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Monthly Archives: January 2020

Call: 5th International Conference on Smart Learning Ecosystem and Regional Development (SLERD 2020)

Call for Papers

SLERD 2020: 5th International Conference on Smart Learning Ecosystem and Regional Development
PEDAGOGICAL APPROACHES, LUDIC AND CO-DESIGN STRATEGIES & TOOLS SUPPORTING SMART LEARNING ECOSYSTEMS AND SMART EDUCATION
Bucharest, Romania
25-27 May, 2020
http://slerd2020.uniroma2.it/

Paper submission deadline: 10th February 2020

SLERD 2020 is proud to invite and welcome contributions from researchers and practitioners that foster the development of smart learning ecosystems and smart education to help learning places to recover their central role in the education of future citizens, and in the promotion of social innovation and territorial development. We welcome contributions from people that fight to reify the above vision and to achieve a better learning for a better world as a contribution to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Topics of interests can be grouped under three big themes:

Places for smart education

  • future of institutional learning
  • interplay between formal and informal learning
  • new educational models and settings
  • continuity-discontinuity of time, technology, place/space, process in learning
  • role of and case studies of games and gamification in smart education
  • dual education and other alternate scheme approaches
  • monitoring and benchmarking of smartness (individual, institution, city, region)

People in place centered design for smart education

  • general frameworks and methodological advancement
  • design, data and other relevant literacies
  • literacies, skill and competences of smart citizens
  • communities and co-design in smart learning
  • sharing & participatory practices
  • open access to any resource and disparity
  • cultural influences

Supportive technologies and tools for smart education

  • intelligent tutoring systems and interfaces
  • semantic web technologies and applications
  • text/opinion mining and sentiment analysis
  • real/virtual communities and social network analysis
  • interoperability and application of open/smart data and services
  • safety & security in education
  • IoT, ubiquitous and wearable technologies
  • adaptability to educational contexts and citizens
  • role of VR in education
read more. “Call: 5th International Conference on Smart Learning Ecosystem and Regional Development (SLERD 2020)”
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Skydiving, kayaking, fly fishing: Virtual reality therapy is taking paralyzed veterans to new places

[This article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is full of inspiring personal stories about different uses of presence-evoking technology to improve the lives of paralyzed military veterans. See the original version for four more pictures. –Matthew]

[Image: Recreational therapist Matt Luitjohan, center, helps veteran Mike Erbe use a virtual reality head set in the Recreational Therapy Department of the Spinal Cord Unit at the Jefferson Barracks Division of Veterans Affairs in St. Louis on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Credit: David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.]

Skydiving, kayaking, fly fishing: Virtual reality therapy is taking paralyzed veterans to new places

Michele Munz
January 18, 2020

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A car wreck in 1983 paralyzed Navy veteran Mike Erbe from the waist down, but he fought to stay positive, stay active. He finished his engineering degree. He got his pilot’s license.

It’s getting harder, though, as he gets older, especially while staring at four hospital walls.… read more. “Skydiving, kayaking, fly fishing: Virtual reality therapy is taking paralyzed veterans to new places”

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Call: “Nature, Health and Digital: Transcending Borders of Exclusion into Nature Through Innovation in Digital and Immersive Solutions” at RGS-IBG 2020

Call for Papers

Nature, Health and Digital: Transcending Borders of Exclusion into Nature Through Innovation in Digital and Immersive Solutions

A session at the 2020 Annual International Conference of
The Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG)
London
1-4 September 2020
https://www.rgs.org/research/annual-international-conference/

Abstracts are due by January 31, 2020

The significance of the physical qualities of nature for the promotion of health and well-being, through healing places (Gesler 2003), therapeutic landscapes (Gesler 2005) or green and blue spaces, has been well established (cf. Rosenberg 2017a). However, not all socio-demographic groups in society have the capacity or resources to travel to these places for recreational or leisure. For example, it is known that elderly populations can experience increased social isolation as they spend up to 90% of their time indoors (Bamzar & Hous, 2016). Indeed, reduced access to recreational activities impacts people’s physical and emotional well-being, preventing them remaining active and connected in later life (Scottish Government, 2016).… read more. “Call: “Nature, Health and Digital: Transcending Borders of Exclusion into Nature Through Innovation in Digital and Immersive Solutions” at RGS-IBG 2020”

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Mojo AR contact lenses give your eyes superpowers

[There are still many challenges ahead but a company called Mojo Vision is developing technologies that increase the prospect of practical and safe contact lenses that augment our view of the world with virtual images, as described in this story from Fast Company (where it includes seven more images). Note that it’s not just the user of the AR lenses that would experience presence illusions but the people who interact with the user and aren’t aware of the technology-based source of that person’s augmented perception and knowledge. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Mojo]

The making of Mojo, AR contact lenses that give your eyes superpowers

Using a display the size of a grain of sand to project images onto the retina, this startup could help everyone from firefighters to people with poor vision.

By Mark Sullivan
January 16, 2020

When I looked into the user interface of Mojo Vision’s augmented reality contact lenses, I didn’t see anything at first except the real world in front of me.… read more. “Mojo AR contact lenses give your eyes superpowers”

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Job: Assistant or Associate Professor in Social Robotics at TU Delft

Assistant or Associate Professor in Social Robotics
The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Netherlands
https://vacature.beta.tudelft.nl/vacaturesite/permalink/288740/?lang=en

Contract: Tenure Track
Salary: 3389 – 4978 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Application deadline: February 1, 2020

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the social relevance of its research programmes. The faculty’s excellent facilities accentuate its international position in teaching and research. Within this interdisciplinary and international setting the faculty employs more than 1100 employees, including about 400 graduate students and about 2100 students. Together they work on a broad range of technical innovations in the fields of sustainable energy, telecommunications, microelectronics, embedded systems, computer and software engineering, interactive multimedia and applied mathematics.

The department of Intelligent Systems (INSY) conceptualizes computer science methodologies to sense, abstract, learn, reason, elicitate and adapt data and their meaning in ways that respect human values in order to increase human effectiveness in well-being and social innovation.… read more. “Job: Assistant or Associate Professor in Social Robotics at TU Delft”

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NHK, Yamaha use AI to bring back late Japanese singer to perform new song

[The Japan Times reports on reactions to a televised New Year’s Eve performance of a new song by an AI-based holographic simulation of a famous singer who died in 1989. The reactions raise complex questions about both the presence illusions and the ethics involved in these efforts. For more on the technology behind the simulation see a story in audioXpress (based on a press release available from Business Wire); here’s an excerpt:

“Yamaha Corporation announces that it has succeeded in reproducing the singing of the late Hibari Misora, a legendary Japanese vocalist, using its own VOCALOID:AI singing synthesis technology in technical cooperation with an NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) television program [NHK Special: Bringing Hibari Misora Back with AI (title unofficially translated by Yamaha)] broadcast in Japan on September 29, serving as both the public debut and first real-world implementation of VOCALOID:AI.… read more. “NHK, Yamaha use AI to bring back late Japanese singer to perform new song”

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Call: “The Forgotten in HRI: Incidental Encounters with Robots in Public Spaces” HRI 2020 Workshop

Call for Papers

HRI 2020 Workshop “The Forgotten in HRI: Incidental Encounters with Robots in Public Spaces”
Monday, March 23, 2020
Cambridge, UK

Workshop at the 15th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

Website: https://www.itec.rwth-aachen.de/cms/ITEC/Der-Lehrstuhl/Veranstaltungen/~ewbeb/HRI-Workshop/?lidx=1

IMPORTANT DATES

January 31, 2020:  Submission deadline for workshop papers
February 22, 2020:  Notification of acceptance
March 23, 2020:  Workshop

SCOPE

HRI research has predominantly focused on laboratory studies, producing a fundamental understanding of how humans interact with robots in controlled settings. As robots transition out of research and development labs into the real world, HRI research must adapt. We argue that it should widen its scope to explicitly include people who do not deliberately seek an interaction with a robot (users) but find themselves in coincidental presence with robots. We refer to this often-forgotten group as InCoPs (incidentally copresent persons). In this one-day workshop, we aim to explore studies, design approaches, and methodologies for testing robots in real-world environments, considering both users and InCoPs.… read more. “Call: “The Forgotten in HRI: Incidental Encounters with Robots in Public Spaces” HRI 2020 Workshop”

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Virtual reality may be the next frontier in remote mental health care

[Note the specific references to different types of presence in this report from by the lead author of a study that compared the effectiveness of VR-based therapy to Skype-based counselling. The results suggest valuable potential for presence-evoking technologies for remote mental health care. The story is from The Conversation; see the April 2020 article in Computers in Human Behavior for more details. –Matthew]

[Image: Rural road passing through Hawker – town in South Australia at sunset. Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK.]

Virtual reality may be the next frontier in remote mental health care

January 13, 2020

Shiva Pedram, Associate Research Fellow, University of Wollongong

In recent years, experts have focused on finding better ways to improve remotely delivered mental health care.

Now, virtual reality (VR) may pave the way for myriad new opportunities.

Using VR for remote therapy involves conducting “face-to-face” sessions in a virtual environment.… read more. “Virtual reality may be the next frontier in remote mental health care”

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Call: VRHAM! International Virtual Reality and Arts Festival

Open Call 2020
Third edition of international VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival
5 to 13 June 2020
Hamburg, Germany
https://www.vrham.de/en/

Submission deadline: February 9, 2020

VRHAM! is the first international Virtual Reality & Arts Festival. Since its first edition in 2018, VRHAM! has established itself as an important date in the international VR art scene. The festival is a platform for extraordinary national and international artists who are literally exploring new dimensions. [See the event website or YouTube for a 5:30 minute VRHAM! 2019 video –ML]

From 5 to 13 June 2020 VRHAM!’s third edition will take place at Hamburg’s Oberhafenquartier.

For the 2020 program VRHAM! is looking for the most innovative artistic VR, AR and XR experiences.

We accept artistic Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality projects. Installations, 360° films, performances or interactive works – we are interested in new narratives, unconventional approaches and unusual artistic positions as well as your idea for the physical presentation of your project.… read more. “Call: VRHAM! International Virtual Reality and Arts Festival”

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The ‘virtual’ future of Holocaust education is already here

[This story from The Times of Israel about the increasing use of, and the choices involved in designing, presence-evoking simulations to educate people about the Holocaust is unfortunately timely. See the original version for five more pictures and a video. And for more on the topic see related coverage from BBC News and The Jewish News of Northern California. –Matthew]

[Image: Amanda Friedeman takes a question from a student directed to Holocaust survivor Adina Sella, as she is displayed as a three-dimensional hologram at the Take A Stand Center in the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center on October 26, 2017, in Skokie, Illinois. Credit: Joshua Lott/AFP]

The ‘virtual’ future of Holocaust education is already here

From recreating the Nuremberg Trials to a virtual reality ‘walk-through’ of Auschwitz-Birkenau, new gaming technology is replacing face-to-face encounters with Holocaust survivors

By Matt Lebovic
10 January 2020

Some designers of virtual reality (VR) are doing what was long considered verboten in Holocaust education: they are recreating aspects of the genocide so users can “experience” those dark years from the comfort of VR headsets.… read more. “The ‘virtual’ future of Holocaust education is already here”

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