NCAT and collaborating partners such as CA2VES at Clemson University provide technology and curriculum resource to support virtual classroom environments. Digital learning solutions include high-impact, hands-on virtual reality, 3D visualizations and focus on engaging , computer enhanced teaching techniques, and hands-on laboratory experiences; the combination of which offers student-centered, contextual, authentic learning experiences. 

CA2VES Digital Learning Solutions

The Center for Aviation and Automotive Technology Education using Virtual E-Schools (CA2VES) is a NSF funded center that provides technology and curriculum resources to support learning in a virtual classroom environment. CA2VES is located at Clemson University in South Carolina, serves as a state, regional, and national resource for 2-year college e-learning research, professional development, and advanced curriculum based on the latest neuroscience principles, to help educate and prepare a sustainable, multi-skilled technological workforce for manufacturing technician and engineering technology careers. Digital learning solutions developed by CA2VES’ include high-impact, hands-on virtual reality and 3D visualizations and also focus on engaging, computer enhanced teaching techniques, and hands-on laboratory experiences; the combination of which offers student-centered, contextual, authentic learning experiences. We discuss some of the lessons learned from the development of such virtual reality based experiences to support e-learning.

Addressing STEM Workforce Needs in a Virtual World

For more than 25 years, the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program has awarded competitive grants, with an emphasis on two-year colleges, to test innovative ideas for improving STEM technician education in the advanced technology fields that are important to the nation’s economic health and security. Community colleges nationwide, in response to Covid-19, are challenged to develop strategies to successfully deliver hands-on content in an online environment such as through virtual labs, simulations, and augmented and virtual reality. Join us to learn how ATE grants have been successfully used to create innovative curriculum, technologies, and authentic learning experiences in virtual environments; about the critical value of preparing students with STEM technical skills in a current- and post-pandemic economy; and what you need to do to apply for NSF ATE funding.particularly in underserved areas. The RAD Competition is a great way to get students involved, have fun, and prepare them for the future advanced technical workforce. 

Instructional Video Capture Workshop

Producing instructional videos can range from simple smart phone capture to professional student productions. This workshop introduces budget smart tools for the production of educational videos. More importantly, the methods and equipment showcased reduce or eliminate the need to blend video and audio in post-production software. Many of the tools presented are used in livestream production. The tools presented aim to get the video done in one take and published to your audience. NCAT’s goal is to assemble a standardized video package supported by a network of STEM educator users and technical support staff. Using this standard equipment, one person can provide the instruction while switching camera views, sharing a computer screen, and displaying text or graphics. The tools presented generate quality instructional videos while saving time in production. 

Teaching Using Social Virtual Reality

Social virtual reality offers an innovative way to replace face-to-face events while retaining the benefits of social engagement and personal interaction. From classroom lectures to entire conferences, educators and event planners have been leveraging social VR as an innovative solution to the problems of a remote audience. There are various social VR platforms which provide a wide variety of interactive capabilities, degrees of immersion, and quality of interpersonal engagement. While many of these platforms have been around for years, they are enjoying an incredible surge in demand currently, as is the hardware required to properly engage in them. NCAT provides guidance on the current state of social VR as well as the strengths and limitations of popular social VR platforms. 

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