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Challenge-Based Learning: A Model for Today’s Education

Nowadays, global companies expect their collaborators to have multiple competencies, making the work context considerably more demanding. One of these competencies is the ability to address day-to-day challenges with the immediacy they require. For that reason,  there is a need to improve the relationship between theory and practice in students, ensuring that everything they learn has meaning and applicability in the real world.

In response to the above, different methodologies allow students to learn through challenges. One of them is Challenge-Based Learning, but what is it about? Let’s find out more about it.

What is Challenge-Based Learning?

Challenge-Based Learning is a pedagogical model that focuses on inductive methodological strategies. Because of its flexibility, this method can be used at all educational levels as it allows students to make decisions about their own learning process while being critical and reflective.

Aprendizaje Basado en Retos

The RBA is presented in the context of a situation familiar to the students, which piques their interest in the relationship between the topic of study and the context in which it is developed. The challenge usually begins with a question that seeks to motivate students and immerse them in the research so that they can achieve their goal.

This method develops key competencies such as collaborative and multidisciplinary work. In addition, it encourages the use of technologies and new digital tools for education, which allow students to access different sources of information and publicize their process and acquired knowledge.

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RBA at CloudLabs

At CloudLabs, we rely on a methodology based on problem-solving in contextualized situations, experimentation, and discovery, using active learning techniques based on the following steps:

  1. Context.
  2. Role.
  3. Challenge.
  4. Development of a simulation, which allows putting theory into practice.
  5. Data.
  6. Questions to reinforce learning.
  7. Feedback.

The above is developed in each of the laboratory simulations, in which the student always finds a challenge to solve, which relates to a profession and a problematic situation.

For example, in a chemistry simulation, the student is the laboratory analyst in charge of performing physicochemical studies for the characterization of materials. The laboratory has received two samples of water and an alcoholic solution. The analyst must characterize both solutions by recording the temperatures and changes of state that occur during the process. As a result, there is a context, a role, a challenge, and a learning objective.

The student is immersed in the situation after reading the challenge and is motivated to solve it by applying all of his/her knowledge and developing his/her analytical skills. Furthermore, it allows for experiential learning through the exploration of specific environments.

Aprendizaje Basado en Retos

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For students to successfully complete the simulation, they will have to solve different challenges, which have multiple variables that professionals face every day in real life. This will allow them to gain experience that will help them in their working life.

Challenge-based learning seeks to make students the protagonists of their learning process. By doing this, the teacher takes on the role of a facilitator and supports the learning process, allowing students to develop competencies and become more autonomous.

In CloudLabs, students can experiment, learn, play, and, most importantly, transform their thinking because each challenge invites them to question themselves and provide solutions. It will undoubtedly have an impact on their life and performance at work.

References:

Jiménez, A. B., Hinojosa, V. C., Ramos, J. C., Sánchez, R. M., Blasco, V. J. Q., & Mendoza, C. A. (2019). El aprendizaje basado en retos como propuesta para el desarrollo de las competencias clave. Padres y Maestros/Journal of Parents and Teachers, (380), 50-55.

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Integrative projects: A strategy for the development of skills for the 21st century

The integrative projects were created as a tool for implementing the STEM pedagogical model through the use of CloudLabs’ virtual laboratories.

CloudLabs and STEM-based integrative projects

An integrative project is designed and implemented to respond to a situation in a real-world context, using laboratory simulators in different disciplines, and based on a curricular structure in which the concepts to be worked on have an intentionality that seeks the development or strengthening of specific skills.

We seek to promote the following skills in students who are immersed in this learning ecosystem through the implementation of Integrative Projects in the classroom:

  • Scientific thinking by understanding real-world problems and formulating solutions using scientific knowledge and procedural knowledge.
  • Critical thinking by understanding and evaluating a real-life situation and its possible solutions.
  • Logical-mathematical thinking by using mathematics and logical thinking to formulate solutions to real-world problems.
  • Teamwork, which involves discussing with other students and teachers hypotheses that may lead to the solution of a specific challenge.
  • Analytical thinking, which involves using data to explain phenomena and being able to make qualitative and mathematical models to describe machines, processes, or phenomena.

The process of designing or creating an integrative project should consider a series of elements and actions that ensure the development of the skills described above, along with the appropriation of theoretical and practical concepts associated with the disciplines involved. The following are five steps that should be considered for the development of a CloudLabs® Integrative Project:

  1. Selection of the topic to be addressed: an overall topic is selected, involving two or more STEM areas, and the subtopics to be addressed are identified. For example: chemical compounds, study of structures, biological behaviors, process automation.
  2. Construction of the challenge: a real context that is meaningful and relevant for the students is chosen. Subsequently, a situation related to the context is proposed, along with a role and different tasks for the students to assume in the project’s development and solution search. For instance: the construction of a bridge that connects an isolated population or improves traffic in a region, the mitigation of a pest in an isolated area, control of a pest in a crop, quality control of a defective product in a company, and so on.
  3. Identification of the areas: the areas of knowledge that contribute to the solution of the proposed challenge are evaluated and selected.
  4. Selection of the simulations: once the areas to work on are determined, the simulations are chosen. It is important to note that each of the selected simulations must help to solve part of the challenge and must be articulated with one another. Additionally, the simulations can be chosen simultaneously with the description of the challenge or problem.
  5. Work methodology: The way in which the Integrative Project will be developed is established, giving an active role to the students within their team, which will strengthen collaborative work. In addition, the closing activity is specified, which must be adapted to the challenge and may be requested in different ways according to the teachers’ expectations. For example: a presentation, a written work, delivery of evidence, a video, a business conference, etc.

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The Integrative Projects consist of approximately 4 or 5 laboratory simulations based on a single challenge which will also allow for collaborative and interdisciplinary work between teachers and students. For example, if the project consists of laboratory practices in the areas of Biology, Agriculture, and Mathematics, the teachers of these three areas can work together so that the students can develop part of the project in each of their classes.

This is possible thanks to the role that the students take during the learning process through the Integrative Projects, where students are the protagonists and are responsible for the activity. On the other hand, the teacher becomes a facilitator for each group, encouraging students to learn by doing and solving specific doubts.

Advantages offered by the Integrative Projects to Teachers and Students:

The Integrative Project dynamizes and potentiates the use of CloudLabs® simulators by allowing the students to face an everyday problem through different simulators. In addition, it facilitates understanding of complex concepts within students’ learning process, transversalizing their vision of reality and motivating the development of training and work skills from their own experience through gamification. For example, in an integrative project where the construction of a suspension bridge to help reduce vehicular traffic and average travel time is planned. Therefore, the challenge is to identify the power required and the maximum torque to lift a load as well as the maximum force that the operator can exert, and the amount of steel cable needed to manufacture the bridge tensioners.

During this process, areas of knowledge such as Mathematics, Physics, Simple Machines, and Mechanisms are related. They allow interaction with various simulators to analyze the Pythagorean theorem, understand the concept of torque and moment of a force, analyze systems in equilibrium from the moment of a force and identify the difference between the classes of levers and their application.

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In its formative nature, the Integrative Project provides experiences that support students during their learning process, allowing the development of skills and aptitudes so that they can face situations that they will have to solve in the productive working world. Thus, an integrative project is a methodological and evaluative strategy oriented toward professional competencies where the teacher will have a pedagogical support instrument to strengthen and dynamize the approach to his/her subject.

Additionally, in the Integrative Project, the teacher will find an analysis for the integration or curricular alignment through the competencies of different areas of knowledge where the point of convergence of the problems or cases of study in context is identified, contributing from the know-how, and the know-how to be.

In this way, the CloudLabs Integrative Projects dynamize the teaching and learning process in the classroom, breaking the traditional teaching paradigm through the implementation of active learning methodologies. This is how the Integrative Projects are proposed as an educational tool that supports the role of the teachers in the classroom and allows them to improve their personal and professional appropriation of technology from completely transversal scenarios.

More information

References

Felix, A., & Harris, J. (2010). A project-based, STEM-integrated alternative energy team challenge for teachers. Technology Teacher, 69(5), 29–34.  

 Bybee, R. W. (2013). The case for STEM education: Challenges and opportunities. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association.

 

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The role of CloudLabs within the learning process of today’s students

The intensive use of technological devices such as computers, tablets, and cell phones has become an opportunity to innovate and strengthen the practices and experiences of teachers and students in and out of the classroom. CloudLabs is a virtual environment created from a pedagogical point of view to fulfill the role of a laboratory within the learning process. In this sense, it has not been designed to substitute the teacher but to provide practices and laboratory experiments that, as in real laboratories, must be accompanied and mediated by the teacher.

The purpose of these is to provide educational alternatives for the teaching and study of science. Considering the above, CloudLabs was created as a complement to traditional laboratories. To that extent, the same characteristics are retaken: elements, situations, procedures, and concepts of physical laboratories but from a virtual perspective. As a result, there are no scripts or warnings for procedural errors because the results are obtained through experimentation, whether they are correct or incorrect, which allows students to face reality and generate alternative solutions based on the situations presented. Also students can determine conclusions through experimentation in an open space simulated in real-life laboratory practices, oriented to the construction of knowledge through the interaction of theory and practice.

Theoretical – practical relationship in CloudLabs.

CloudLabs leads the student to understand all those theoretical concepts that are part of the thematic content proposed by the school curriculum and are within the reality of their context. i.e., when students face a situation presented by the simulations, they understand the meaning of the concepts and theories, and most importantly, they know the relationship established with reality. As a result, the use of virtual laboratories is potentiated since it does not fragment or isolate scientific knowledge from the experiences that students have in their daily and academic context.

From this perspective, virtual laboratories offer the students learning activities developed from models or simulations so that they can assume an active role in a series of decisions, depending on specific events, or change variables to test previous hypotheses. These situations are simulated with different video game components (gamification) where the student is presented with practices based on challenges.

Some advantages of using laboratories are:

  • Negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • Linear, scientific, analytical, and deductive thinking.
  • Ability to learn through hypertext.
  • Communication skills
  • Collaborative learning so that objectives can be established by working together to find solutions to the challenges proposed in the different practices.
  • Significant learning

This is how CloudLabs uses gamification to harness students’ motivation and energy as powerful resources for learning and knowledge development.

The feedback generates the construction of knowledge.

Another important aspect is the reinforcements or feedback that arise during the development of the laboratory practices. In this way, the students receive a compliment message such as “congratulations” when they get it right in their configurations or procedures, which motivates self-learning and self-interest in developing the laboratories.

Also, from the experimental field, the student receives reinforcement when making mistakes in one of the configurations or procedures; for example, the simulation makes it possible to see how one of the laboratory pieces of equipment can burn or how an ecosystem can die. All these processes are carried out according to the simulator and the context presented, where the student receives messages such as “try again,” “the data are not correct,” and “enter new data,” among others.

Data recording and scientific thinking

CloudLabs has a data recording process in its laboratory practices to record all the information generated in the experiments performed by the student. In this way, the approach to knowledge is organized through observation and recording of results in diagrams, graphs, and tables in an organized manner. This recording tool is designed for training that responds to current needs and the development of 21st-century skills, since CloudLabs seeks to promote the development of scientific thinking in students through the use of different elements within the training process.

Data analysis: another way to build knowledge.

Another characteristic of CloudLabs is that it seeks to bring  students closer to scientific knowledge in a contextualized way. This is accomplished by using mathematics to model, analyze, and solve the situations presented in the laboratories, in which it is necessary not only to identify the problem to be solved but also to use the best option in terms of mathematical equations that allow the student to find the correct result. CloudLabs is programmed so that the student is aware of the units and conversions of magnitudes with certain margins of tolerance for their answers, thus encouraging the interpretation of the results taking into account the order of magnitude of the experimental error. At the end of the laboratories, reports are handed out, allowing the student to relate the information collected with the experimental data.

This entire educational ecosystem provided by CloudLabs allows students to awaken an interest in learning science in a fun way, promoting the development of knowledge associated with the competencies of the 21st century.

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Have you heard about Virtual Libraries?

Undoubtedly you are well-versed in the termlibrary“. Due to technical advancements and the information society, this concept has been extended to “virtual libraries” in recent years. Let’s start with some background information!

What is a virtual library?

According to Pedro Schwartz, a library is defined as a collection of classified and arranged information resources with physical access to the documents. However, thanks to the implementation of new technologies, most individuals no longer look for their files in the physical spaces designated for them, but they do it through their electronic devices. Therefore, libraries, in addition to being tangible spaces, have now evolved into digital information universes.

As a result, a virtual library is an intangible environment in which a user can search for bibliographic references, digitized books, movies, documentaries, infographics, newspapers, and databases through a virtual medium.

Bibliotecas Virtuales CloudLabs

Virtual library vs. physical library

In ancient times, libraries were considered the heart of towns. These physical spaces housed great literary works as well as historical and economic writings. However, they have evolved to become virtual spaces, managing to store more elements of our creation and collective memory.

Currently, these two types of libraries are available to users. One preserves knowledge in a physical and tangible form, while the other does it through digital media that remains available on the network without limits of time or space.

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What are the advantages of virtual libraries?

  1. Information for everyone, regardless of location, time, or professional role.
  2. Savings in human and material resources.
  3. Information in less time as quick searches and valuable information is at the click of a button.
  4. Constant updating which allows us to keep up with trends, studies, and new theories.
  5. Accessibility as getting to the library does not require people to leave their homes or travel a considerable distance.
  6. Many topics on a single page!

CloudLabs: a virtual library

Traditional methods of obtaining and disseminating information have been transformed due to advances in science and technology. In CloudLabs, people can find a virtual library where they can consult and put into practice knowledge through learning units and laboratory simulators in areas including the following: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Robotics, Electricity, Environmental Management, Administration and many others that are part of the STEM and vocational areas.

In CloudLabs, students can reference multiple resources to increase their understanding through the application of principles. This way, they can learn through experimentation and testing of theories applied to reality thanks to the problem-solving approach.

Additionally, these laboratories allow practices to be performed as many times as necessary and always with random data. With the aforementioned, students are being prepared to face the challenges of everyday life in the professional sphere from the first grades of school. For example, a student can use CloudLabs Virtual STEM to learn about plant and animal cells, identify their parts and functions, as well as apply the concepts in a real-world setting, such as that of a biologist in a laboratory.

Bibliotecas Virtuales CloudLabs

This resource also allows:

  • Not to incur maintenance expenses.
  • Not to make purchases of new materials only during certain periods of time.
  • Make a positive contribution to the environment.
  • Apply the knowledge acquired.
  • Accessibility of resources in online and offline mode.

If you want to learn more about CloudLabs and how to implement a resource library, contact us.

References.

Schwartz, P. (1998). Bibliotecas virtuales. In XIV Congreso de Estudios Vascos: Informazioaren Gizartea= Sociedad de la Información= Société de l’Information. San Sebastián: Sociedad de Estudios Vascos (pp. 263-267).

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What is the HyFlex teaching model?

HyFlex is a combination of the words “hybrid” and “flexible,” and it aims to take advantage of online technologies and tools such as videos, applications, and educational platforms to allow students to optimize learning, have synchronous and asynchronous classes, and, in this way, choose which method to use in their learning process based on their needs, learning styles, and context.

The model was proposed by Brian Beatty in 2006, and since then the methodology has been improved with the implementation of new technologies and channels that enable the student-teacher relationship.

This author presents four important principles of HyFlex design: possibility of choice; equivalence, which means that the experiences in each format are balanced; reuse, which means that the material can be used on several occasions; and accessibility, which guarantees that all students have the opportunity to participate in the classes and use the resources (2006).

In addition, it proposes 6 aspects to be considered for the creation of HyFlex courses:

  • Goals and outcomes.
  • Gathering and creating content.
  • Communication and expectations.
  • Enabling learning environment (Beatty, 2006).

It should be clarified that this model is designed for universities to be the primary users. The country that has had the greatest opening has been the United States, as it is the place where the methodology was born. According to Horizon Report-Higher Education Edition 2014, an example of this is Ohio University, where the statistics department works with this learning model.

How to develop a class under this model?

  1. Use PPT presentations and develop interactive activities that motivate students using apps and digital resources.
  2. Socialize questions and allow students to develop ideas and hypotheses.
  3. Send resources such as readings, videos, or podcasts before class to contextualize students with the topics.
  4. Establish rules to keep control of the class.
  5. Constantly evaluate the theory through challenges or real situations.

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What are the advantages of the HyFlex model?

  • Flexibility in learning practices: thanks to this model, students can choose the most appropriate way to learn. In addition, time and place are no longer constraints in education.
  • Personalized environment: it allows the creation of personalized learning environments, enabling an increase in student performance and results.
  • Additional material: through live sessions, students can have recorded material for later review.
  • Interaction between teacher and students: collaborative learning spaces are created so that students can interact more with their teacher and their peers; the classroom is no longer the only place to solve doubts.

The teacher ceases to be the center of attention and becomes a support for students: this allows them to explore and achieve their learning goals.

CloudLabs: a support for the HyFlex model.

To implement this training methodology, which emphasizes blended learning, it is necessary to consider the technological resources that will support the process. In CloudLabs, we have developed a version of our laboratories that works remotely, which means it can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Therefore, you can virtually manipulate real or physical equipment or tools available in other environments or latitudes so that space and time are no longer barriers to learn about any area of knowledge.

This type of technology is very typical of hybrid environments and allows the expansion of knowledge because the user can perform a laboratory in real-time and with physical equipment from home, making it an inclusive process to the demands of today.

This is how in CloudLabs Virtual STEM we make it possible to generate hybrid educational environments through laboratory simulations that can be performed from anywhere: the classroom, home or other space.

This is consistent with our methodology, which seeks to support the educational system by promoting student autonomy and understanding of concepts through practice.

References:

Esquivel Gámez, I. (2014). Los Modelos Tecno-Educativos, revolucionando el aprendizaje del siglo XXI.

Ingenio ;L. ¿Qué es la educación híbrida y cuáles son sus ventajas y desventajas? ingeniolearning.https://ingenio.edu.pe/blog/que-es-la-educacion-hibrida-y-cuales-son-sus-ventajas-y-desventajas/

Crambo ,(02 de diciembre del 2021) Las 5 ventajas ocultas que tiene el aprendizaje híbrido https://www.crambo.eu/es/las-5-ventajas-ocultas-que-tiene-el-aprendizaje-hibrido/

Gomez,D;Velazco,(2021) Las transformaciones digitales de las Universidades. Breve revisión de literatura Capítulo

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Let’s learn about Machine Learning

We are sure that you have heard the term “Artificial Intelligence” before, but do you really know what it is? At CloudLabs, we want to tell you a little bit about the concept and the developments that have arisen from it, beginning with what Machine Learning is.

Let’s start by defining Artificial Intelligence.

Elements that seem to come out of a science fiction movie, such as self-driving cars, shopping suggestions (personal shopper), assistants that quickly translate from one language to another, or virtual voice assistants, are all examples of the scope that Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has reached today.

Since the 1950s, the pioneers of Artificial Intelligence dreamed of creating machines so complex that they could learn and resemble human intelligence. Today, the idea of building and programming something that emulates, even partially, the functioning of the human mind is still far away. However, great advances and approaches have been observed.

So we can say that this technological advance seeks to develop and create systems capable of learning in the same way that humans do. However, it is important to note that this differs from the field of robotics, as it focuses on mimicking the way of thinking rather than a humanoid hardware system that physically acts like one.

In this modern world, highly mediated by technology, we can find Artificial Intelligence in many of the objects of our daily lives. In our homes, for example, we have home automation; on our cell phones and computers, we have personalized ads within search engines and social networks. After this brief explanation of what artificial intelligence is and some of its applications, we will tell you about Machine Learning.

Let’s talk about Machine Learning

As we have already mentioned, Machine Learning is an element that belongs to the field of Artificial Intelligence in which a system can detect massive data patterns and make predictions using algorithms. This is how computers can perform specific tasks autonomously.

These algorithms are grouped into three categories:

Supervised learning: it consists of prior learning based on a system of labels associated with data that support prediction and decision-making. An example of this algorithm is the spam detector, where an email is categorized as spam depending on the history of mail movements.

Unsupervised learning: it focuses on algorithms that have no prior information in order to generate automatic groups. This type of algorithm is widely used in marketing to create highly segmented advertising campaigns.

– Reinforcement learning: its purpose is that the algorithm learns from its own experience. That is, the algorithm is expected to make the best decision in different situations through a trial-and-error approach. This algorithm, for example, is employed to enable facial recognition.

This type of technology is used in industries that work with a large amount of data as it allows them to be more efficient by obtaining a broad view of the data, almost always in real time.

Machine learning and education

Machine learning has been of great importance in the educational field since it speeds up and facilitates students’ progress, which in turn allows teachers’ management in relation to the process of monitoring, traceability, and evaluation to be more objective according to the needs of the current educational environment. As a result, benefits for both teachers and students are highlighted below.

It allows students to develop self-training processes since they will be able to carry out activities, solve challenges, and perform evaluations using technological resources that facilitate their learning process.

It allows teachers to identify behaviors and potential solutions based on the predictions generated by the machine learning system. This will impact the design of precise learning paths according to the educational level or performance level of their students, enhancing the learning process.

This technological trend is already part of modern educational processes, and it has become a reference to understanding the dynamics of learning today. At CloudLabs, we have been making progress in the development of new features associated with artificial intelligence to generate better resources for teachers that allow accurate and objective evaluations. This type of evaluation not only accounts for students’ progress but it also identifies students’ educational levels and the best route to learn, encouraging the development of scientific skills of young people in this new era.

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Globalization and digital transformation to support education

We currently live in a world that increasingly revolves around globalization, which has had an impact on our daily lives, such as our interaction with others or the way we acquire goods or services. But how do these changes influence education? Here we will tell you about it, talking about globalization and digital transformation to support education.

Globalization

Globalization is a dynamic process that includes dimensions like the economy, technology, politics, education, or culture, where different countries integrate societies through elements that allow communication and interdependence.

 

All these processes are possible to a large extent, thanks to the advances in ICT that allow the removal of existing virtual borders between markets and countries, reaching a never imagined expansion in the way of interacting.

 

When discussing these advances, people assume that everything is linked mainly in the economic field. However, connections can be made in different dimensions of society, allowing the development of countries in various aspects, among which we can highlight, of course, education.

Educational processes and globalization

Constant change has led education to face new challenges, such as training professionals who can respond to current interests and needs in society. Now, both teachers and students must develop new skills that provide them with the basic notions to face societal changes and learn to navigate the world according to their abilities.

 

On the other hand, technological advances allow crossing the classroom barriers, making the teaching process more didactic thanks to ICT and different pedagogical elements, turning technology into an essential ally for education.

 

It is clear that technology advances progressively. Therefore, the new generations must also do it driving education to keep up with these advancements and capitalizing on them. For this reason, it is crucial to demonstrate that the implementation of technology supports the learning processes through the acquisition of knowledge, considering that now in-person classes are not the only option but instead seek to complement multidimensional learning.

Add Your Heading Text HereDigital transformation: another matter to consider

Globalization has impacted the academic sector, and the digital transformation has also opened a world of dynamic possibilities in all sectors that we have not seen before.  It is essential to clarify that this process began at different times, making progress at different rates.  Still, it is important to understand that digitization is only the first step in the process of constant innovation.

 

In this context, we see the relevance of adopting new educational methodologies such as Learning by doing and STEM disciplines, learning strategies responsible for promoting the required skills to solve constant changes and provide the current and future world skills.

 

In addition, we see how education is taken to another level when we integrate these processes with technology and gamification by creating appropriate teaching environments for new generations. This allows the development of contextualized situations through the use of multiple resources to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge.

 

We can also conclude that globalization and digital transformation promote education by delivering content to students through new technologies, using advances as a resource to develop students’ skills and competencies to acquire knowledge and apply it in real situations.   In other words, to provide them with the resources to face a society that is constantly changing.

 

For this reason, through CloudLabs Virtual STEM, you can be part of the educational transformation since our gamified virtual environment will allow you to take your academic processes to the next level.

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The Benefits of Gamification in Children’s Learning Processes

The introduction to ICT opened up a whole new universe of educational opportunities.

 

Gamification has become increasingly important in students’ learning processes in the digital age.

 

In addition, new technological tools provide the impetus that cognitive development requires to progress forward in an increasingly innovative world where games and knowledge go hand in hand in academic settings.

 

In order to understand how learning and gamification converge, we must first know how each of them occurs:

How does learning occur?

Learning is a lifelong process. It begins in the earliest years with the cognitive development of human beings throughout growth, through social interaction, and biological development.  Thanks to the learning process, we acquire knowledge to develop intelligence and capabilities essential to navigating the world.

 

It is also important to highlight that there is high neural flexibility between 0 and 6 years of age. For this reason, the more stimulation children are given, the higher and more advanced their level of performance will be in communication areas and cognitive functions. These functions are those used by an individual to perceive, process, and store information. In other words, they are the capacities used for day-to-day activities, allowing us to interact with the environment and make our relationships with others effectively.

The cognitive abilities that improve progress in learning are:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Planning
  • Spatial perception
  • Focused attention
  • Divided attention
  • Contextual memory
  • Auditory short-term memory

How does gamification work?

Gamification is the educational strategy that applies game methods and elements for educational purposes, involving students, motivating them to action, and promoting learning.

 

Learning by playing, serious games, or gamification is the new educational trend that creates learning environments because it stimulates cognitive abilities and intellectual development. According to Calabor et al. (2018), this type of learning is represented in simulations, video games, virtual worlds, or augmented reality, consolidating these as a strategic resource (Fitó-Bertran et al., 2014; Ranchhod et al., 2014) aimed at supporting teaching/learning processes.

Gamification features to promote learning:

  • Set a goal
  • Adapts to the student’s profile
  • Uses a narrative to contextualize the student in a topic
  • Establish a game mechanic with rules
  • Encourage participation through scoring or levels
  • It takes place in an interactive environment
  • Allows traceability in the process

Gamification and learning

It is undeniable that teaching methods have taken a turn in today’s society. Educational models had to be reinvented to bring to light an explosion of creativity that is now at the forefront of learning processes.

For this reason, gamification is considered a very assertive method that is setting the trend in teaching since, among many benefits, we can highlight the following:

 

  • It stimulates learning, improving attention, concentration, memory, thinking skills, and perception to achieve a high level of performance.
  • Promotes language development, projecting verbal expression, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
  • It stimulates thinking activities, increasing creativity and imagination.
  • It promotes teamwork and increases self-confidence in the process of goal achievement.

 

Gamification helps promote learning and educational environments that create significant experiences by linking multiple educational and recreational resources that will transcend traditional educational methods, which until recent times seemed fixed.

 

For this reason, at CloudLabs Virtual STEM, we offer a gamified virtual environment that allows you to live the learning experience on a different level, creating narratives that lead students to develop their knowledge in real contexts in friendly and dynamic study environments through practice.

 

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How to improve the job profile of students for the jobs of the future?

Currently, digital transformation and new technologies have made the labor market look for flexible profiles that respond to a demand that did not exist before. Therefore, today we’d like to discuss how to strengthen students’ job profiles for the jobs of the future.

 

Technological advances have permeated almost all areas of life, including, of course, the labor market. This sector is undergoing a major transformation due to the impact of new technologies, leading to the creation and modification of professional profiles, which must be increasingly specialized and dynamic. The digitalization of society, although not a new development, has been accelerated by the rise of teleworking, the growing need to communicate with the world, the search for new forms of entertainment, and even by new commercial dynamics which has allowed other fields and areas to be enhanced.

 

According to studies, approximately 85% of the jobs related to new technologies are not yet consolidated. As a result, the education sector has begun to take action to train future professionals with the necessary skills so that they have decisive, dynamic, and flexible profiles with a high capacity to adapt to the rapid changes that the world of work is experiencing.

 

So, you might be wondering: How do you improve students’ job profiles for the jobs of the future? The answer is simple: through STEM education.

STEM Training

Analytical thinking and active learning are highly demanded competencies in today’s labor market, but they are not the only ones. Other skills are required, most of which are integrated into the methodology applied in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers, making them among the most compatible with current economic, educational, and social changes.

 

 

The STEM model provides interdisciplinary training, promoting skills for critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, leadership, and innovation, among others. Meeting the demands of a new economy in which companies require professionals who can integrate much more into the company’s strategy and evolution, as well as meeting the technological changes that are accelerating and that many learning platforms are not prepared to meet.

 

STEM education comes to respond to the global labor demand, and therefore, we present 5 reasons to have an education under this model.

 

STEM profile advantages:

  1. Great projections for ICT careers. Some of the fields that will generate more employment are robotics, big data, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain.
  2. Improve employability and reduce competition.
  3. Training in transversal competencies.
  4. Active participation in technological and scientific advances.
  5. Access to organizations with a strong corporate culture and competitive salaries.

In conclusion, careers related to the STEM model create opportunities for professionals who are in the process of training and for those who want to advance their careers. For this reason, CloudLabs Virtual STEM provides the tools to accomplish this through its broad portfolio of virtual laboratories, equipped with technological elements and many other instruments. They make learning a unique learning experience and allow students to widely adapt to labor demands and improve their job profile to meet the needs of a globalized world.

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Virtual learning tools

In recent years, virtual education has had a significant scope and power. Not only as a result of technological progress, but also as a consequence of a global pandemic. If you’re thinking about starting virtual studies but are unsure, consider the following benefits of using virtual learning tools.

A new learning model in the digital ecosystem

Technology has generated significant changes in all areas of society, including education. It has enabled people to access educational spaces regardless of location or time. This is known as virtual education, and it involves a shift from teacher-centered learning to learner-centered learning. This does not imply that the teacher-student relationship is coming to an end. On the contrary, this interaction is enhanced by means of virtual tools that facilitate practice through the network.

In this way, students have access to interactive media and can consult with experts and peers as needed during their learning process. It has an impact not only on the lives of the students but also on teachers since it promotes tools to accompany and streamline the collaborative learning process.

In short, this form of pedagogy allows a person to self-train on his/her initiative by approaching and benefiting from online education from the place, time, and moment desired. Nevertheless, it requires a lot of commitment, discipline, and perseverance.

Normally, these are the general privileges associated with online education. However, there are some others listed below.

The Benefits of Online Learning

Collaborative learning:

Contrary to popular belief, virtual education has the tools to encourage and facilitate interaction between students and teachers. For instance, forums, chats, and complete learning environments enable the collective construction of knowledge. Therefore, it is no longer about studying alone, but also about encouraging teamwork.

It implies lower costs:

Another advantage of online learning, as you can see, is the low cost since you don’t have to invest in the maintenance of a physical plant, laboratories, materials, and so on.

Full customization:

Choose the study plan that suits you best. To do so, you have a variety of options on the web, which will allow you to diversify your knowledge. In addition, it provides you with a high level of adaptability since you choose when and how to study.

Promote autonomous learning:

Thanks to the different learning and interaction platforms, such as CloudLabs virtual laboratories, students take on challenges, which allow them to strengthen their learning skills and implement them in the future.

It offers greater accessibility:

Due to the flexibility and low costs offered by virtual education, the number of people who can study efficiently and comfortably from any mobile device such as laptops, smartphones, or tablets has grown.

Innovation:

It offers the same level of quality and content as a face-to-face methodology. The difference is that, because the classes are remote, teachers can innovate and choose different interactive formats to support and plan their lessons.

In short, online learning is here to stay. It is an effective means for any student who uses the resources provided by technology with commitment, self-discipline, and perseverance, thus reaching the established goals. Therefore, the effective implementation of virtual education can bring considerable benefits.

That is why we invite you to learn about the CloudLabs platform, which develops an innovative educational model that complements online learning with more than 550 simulators at all levels of education. It promotes learning through practice and has all the benefits of online learning. If you want to learn more, click here.