Michael Auer's Bio

Prof. Michael Auer, Carinthia University, Austria, President of IGIP

The new Challenges in Engineering Education and the Role of Online Laboratories

The aims of the International Society for Engineering Education (IGIP) are improving teaching methods in technical subjects, developing practice-oriented curricula that correspond to the needs of students and employers and encouraging the use of media in technical teaching.
This is important, because the role of an up-to-date engineering education in the society is growing.
Reasons for this are inter alia the increasing number of engineering disciplines and the decreasing innovation cycles of technical products and services.
Therefore it is necessary to make engineering education more effective, especially in view of current restrictions in terms of human, financial and other resources.

Online Laboratories are a very interesting solution in this respect. Starting with a classification of Online Laboratories, the presentation will show examples of good practice and newest developments regarding the shared use of Online Laboratories in Europe and worldwide.

James Uhomoibhi's Bio

Prof. James Uhomoibhi, Univ. Ulster, UK

Bridging the Divide and Integrating Technologies: Investigating Developments, Possibilities and Benefits of Virtual and Remote Laboratories for Education in Africa

Education and digital divide have become real challenges for all people the world over. Studies have shown that these problems exist both in the developed and in the underdeveloped nations. The emergent of e-learning and rapid advancements in technology has to some degree been of use in addressing the problems.
The African experience in relation to issues pertaining to access to education and technology stems from its history and present state of development. In an effort to address aspects of some of these problems, the United Nations has come up with the eight millennium development goals (MDGs). This keynote address looks at policies in place of some governments in Africa. We report on aspects of e-learning development and deployment, availability of facilities, attitudes and efforts at promoting science, engineering and technology education and implications of introduction of remote and virtual laboratories. We examine the present status and possible future of e-learning, including the development and use of remote and virtual laboratories in the light of resources available through OER, open source applications and collaborations with institutions in advanced nations. Africa remains a region with a lot to offer the world. It is the most resource rich region on the globe. However much of its nations are at a stage where both indigenous and outside efforts and resources needs to be matched and consolidated. This keynote talk reviews remote and virtual lab provision in Africa compared to those available in places like Europe, USA, Australia, South America and some emerging economies like India. We examine efforts directed at improving status quo and introducing these labs for enhanced teaching and learning.
Opportunities are identified that could be explored to result in linkages, cooperation and collaboration for development. Some of the benefits and impact of such developments on education provision and bridging of digital divide are highlighted and recommendations are made for further developments and to achieve sustainability. We conclude that education holds the key to improved living conditions. The advent of e-learning and implementation of remote and virtual laboratories should facilitate and enhance the provision and progress of science, engineering and technology education in Africa.

Liliane Machado's Bio

Prof. Liliane Machado, U.F. Paraíba, Brasil

Virtually Touching: Haptics for Learning

From the five human senses, the touch presents a very interesting feature: it is used to actuate and also to receive feedback. The haptic technology allows interaction with touch feedback in computer applications and the availability of new devices has changing the way people interact with them. Remote labs, virtual environments, games and many other resources have used haptics to provide resistance, vibration, heating and cooling, among other sensations, to call users attention and involve them in the subject of the application.
Education and training are key areas to use it due to their social impact of the use of this new technology. Then, some questions come up: How haptics have been used in education? Which are the options available? Are them suitable for your needs? What are the challenges in the development process of applications with haptics? It will be discussed some approaches and possibilities and seen how haptics can contribute to change the way people learn.