Key Note Speakers

Keynote Speech

Title: The return of Intelligent Textbooks

Abstract: Early research on hypermedia learning and Web-based education featured a strong stream of work on intelligent and adaptive textbooks, which combined the knowledge modeling ideas from the field of intelligent tutoring with rich linking offered by the hypermedia and the Web. However, over the next ten years from 2005 to 2015 this area was relatively quiet as the focus of research in e-learning has shifted to other topics and other creative ideas to leverage the power of Internet. A recent gradual shift of the whole publication industry from printed books to electronic books followed by a rapid growth or the volume of online books re-ignited interests to  “more intelligent” textbooks. The research on the new generation of intelligent textbooks engaged a larger set of technologies and engaged scholars from a broader range of areas including machine learning, natural language understanding, social computing, etc. In my talk I will review the past and present of research on intelligent textbooks from its origins to the diverse modern work providing examples of most interesting technologies and research results.


Keynote Speech

Title: Extended Reality Technologies in Education: Moving beyond the “Wow” factor

Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) has always been considered a medium with great potential for education, from the early days of expensive high-end immersive systems, through the era of massive multiuser virtual worlds, until the recent widespread releases of consumer headsets. Yet, despite the popularity and the strong research and commercial interest in these technologies, today their use as learning environments still not a commonplace. Mixed and Augmented reality are equally promising solutions that go beyond the ‘isolating’ nature of VR by effectively integrating digital content with the real world. As such, they bring new affordances for learning through the enhancement of real-world places and artifacts with learning content and activities. Again, their adoption in education is not as widespread as expected. So, although many researchers agree that extended reality technologies (XR – virtual, mixed or augmented reality) have the potential to deliver rich learning experiences, there seem to be several factors that hold them back. This talk introduces the main technological approaches and trends in XR and describes their affordances and limitations. It presents an overview of their usage in education and identifies good practices and paradigms. Additionally, it outlines our hands-on experience from the development and evaluation of a series of projects in the area of learning using XR technologies, focusing on critical observations, noteworthy results and usability issues. The talk concludes with a discussion on the prospects and pitfalls of XR as an educational tool and directions for future research that might further exploit their potential.