Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NEWTON (Networked Labs for Training in Sciences and Technologies for Information and Communication)
Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-08-31
NEWTON also builds an innovative learning management platform (also named NEWTON) allowing cross-European learner and teacher interaction with content and courses and supporting fast dissemination of learning content to a wide audience in a ubiquitous manner. NEWTON’s ultimate goal is to make use of TEL in order to increase learner quality of experience, improve learning process and maintain or increase learning outcome. The NEWTON platform has a multi-tier client-server architecture which separates business logic, client access technology and centrally held data into discrete layers which inter-communicate via standard open interfaces. This layer-based architecture enables both platform’s scalability and support for latest innovations by including novel gamification, adaptation and personalisation components.
The NEWTON innovative technologies and the NEWTON innovative learning management platform contribute fundamentally to achieving the NEWTON project’s goal of improving user learning experience and enhancing satisfaction during the learning process, while maintaining and potentially increasing student learning outcome. It is hoped that this improvement in the learning quality of experience will make STEM topics more attractive to the students, including to learners with special needs, and will determine an increase in the number of students who take and enjoy STEM subjects and target a STEM-related career.
Following research, the NEWTON innovative technologies are ready to be tested independently and are being integrated as components in the NEWTON platform. They enable adaptive and personalised distribution of content, enhanced or not with components which target human senses other than sight and hearing (e.g. olfaction, haptic) and adjust the delivery process based on user profile and operational environment (i.e. device and network). NEWTON AR/VR support provides both significant enhancements to learner’s cognitive perception of the real world and extends existing teaching and learning space with a virtual environment. In particular the sign-language avatar provides support for the learners with hearing impairment.
The use of the NEWTON platform and its innovative learning technologies is expected to help meet the NEWTON project goal of increasing user learning experience and satisfaction during the learning process and eventually attracting more students to STEM subjects, while maintaining and potentially improving their learning outcome.
NEWTON real-life validation involves at least 15 small-scale pilots and 3 large-scale pilots comprising approximately 1,000 students and 20 teachers/lecturers from 3 primary, 4 secondary and 1 school dedicated to special learning students, 1 vocational institute and 5 universities from 7 EU countries: Ireland, Slovakia, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania and UK. Some multimedia and mulsemedia content delivery and some game-based small scale pilots have already been carried out in 3 countries and the NEWTON technologies were very well received by the European students and teachers. The results of these and of the other pilots will be disseminated widely via diverse academic and non-academic/social channels.
NEWTON offers easy access to educators and learners with little or no technical skills and provides personalised access based on individual differences, experience, skills and special needs. One of the key impacts of the project is to deliver an innovative digital personalised learning experience through multi-sensorial channels, and thus contribute to the objectives of the ""Opening up Education"" initiative. Through utilizing technology in a wide range of STEM activities, NEWTON actively tackles the issues highlighted in this plan of action and helps deliver high quality education and digital skills required by the future job market. Inclusive education is another key aspect of