“There is a strong demand for an educational solution that is visual, immersive and experiential” – Ondrej Homola, Czech Republic
Earlier this year, we spoke with Ondrej Homola, CEO of Corinth, Ltd. Homola and his team at Corinth are using their work in gaming technologies as much more than entertainment: they know that the games they develop promote deeper learning and, perhaps most important to Homola, critical thinking. “We are all exposed to so much information,” says Homola. “However, it doesn’t mean the available knowledge is more comprehensible. On the contrary, recent data show that students are being overloaded by information and are not able to develop appropriate critical skills to understand it in context, to imagine it in mutual interconnections. We are trying to bring solutions, which would help them do so.”
The solutions Homola speaks about are all part of the Corinth Micro platform. “We have spent a great deal of time developing new applications utilizing our new visual 3D platform, Corinth Micro, which we introduced in the end of last year,” says Homola. “The feedback from the first application of the series, Corinth Micro Plant, showed that there is a strong demand for an educational solution that is visual, immersive and experiential. Thus, we have worked hard to release its follow-up.”
The latest application developed for Windows 8 in the Corinth Micro series is called Corinth Micro Engines, which can be found on the Windows Store. According to Homola, an augmented reality-based update to Corinth Micro Engines is also on the way. “We are also building an application for the series that depicts a stunning visual view of processes in the human body calledCorinth Micro Anatomy Augmented,” says Homola. “All these applications represent other pieces to the educational solution series visualizing abstract, complex and hard-to-imagine issues,” says Homola. These augmented reality applications are going to be the first of their kind in the Windows 8 Store.
Today, I’m pleased to share an update from Daily Edventures alum Homola. Here, he shares just how quickly the world of app development for Windows 8 is moving, and why he believes augmented visual and interactive storytelling is the future of education. Enjoy!
What have you been up to since we last talked?
I recently presented about inter-passivity in visual education at the Educational Innovation Summit on April 15. We believe that visual and interactive story-telling is the future of education in sciences, technologies and abstract topics. We’re thrilled to share this idea with innovative educators and companies who are engaged with making education better.
Moreover, we have been continuously in touch with educators around the world to better understand their needs in order to develop better applications reflecting their experience. If you’d like to get involved, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the most significant change in the world of education you’ve observed in the last year? Why?
We believe in emotional and experiential engagement in education. The last couple of years showed a significant shift in touch screen devices usage. Interactive touch hardware has clearly been a huge trend. You can see that the user wants to be “hands on” with what he/she is seeing, to get sensually immersed into a topic he/she wants to explore. Apart from this, I see even bigger potential in gesture-driven interfaces. However, sensual immersion into the knowledge is a fascinating idea that we are trying to develop and deepen. Further, inter-passive 3D stories is our way! A good example is all our Corinth Micro applications, including the brand new augmented reality section of Corinth Micro Engines, about to be released.
Through these interactive visual applications, a user explores an engine’s technology development and follows key milestones in its history. Similarly to Corinth Micro Plant, he/she gets a stunning view of details by touch in 3D. Therefore, the user gets a very sensual and comprehensive experience of how the technology works. This is what we mean by the idea of inter-passive story telling — a user can interact within a certain story line and explore issues of his interest in a certain visual space. Augmented reality is pushing the sensual experience even further, as the augmented reality feature in Corinth Micro Engine shows.
I’m very glad that there is an available operating system that offers one solution for tablets, desktops and gesture-driven devices – Windows 8. We intend on bringing an exceptional experience to the table with our applications for Windows 8.
What have you learned in the last year as part of your professional development that you would like to share with our readers?
A good question! As I have mentioned, I have been meeting lots of great experts in the education field who are very passionate about what they are doing. No other industry has as dedicated and passionate professionals as there is in education. It doesn’t matter if they are from the US, Portugal, Czech Republic or Malaysia – educators everywhere around the world face significant changes related to budget issues, extreme work overload, and also the nature of knowledge and skills which they need to teach. Education today faces huge challenges and it’s not just educators, but also students who need to adapt to new conditions for learning.
I have to say I thought I had a pretty good understanding of their needs, but I was just in the beginning of my journey. I definitely learned that I want and need to understand them better. Currently, we are running a survey focused on educators and school directors that should help us with that. Anyone interested in getting involved is very welcome. Feel free to contact me
What are you most encouraged about in education right now?
Again, I tend to be passionate about bringing a positive change into the area of my interest. Education is the field that Corinth wants to enrich. We are very pleased to see the positive feedback that Corinth Micro Plant has received, the first application of the Corinth Micro series. It showed that teachers and students are significantly missing such an immersive visual solution for education of technologies, sciences and hard-to-imagine matter in general.
Now that we have completed Corinth Micro Engines, we are offering a total different experience. I’m convinced this illustrative application can deepen the understanding of engine technology and how different types of engines work. Our previous educational applications, and Corinth Micro Plant in particular, have already showed that immersion and engagement provided by visual inter-passive storytelling is a way to a very deep experience for the user. With these ingredients we would like to achieve miracles in education.
This is what fuels me. How does Corinth want to use this energy? Our company works like an engine, enthusiastic about our work. Apart from developing new inter-passive visual tools, we are currently working on a very detailed analysis of the needs and possibilities of the education segment. We really need to emphasize that learning what students and educators demand is important for us because we are able to bring solutions of such a high functionality and engagement to life. For our company, students represent a very dynamic set of customers and we would like to measure the effect our applications have on their learning. Soon we’d like to run a series of tests measuring our applications’ impact on student’s results.
Is there a 21st century skill ( critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, or creativity and innovation) that you are most passionate about? Why?
I have already mentioned this in my previous interview – it’s critical thinking, which I find to be a crucial skill nowadays.
We have already started the aforementioned research with teachers from different parts of the world. One teacher gave me a great comment: students are great at picking up individual information while searching on the Internet and are very fast at it. But they are getting worse with putting all the single facts together – to analyze them in a structure and to create a solution while using different information sources, that seems to be an emerging issue for many of them.
To give an example from my way of learning, I would never solve a problem without understanding it. Comprehending a problem means having the whole perspective, that’s how I understand what it is to understand. Changing one variable and seeing what it makes with the whole, noticing all the tiny strings between. Therefore, visual experiments and testing have always been important to me in an effort of solving a problem.
This is how we have designed our Corinth Micro series. We want to let all the interconnections of information become apparent. Corinth Micro’s visual possibilities enable cognitive immersion into the study matter, among the studied objects where he/she can nearly touch the mutual relations. Corinth Micro thus provides a very effective tool in particular to students who face problems imagining abstract topics.
Where do you see your professional path taking you next?
We are gaining further awareness of the capabilities of the Corinth Micro platform. We realize that this original technology provides a user not just an engaging way to get a deep view of structures, but also processes. Now we are releasing two new applications based on augmented reality – Corinth Micro Engines Augmented and Corinth Micro Anatomy Augmented. They both visualize processes. Because of this idea, we realized we could make people be more aware of human diseases. By visualizing how the human body works and how it is affected by external and internal factors, we could help people live a healthier life and fight against diseases. So our dream is, for instance, to create an educational tool that would help to understand why and how certain food could cause obesity. Imagine the impact of such a tool!
You can learn more on Windows 8 Wednesdays here
About Ondrej Homola
- Birthplace: Vsetin, Czech Republic
- Current residence: Prague, Czech Republic/San Francisco, California, USA
- Education: MA, Economics
- Website I check every day: http://www.techcrunch.com, https://www.twitter.com
- Person who inspires me most: My father
- Favorite childhood memory: Playing theatre with my classmates in kindergarten.
- Next travel destination (work or pleasure): London (work)
- When was the last time you laughed? Why? One minute ago thinking about my childhood memories.
- Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings
- Favorite music: Jamiroquai
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Help yourself.
- Your favorite quote or motto: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
For more information on Corinth’s apps for Windows 8, watch the videos below: