By Eleni Mentheniti (DFKI) and Manolis Mavrikis (UCL)
Last month iRead researchers Manolis Mavrikis (UCL) and Eleni Mentheniti (DFKI) attended the “Tech for Good” expo held in the European Parliament from Monday the 19th to Thursday the 22nd of November 2018. The expo brings together researchers from universities and institutions around the European Union and offers them a platform to showcase their work in artificial intelligence, cognitive sciences, medicine, computer science and their applications in the fields of education, humanities, media, design and more. It was held in the European Parliament in Brussels, where presenters had the opportunity to actively demonstrate their work to MPs, staff members, visitors and more, spark conversations on their current research and future steps, and promote their innovations for a better future, education and quality of life.
In addition, the expo hosted many teams focused on using new technologies for educational purposes, such as the Robotics team from the Technological Educational Institute of Central Macedonia, who are using a NAO robot programmed to sing folklore songs in order to familiarize children with robotics and tradition simultaneously, and the REVEAL team from Sheffield Hallam University who have developed a virtual tour interface for museums and archaeological sites. We were glad to exchange ideas and opinions on how technology can reshape education to be more personalized to the users’ needs, as a means to promote equal learning opportunities for everyone and build bridges inside the school community and society.
With the upcoming pilot run in schools all around Europe, iRead has certainly caught the attention of MPs and researchers alike, who are keen to follow the project’s development and want to stay informed on the pilot run results and the next steps of iRead (deployment to schools on a larger scale, app releases, new languages, more accessibility, etc.).