DisVirtual

DisVirtual

Our challenge, your solutions

Free your abilities through design thinking on DisVirtual

An easy and dynamic way of learning. Disvirtual is an educational platform that aims to improve the education in public schools, in a low profit investment with a huge upgrade education trought design thinking.

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Team: DisTeam

Team members

Adriana Aleman, Claudia Arbildo, Adriana Velis & Jhonatan Villalva.

Members roles and background

Our team has 3 students Claudia and Jonathan, from the audiovisual communication career and Adriana, from the architecture faculty. Then we have 1 mentor, Adriana Aleman, an Architect, and she teaches Sustainability and Environment and 3D architectural software.

Each member has an essential role in our team; beginning from Jhonatan, his major skill is editing and creating videos, collaborative work, adaptability for any environment. Adriana, her major skill is critical thinking. She attends to all the ventages and disadvantages of any movement we take as a group, also the autonomy to work by herself, taking advantage of the time. Claudia, innovation is the word that can describe her. She's always creating new ideas being the brain of the team also has the flexibility to work. Finally, our mentor Adriana Aleman, our leader and guide, has knowledge and abilities in design thinking and leadership skills.

Contact details

Adriana Aleman: https://znap.link/Adriana.Aleman Claudia Arbildo: https://znap.link/claudia.arbildo Adriana Velis: https://znap.link/AdrianaVelis Jhonatan Villalva: https://znap.link/Jhonatan.Villalva

Solution description

DisVirtual is a free virtual platform that aims to improve the interaction between teachers and students related to digital citizenship. Within Disvirtual, students will integrate different aspects of virtual life to prepare them for the future. It also proposes to innovate the public education system by adding the Design Thinking course to the regular curriculum and evaluating through it, which breaks a vast educational gap because the student will develop and improve their soft and hard skills from school. The application will be carried out from the 10th grade of high school onwards since the student begins to question himself about his professional life and future in that grade. Our project with the above mentioned will improve the prospect of the professional profile to have excellent performance at the University.

The low resources can achieve the success of our project that Discord requires for its proper functioning. It only needs 55.16MB of space, a low internet connection and a device that is not state of the art. This added to the almost null investment of placing the platform online since we use a free resource.

You only need to have 55.16 MB of space for downloading and subsequent installation to use our proposal. Discord can be accessed by multiple devices and websites from a low-end cell phone, laptop, PC, tablet, Xbox, PS4, among others.

The most significant benefit we obtain as a group is to visualize the breaking of barriers in education at a national level, consolidate the formation of better professionals and implement innovation in a curriculum that has not undergone significant changes over time. Our country is developing in many aspects, but we believe that together with innovative young people and proposals that add up to change, we will improve quality and accessibility to a good education.  We mention accessibility because we would be preparing students with professional projection to a virtual world and educational quality. Also, the use of our project will improve the approach to the concept of digital citizenship. All students who have physical, psychological or economic problems that have not been able to integrate into the educational network can access through Disvirtual—leaving behind the concepts of discrimination by condition, age, gender, ethnicity, physical disability, psychological, racism, prejudice, and many limiting factors that deny access to education.

On the other hand, using this platform will facilitate learning in a didactic way, since having access to a friendly platform for both the teacher and the student will enhance their virtual skills, thus conceptualizing the fluid development of a digital citizenship.

It should be noted that digital citizenship is understood as going beyond individual responsibility. We focus on becoming active citizens who can timely solve problems and see opportunities rather than risks through the virtual world positively and effectively.

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Solution context

According to data provided by the UN portal, at least 13 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean cannot access remote learning because their schools have closed during the Covid-19 crisis due to a lack of funds and an accessible virtual environment.

"For at least 463 million children whose schools closed, there was no such thing as distance learning. The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months is a global educational emergency. The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come," explained UNICEF Director Henrietta Fore.

Based on the fulfilment of the Organization's goals and mandates, which include the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution. Under this objective, we focus on providing educational quality access and implementing the evaluation system through Design thinking for all those public and private schools that do not have a digital platform. Thus, the dropout rate decreases.

The future is uncertain for everyone, particularly the millions of students due to graduate this year, who will face a world with an economy crippled by the pandemic.

The change that we want to achieve is to break the communication barriers and different problems of virtual interaction between teacher and student. In this way, through didactic teaching, we will improve soft and hard skills to turn them into tomorrow's cybercitizens, who can interact in physical and virtual reality.

Today, quality education teaches young people academic training and relevant skills for their academic/professional development. Still, teaching should also focus on providing knowledge and skills related to the levels of interaction, ability to empathize, innovate, and adapt to multiple scenarios and see opportunities where often you find negatives or problems.

For this reason, the implementation of the Design Thinking course and subsequent evaluation through it is fundamental. This improvement in education will promote that the 10th-grade and forward students can identify the problems and challenges to be developed more accurately. As educators, this tool enables a symbiosis of creativity and knowledge to face educational challenges from the student's perspective. 

 

Solution target group

Our target group for the solution is students from 10th to 12ve grade of high school, from 14 to 18 old, who prefer to interact with their peers through different digital media, educational audiovisual content and social networks. They show a preference for streaming classes, video games, online reading on mobile and portable devices. They are dynamic and curious to learn about topics that interest them and share them with their friends or family. They adapt quickly to platforms; they rely on intuitive learning. At this stage of their lives, they initiate significant changes for their future projection. They begin to question what career to follow, whether they should study a university or technical career, doubts about their skills and deficiencies, among others. For this reason, it is necessary to develop in a digital educational environment to enhance and resolve all their doubts about their future. The access to education, quality and application of Design Thinking in their life will be fundamental.

The secondary objective in the long term is the implementation of DisVirtual in lower grades to naturalize the process of adaptation to a virtual space and the evaluation system through creativity.

You are not alone! Everyone at some point faces the difficult task of projecting themselves into the future. There is no age to learn. It would be best if you had motivation, initiative and direction to enhance your skills as we provide in Disvirtual.

Solution impact

Our direct impact is for all students and teachers around the world who need a platform that does not require a lot of resources, internet or administrative expenses to keep it online. Therefore, the application of DisVirtual is essential since it is being created to improve the quality of education and complies with not affecting the resources of educational institutions but improving access to it.

The indirect impact is intended to avoid stereotypes, discrimination, or any social exclusion, such as illness or disability or pregnancy. Since it is virtual, what will be measured is the learning capacity and how they improve their soft and hard skills and their ability to adapt to virtual life through interactive, didactic and empirical learning.

The benefits and impacts for the platform owners will be social, economic and cultural. Socially, by improving students' quality of education, improving the prestige of national education, economically, partnerships with educational institutions and culturally, breaking with the socio-cultural limitations that virtual education represents.

Solution tweet text

A Perfect combination of virtuality and education? In DisVirtual, a Discord server, students will unlock their undiscovered abilities & upgrade their soft skills through a design thinking course. It's easy to use, is dynamic and free. Best future professionals are made here! ;)

Solution innovativeness

As a student, have you ever thought about why you felt so overwhelmed when doing your homework? Connection problems when sending homework or not knowing who is behind the screen? Have you ever thought that virtual resources are only accessible if they are paid and, therefore, you suppressed your curiosity to learn? With DisVirtual, we solve this. You will no longer feel that your classes are boring or that you need the latest technological device to watch your classes online. Our project proposes to create a completely accessible server so you can share, educate yourself and perform different activities that you used to do in real life. You can search for images, gifs, read the news, listen to music, a group with your classmates to study with or without a camera. You will not miss your teacher's birthday or favourite friend, and you can empathize and meet all your classmates. You can take evaluation and streaming classes. That's why DisVirtual is so different and original.

Cheer up and promote DisVirtual for your classmate who couldn't go to class because she got sick a lot, who decided whether or not to become a mother, for that classmate who suffered from bullying, the young person who didn't have enough money to go to school or bring a lunch box. We will all integrate equally and have the same access to new education.

Solution transferability

"More than 5,000 schools do not have the necessary tools, and today many of these schools provide classes with popular digital tools that do not meet the essential requirements to promote a good educational lesson," said Alex Jorge Mamud, founder of the Instituto Superior Tecnológico Privado Abaco.

Our work as a group is to create a digital tool/platform that, in addition to being free, meets the requirements necessary for students to access quality education.

A highlight among many news is the case of the teacher Eleazar Pezo who, from a personal experience, commented that in the private educational institution of his son they had to suspend classes because the classes are given through WhatsApp audios and after the continuous failures or crashes, his teaching has had to be interrupted. Like many other parents and students, he has realized that schools have a low capacity to adapt to a remote education without the necessary resources to have a virtual platform, which is what we aim to change.

DisVirtual can also be applied to universities, technical schools and developing countries where they do not have enough economy to invest in the education sector and, therefore, leave aside this vital aspect. Only in Peru are very few universities and schools that consider the design thinking method as the basis of learning for the professional training of their students. We as a team show with evidence that this teaching method allows us to continue advancing in the education sector and that the student can enhance their skills, manage their learning better and achieve an understanding of the virtual world,

DisVirtual can even inspire other developing countries, for all those educational institutions that do not have a virtual platform, teaching through design thinking and subsequent evaluation. Both must be executed to create soft and hard skills. Other bots could be made depending on the grade and need to reach more educational levels.

 

Solution sustainability

We envision access to quality education through DisVirtual, making this project sustainable by improving the quality of education and teaching of students as the primary audience and society in general as a secondary audience.

Short term:
The sustainability of DisVirtual at the educational level is done through a free service that allows audio channels, text, bots and various interactive tools depending on the needs of the administrator user, in our case, academic education to ensure the proper development of classes and complementary resources. The friendly and customizable interface guarantees a good experience for both the students and teachers. The stability in this educational platform encourages learning in groups or alone with the support of bots and exclusive channels for academic or psychological consultations. The use of moderation bots that intervene in situations is also contemplated within a real scenario where administrators took action, thus positively impacting the virtual teaching method.

Medium-term:
Updating and creating more bots depend on the course requirements and the needs of the teacher or student. DisVirtual will provide a personalized experience to prolong the students' stay within the platform.

Long term:
Negotiation strategies are planned for using the game in schools as part of the class material in some courses.
The economic investment does not require a monthly or one-time payment of the service since it is proposed to be created from the free discord server. However, the salary of the person in charge of its creation, moderation, and modification at the educational institution's request is considered administrative expenses.

In the economic dimension, an investment of approximately US$ 2,000 is contemplated, which includes:
The development of content by experts (psychologist and administrators).
DisVirtual is based on a multidisciplinary team of experts:
The administrative team to create and moderate the content, the feedbacks that the moderation bot provides and inform the management to take corresponding actions.
The team to create and customize the platform, modify colors, shapes and implement stickers or emoticons to make DisVirtual more visually appealing.
Sponsors to provide financial or academic support to DisVirtual, since it is a free PLATFORM.

Finally, as a crucial part of sustainability, it is planned to use sponsors to support the use of the platform and the application of design thinking as a course and evaluation system by generating connections with schools and pre-university centers or universities directly. These sponsors will be companies related to the field of education, psychology, technology and related fields.

Solution team work

In DisTeam we get along with each other. We worked based on the design thinking method. First, we choose our challenge, the future of education, especially the evaluations. Then we empathize with the target group, which is 10 grade of high school, then define the problems that we observed and the needs. And that's how the brainstorming solutions started. After that, we create the prototype "DisVirtual" via Discord. In addition to that, we test all the bots and all about the server. All this work was possible because each member had multiple abilities that helped us to create this solution. With the pass of the days, we generally make a friendship, and of course, we agree to work together in the future.

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DigiEduHack 2021 partners & supporters

DigiEduHack is an EIT initiative under the European Commission's Digital Education Action Plan, led by EIT Climate-KIC and coordinated by Aalto University. In 2021, the main stage event is hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in cooperation with the International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO.

EIT Climate-Kic

Aalto University

European commission

Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport

International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence

EIT Community: Human Capital