By: Amanda V. Cabral
In September, a new immersive technologies conference will be held at Mason Square. Co-hosted by the Institute for Digital InnovAtion and the Division of Learning Technologies at the College of Education & Human Development, “The Learning Multiverse: Immersive Technologies (IM-TECH) in Training and Education” aims to address the applicability of IM-TECH to workforce education in industry and higher education.
IM-TECH, also known as Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Extended Reality (XR), allows instructors and instructional designers to create unique immersive learning experiences across a variety of educational fields and training situations. Attendees will be provided examples of the most transformative learning experiences that use IM-TECH for training and development.
“Immersive technologies are the way of the future,” Kafi Hassan, technology development strategist for Advanced and Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile US and chair of the IEEE Communications Society (Comsoc) Northern Virginia chapter, said. “It is important to begin having these discussions so we are aware of not only what IM-TECH can do to improve the way we train and instruct, but also how we can adapt to it.”
Throughout the day, a variety of panel discussions, real-time demonstrations, and keynote speakers will discuss several themes, including the infrastructure needed to adopt IM-TECH in workforce training and education, how AI can impact the design and implementation of IM-TECH, and how IM-TECH can support accessible and hands-on learning experiences, social learning, and safe environments for learning.
The conference is sponsored by Leidos, IEEE, and C2 Technologies. Stephanie D. Brenninkmeyer, portfolio manager at Leidos, emphasized the importance of the conference, saying, “As immersive technologies become more prevalent in society, it is important for us to understand the situations they may be applicable in and be prepared to utilize them in an efficient and secure manner.”
Dolly Oberoi, founder of C² Technologies and a speaker at the IM-TECH Conference, also recognized the importance of implementing the technology. “Understanding all facets of immersive technologies, including theory and application helps all of us to be better prepared to enhance the way we teach and instruct,” she said. “These technologies will help us do our jobs better and conferences like this help us to learn the best way to use them.”
Nada Dabbagh, professor and director of the Division of Learning Technologies at Mason co-chairs the IM-TECH planning committee along with Brenda Bannan, professor in the College of Education & Human Development. Other members of the committee are Craig Yu, associate professor of Computer Science, James Casey, director of the Virginia Serious Games Institution, and Kammy Sanghera, executive director of the Institute for Digital InnovAtion.
The conference will take place at Van Metre Hall at Mason Square on September 7, 2023, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Breakfast will be served before and a networking reception will begin at the conclusion of the conference.
Registration closes August 31, 2023. Visit techconnectdc.org/imtech-conference to learn more and register.