with a microcontroller Pic18f4550.
The temperature module works with a DHT22 sensor with a temperature range from -40 °C to 80 °C with a resolution of 0.1. The lighting module has a LDR sensor with high index of lumens and the proximity module uses an ultrasonic sensor.
All modules communicate with the slave boards via the XBee communication module.
Juan Carlos talk us about his project, and how he is using Arduino + Xbee + Sensors to create the smart classroom.
Merry Christmas, and see you next year with more updates of the project!
A couple of weeks ago (Nov 29 2012), IBM Guadalajara organized an IBM Techday at Colima, Mexico. In this event, we had the pleasure to recognize the group of students who have been working with the “Smart Classroom through ambient intelligence and natural interactions” project at the Universidad de Colima.
The students presented their progress and success stories so far to the IBM group.
We’re excited to see what will the rest of the school year (Summer 2013) will bring with this Students For a Smarter Planet group.