A dabble into the Keynote Arena: SoTEL 2019

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Stuart Cook and I were asked to present as a keynote speaker for the 2019 SoTEL symposium in Auckland. Advertised as “trendsetters”, I ensured that I put on my best attire and Cookie and I decided to present on our recent dabble into Mobile Mixed Reality and immersive simulation. 

Now of interest, the word dabble has not been used willy-nilly here, dabble by definition relates to the immersion of (one’s hands or feet) partially in water with gentle movement. The idea, of course, is to have a sensation of subtle feeling and movement with the soft resistance as the hand brushes the water offering an enjoyable experience.

So okay, I may have pushed the analogy a little with my play on dabble, but the reality here is that this project is all about immersion, feeling and movement. Within a design-based research methodology in relation to technology our use of virtual reality technology hopes to offer not only an enjoyment but an authentic learning experience.

Our presentation involved the authentic use of mobile devices and Virtual reality (VR) to enhance and develop Paramedic Immersive simulation.  We identified design principles that utilise a mash-up of mobile social media as a simple framework to design learner-generated authentic learning environments that stimulate student critical awareness of clinical practice risks via Mobile Mixed Reality (MMR). We went on to discuss how we hope to enhance clinical simulation by utilising MMR for a more authentic real-world clinical scenario. 

Cookie and I provided almost 100 self-assembly Google cardboard VR headsets for the audience, which I personally put together. This itself was a blessing as the assembly of these headsets was a nightmare!!  As an example, I provided each of our PhD lecturers with a flat-pack headset to assemble and with a wry smile I sat back and watched the frustration and annoyance as each of them tried for over half an hour to put these bad boys together.  So on the eve of the symposium and after five hours of putting the headsets together, and feeling slightly exhausted, I was able to get a good nights sleep prior to our presentation with little or no anxiety or stress.

 images.jpgThe symposium itself went well. We had some nice conversations and made some interesting contacts following our talk. From listening to others within the symposium it was nice to see that our design-based research approach is seen as an important method when developing research. For me, this validated our work to date and gave me confidence that we are working toward something that is not only important for our student learning but also an accepted approach to research. 

So, my first keynote talk was a positive experience and one that ordinarily I would be quite nervous about. So thank you Google cardboard for taking the stress out of the event and offering those that attended an interactive, immersive Dabble into pre-hospital simulation.


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