At the XV #Asenof National and International Congress, Jiovany Orozco, #CloudLabs CEO, presented the lecture: “The Use of Virtual Laboratories in Professional Training”. He emphasized the need for a transformation of the teaching and learning processes at the educational institutions through active learning techniques and the use of technology. He also highlighted how beneficial it is to integrate gamification and the STEM model, as well as other aspects related to quality in education.
The following aspects describe the aims and methodology of the CLOUDLABS Virtual STEM SIMULATORS. It offers a wider range of information about the characteristics of this virtual learning environment and focus on the methodologies structure value these simulators consist of. Particularly, it highlights the educational innovating component which makes a difference to other laboratories simulators and connects to teaching and methodologies changes over learning activities.
Therefore, educational sector nowadays requirements are met by the development of these kind of activities, which also address to strengthen the innovating resources access to all learning process participants. Additionally, this methodology helps to improve the quality of education through transforming the learning of the different members of the educational system by doing.
When different high quality strategies and pedagogical resources, high standard organizational levels and considering the students, teachers, schools and contexts’ needs are incorporating those improvements occur.
CloudLabs prioritizes learning by doing, logical thinking and reading comprehension through using highly intuitive videos games. These games are presented to the students in order to respond to challenges and solve problems in a complete virtual experience. Thus, the educational institutions’ ICT structure is employed fully; it is computers and tablets used in offline mode.
Consequently, it also has a great impact on children and young people who do not have access to expensive laboratories with high realistic simulators, so that they gain knowledge about physical phenomena.
All the simulations and learning units that are part of this product are focused on problem solving and real contexts situations features. They enable students to study theories and understand concepts to experience challenges in a real and meaningful contexts. In addition, students can learn by making mistakes, analyzing different variables according to their simulations interaction, experiencing different possibilities and learning experiences which help to build up their knowledge.
When implementing virtual simulators, different approaches can be used and related: from challenges to learning evidences. For example, learning units become a useful strategy because they can support and work as complement of the simulations. The basic learning units reinforce the concepts connected to one or more simulations. That is to say, students work on these concepts before they practice on a simulation or specific simulations. Thus, the teacher can adopt the learning activities that are on each of the units.
Furthermore, this aspect can be supported by some in-classroom or virtual lessons, with the assigned teacher, and where units’ concepts can also be discussed. Teacher and students can use the learning units while developing virtual laboratories too. It makes evident the connection and reinforcement between the concepts and the development of the course and virtual laboratories.
On the other hand, virtual laboratories are developed out of models and simulations where students are vital and active part in making decisions. These are based on specific facts or variables changes aimed to test previous hypothesis. ICT supports these methodologies through constant active teaching techniques and a definite methodological orientation. They intend to respond to challenges in a learning environment.
When the teacher leads and develops virtual laboratory practice, it is important to consider and identify the use and functions of each of the available buttons these have. Secondly, a guided and detailed comprehension of the challenge situation should be presented. It is from here where the student will be able to identify the context, the assigned role, the proposed problem, the variables as well as the tasks to be developed during the virtual laboratory practices, which look for solving the given situation.
After understanding the concepts, the function of each available tool in the interface of the simulator and the proper analysis of the challenge situation, the procedure and solution of the problema will start. It allows the student to review and practice all the previous and acquired knowledge during the learning-practice process. Then, we can deduce that virtual laboratories may introduce and implement appropriate and meaningful teaching resources needed to the students learning process.
The conceptual framework of CLOUDLABS is based on the competences development which must integrate four aspects to work on:
✓ Active teaching techniques development.
✓ Teacher as a guide and facilitator of the learning process.
✓ Proper and effective use of ICT.
✓ Learning activities contextualization.
The implementation of active teaching techniques must be prioritized the development of general and specific competences. They should consider the object of study and the context. Thus, the challenge is to connect this strategy to educational material as well as the study plans. It is important to consider there are a variety of actions to follow that aim to use those techniques in developing competences such as problem solving and understanding the concepts at the start of each laboratory practice or activity. It enables a balance between autonomous learning and guided behavioral learning.
For this reason, the traditional learning purposes are based on basic behavioral repetitive concepts of the physical variables and without any students’ active participation in problem solving.
Contrary to the traditional teaching, here the students must solve problems and make decisions to challenging situations through:
Educational resources as planned practice or
The teacher using open simulators that are widely described on the teachers and students, guides.
Students are made to solve problems, interact and make decisions by the use of concrete situations activities so that they will achieve a specific objective. This makes evident their learning and the reason to develop competences. The main methods to consider are: problem solving and the sequence learning identification through project based learning. Projects are used to emphasize the procedures knowledge and the supporting and mandatory knowledge of concepts, principles, aptitudes and general competences as well as the factual knowledge, all orientated to achieve the activities goals.
The guide and learning facilitator role are proposed from two approaches. The first one deals with the proper and accurate use of virtual laboratories and their learning units by the teachers. The second perspective is a planned educational process based on the student and student’s performance. It certainly contradicts the traditional educational programming. Thus, this innovating strategy does not focus on the memorizing concepts required by the educational standards but it considers this method as part of the first learning process stages.
Additionally, since teachers are thought to be experts on the discipline they teach, sometimes teaching training is necessary because of several factors and as part of the educational process.
Inferring teachers master the tool, the second approach becomes easier to achieve due to the fact they will plan ahead. For example, imagine a physics group of 30 students who were given tablets for education. Each student has a tablet and the teacher has decided to group them in six teams. They are guided about the topic to learn, “vectors” that day, so that they are taught the adding vector concept; specifically adding vectors using the parallelogram method. How different the teacher addresses the activity invites the groups to solve the problem and promote competing. Additionally, teacher should put into the context the situation to call the attention of all the participants. The teacher can tell the situation loudly and make some questions to promote comprehension.
After proposing the challenge situation, it is suggested to approach the contents of the simulator and give the corresponding instructions. If necessary, it is recommended a topic presentation to reinforce some concepts. However, the main objective is to focus on the activity procedure to be solved. It is here when different situations emerge that provoke the development of group of competences and beyond the progress on specific abilities.
The curriculum component of each institution becomes a relevant factor to be considered when implementing virtual laboratories. The relation between curriculum components and the study plan of a school/ classroom or CloudLabs virtual laboratory is a curriculum interrelation. This connection becomes fundamental to implement a laboratory because allows teachers to know what ideal practices support better the learning process in the classroom. It helps teachers to identify basic curriculum characteristics for the laboratories practices which also orientate the appropriate competences to be developed and the results to be achieved.
For this reason, a curriculum interrelation guides the teacher to plan their lessons, consider the disciplines’ study plan as well to enable them to understand how practices complement those theories presented in the lessons.
Thus, if physics teacher whose study plan competences includes to understand the sound and light traveling as wave phenomenon, and as learning evidence the classification of light and sound waves according to the medium they travel. That is to say, the curriculum interrelation will guide teacher to what are the most appropriate practices to develop with the students and test those phenomena to obtain the planned results.
For this situation, the laboratory practice named “producing a radio wave” will be ideal. This laboratory Will allow the student to apply all the waves concepts to set up the power of a radio signal, understand the purpose of radio waves, identify the causes of wave motion, analyze the characteristics of a wave and the conservation of energy principles and their interaction with the travelling medium.
Another available laboratory to practice these concepts learned is “electromagnetic spectrum” which guides students to classify the types of waves inside of the electromagnetic spectrum, identify the causes of wave motion and instruments that produce different waves’ frequency inside the electromagnetic spectrum.
To conclude, the strategies to implement virtual laboratories are thought to incorporate systematically digital tools. These instruments must promote the use of ICT in the classrooms and the integration of virtual laboratories and the learning units with the curriculum while educational institutions make their pedagogical plans. Virtual laboratories are mainly structured to be used pedagogically.
Read this article from the American Ed-Tech news portal EDWEEK on how CloudLabs virtual labs became an effective solution for many educational institutions during the COVID -19 Pandemic. Find out what teachers, researchers and students from different countries say about CloudLabs potential to enhance education.
More information at edweek.org
7,500 students from Dokuz Eylül University (DEU) are now learning with more than 140 virtual laboratories, translated in Turkish, in areas such as Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. DEU has more than 80,000 students and 17 schools and is ranked among the 20 most prestigious universities in the country. Through this alliance, CLoudLabs starts a significant expansion process in the Middle East.
– The agreement aims to provide the country’s schools with the possibility to transform classrooms into attractive, fun, and dynamic educational environments through STEM simulators.
– Students will be able to acquire skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, through the Challenge-Based Learning-approach.
– They will learn by doing through gamified activities with 263 simulations in areas such as physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
To develop STEM skills in students, Santillana signed an agreement with the CloudLabs platform, 100% online. This platform facilitates learning in real contexts that pose everyday life situations and teaches how to solve them.
Teachers will be able to measure their students’ progress through challenges and achievements, as the platform includes a classroom management system that allows them to track the performance of each student. CloudLabs is easily integrated into each school’s platform.
Students can recreate laboratory operations, circuits, in vitro cultures, cell scale models and natural phenomena, among others, starting with a review of concepts and keys necessary to carry out their practical. They will navigate in a 100% virtual and interactive environment that will turn their computers, cell phones and tablets into experimental laboratories, in which they will have fun while developing 21st century strategic skills, such as problem solving, teamwork, decision making and innovation.
These benefits allow children and young people to put into practice the knowledge learned in the classroom in a real and meaningful way, which they will be able to use in their daily lives and their future professional lives.
Press contact: Isabel Cristina Ballén Espinosa. Cellphone: 3115010685.
Today we joined the II International STEM 2021 Congress in Lima, Peru.
CloudLabs has been selected to be part of the business delegation that joined the official visit of the President of the Republic of Colombia, Iván Duque, to Brazil.
Our CEO and Founder, Jiovany Orozco, was part of the group with other 12 CEOs of Colombian companies invited by the office of the President to participate in this visit.
This visit was an outstanding opportunity to have close contact with relevant companies and entities of the tech and education industry in Brazil.
Photographer: Juan Pablo Bello – Presidency.
A great storm, called COVID, swept away everything in its path, turning calm seas into uncontrollable tides; creating unprecedented crises in social and cultural spheres around the world.
The educational sphere was one of its biggest victims, since no one was prepared to face such a situation, the sudden closure of activities caused drastic changes, forcing educational institutions to put aside traditional education and venture into virtual education.
In quick response to this situation, institutions and teachers are chosing digital platforms to remotely complement their teaching methodology, managing to overcome the challenges of the storm.
These are some experiences that teachers shared with us, who managed to overcome the challenges of their journeys, demonstrating that educational tools such as CloudLabs STEM are the rudder that guides and gives direction to ships to navigate through strong tides.
“Very close to Chinchaycocha Lake in Junín-Peru, due to its altitude (4,100 meters above sea level) considered the highest lake in the world, my students’ learning was oriented towards being in the classroom, some days in the Laboratory and others on field trips. But one day, the pandemic began and a microscopic virus, “SARS-CoV-2”, limited us to staying at home and adapting to virtual teaching and learning that became boring and stressful, until one day we discovered a fun virtual way of learning, as we entered into the wonderful world of CloudLabs STEM Laboratories, where there are various labs and science simulators; for example, in the chemistry simulator there were laboratory instruments and reagents, and when we carried out the virtual practice, we observed the magical way that the lighter was lit and the color of the substances changed, this observation was as if we were in a school laboratory.
In the physics simulator, there were lights that lit up if you did the procedure properly and lights that burned out if you were wrong, the students understood that making mistakes is a new way of learning and accessing knowledge; in the mathematical simulator there are rulers that measure and calculators that helped to obtain the values of the answer. I can conclude that with the advancement of CloudLabs STEM labs and technology, there are always fun ways to learn.”
Professor Alejandra Francisca Gamarra, Perú
“My ship was in Guayaquil… at a time of great uncertainty and when the storm raged most at every home in my city, I wondered how we would handle virtual education in an environment where the majority always bet on the traditional and anything else makes us step out of our comfort zone. It was time to start virtual classes and we had to reinvent ourselves as teachers amd look for the most appropriate digital resources to carry our teaching-learning processes successfully, and it is here where, once again, CloudLabs reached out to me in times of pandemic, it gave me free access to the Physics simulators to incorporate into Moodle and for all my students to have access to the resource, which leads me to the reflection that the worst of storms can be perceived as a drizzle if you associate with the right people; those that see education as learning and collaboration networks, regardless of their geographical location, for the simple pleasure of educating and so that everyone can access education without any kind of distinction.
For both teachers and students, this storm represented a challenge, full of difficulties, learning experiences and the constant reinvention of practices. CloudLabs STEM was a lifesaver in the storm and a great tool for remote learning, as well as being the solution to today’s problem.”
Professor Alfonso Gutiérrez, Ecuador
“For teachers of Natural Sciences, it is essential to accompany our theoretical classes with the use of laboratory activities, in order to develop skills that allow us to understand the use of laboratory materials and carry out experiences to verify laws or to contrast hypotheses. With the arrival of the pandemic, this activity was strongly postponed.
Based on this need, I began to look for virtual laboratories that would allow me to work on the contents that are normally developed in a school laboratory.
After a conscious search, I chose CloudLabs since it has a pleasant and intuitive work environment. I use it to enrich my theoretical classes, whether recorded or through videoconferences.
With my students from the Physics and Chemistry faculty, we analyzed the activities proposed by CloudLabs and we agreed that it is a very good tool to develop procedural skills when entering a laboratory.
On the other hand, I believe that we must generate a drastic change in teaching, as it was conceived before the pandemic, and think that CloudLabs will allow us to continue enriching our classes, even in person.
The variety of proposed experiences is diverse and raises experimental activities that are necessary to develop in any Physics and Chemistry course, at the intermediate level in my country.
The CloudLabs images have very good definition and the tools, such as calculator, the explanation of the content, formulas to be used and the graphs with the experimental data are an extra bonus when choosing a virtual laboratory.
One drawback that other laboratories have is that they do not have a Spanish version. CloudLabs has clear and concise explanations and I always had a prompt response to the concerns raised to the advisory team at my disposal.
Each one of the students work at their oun learning speed and have the possibility of repeating the experiences as many times as they wish.
Thanks to CloudLabs I recovered in my virtual classes what I like the most about science … Teaching how to learn by experimenting.”
Professor Pedro, Argentina
It is clear that this pandemic has completely disrupted the traditional educational system, and everything points to the future education model of face-to-face, while simultaneously enabling online work spaces, such as virtual laboratories.
In October 2019, I was invited by ProColombia to participate in the fifth business summit between South Korea and Latin America. The Colombian delegation group was led by high government representatives, starting with the Tourism, Commerce and Industry Minister, Jose Manuel Restrepo. Among the participants were representatives from various fields; including the food industry, renewable energy, information and technology and 4.0 industries as well as academics.
The goal of the delegation was to promote commercial flow and incentivize investments, as well as promote cooperation in topics such as creative industries, the use of science and technology for industrial innovation and the implementation of the 4th industrial revolution in Colombia. Korea-LAC summit is organized by the IDB, the Korean ministry of economy and finance, Korean Exim bank and KOTRA (Korean agency for the promotion of commerce and investment). As a Highlight, South Korea is the third largest Asian investor in Colombia. According to the Republic’s Bank, in the last decade there were incoming transactions for over USD $183 million. Our virtual laboratories proposal was very well received by the audiences.
We want to share some good news!
Holon IQ, the educational intelligence company, published a list called LATAM EDTECH 100, where they selected the 100 most innovative educational technology companies in Latin America. We are pleased to share that CloudLabs is on this list in the Virtual Learning Environments category.
In the selection process Holon IQ analyzed more than 1000 companies in the region, including CloudLabs, and evaluated the product, user experience, team and growth potential.
You can follow the full story here: https://www.holoniq.com/notes/latam-edtech-100/