Event report

May 24, 2020

Online FAB Meetup “Immersive Distance Learning with XR” Report

FabCafe Hong Kong hosted an online FAB Meetup on 5th May to explore the possibilities of adopting XR technologies (VR/AR/MR) to learning. During the outbreak of COVID-19, we have discovered new ways to learn and we could not keep the traditional classroom setting. This online FAB Meetup has invited Andreea from NUMENA and Kyle from Parsons School of Design to share their experiences and insights about XR technology and learning.

Online FAB Meetup “Immersive Distance Learning with XR”

Under the pandemic of COVID-19, the way we live has been greatly changed and we need to search for different alternatives. Loftwork and FabCafe launched the new initiative “FutureCity” to look for the future of living and the post-pandemic possibilities. The first theme that we would like to explore is how education could be changed. FabCafe Hong Kong hosted an online FAB Meetup to discuss whether XR technology can be one of the solutions for distance learning.

Andreea Ion Cojocaru, the co-founder of NUMENA

Andreea Ion Cojocaru, the co-founder of NUMENA, firstly introduced the hardwares of VR and what NUMENA is doing. She explained that the launching of VR headsets to the mass market has lowered the entry level of using the technology and this has encouraged the use of VR technology for enterprises and academic institutions.  Andreea then showed us the “Cone of Experience” diagram and explained that if there are more senses involved in your training process, the more information will be retained in your memories and this is what VR technology could help with training and learning.

Andreea showing us the “Cone of Experience” diagram

Andreea also mentioned that training with lots of repetitive steps, or the steps are closely related to the training environment are ideal to use the VR technology. For example, VR training is suitable for students who need to be trained at an emergency room.

Kyle Li, assistant professor of Parsons School of Design

Kyle Li, the assistant professor of Parsons School of Design, has been working at Parsons for more than a decade. He was involved in reforming middle school education with games in New York. He believed that technology and new media can create curiosity to learners. Since 2013, he has been pushing classes at Parsons to VR environments in order to bring immersive learning experiences. He said students are excited to see their works at VR space so online tools like Styly are essential to bring their works to a virtual space.

Kyle worked at different projects to introduce immersive learning experiences

Kyle then introduced the XReality Center at Parsons which collaborated with the fashion school, that they 3D-scanned a garment from the 1920s and this allowed more students to understand the history of the garment. This has also started a new way for the fashion school to achieve the fashion collections. Kyle did a lot of international workshops to introduce immersive media to students. He found it is important for students to understand how immersive media can help with learning and it is up to them on how they take advantage of the media.

XReality Center at Parsons School of Design

After the introductions from the two speakers, we had a 50 minutes panel discussion session. Regarding the challenges of bringing VR technology to learning, Kyle explained that there is a lack of social experience when using the VR technology and it would take a lot of efforts to improve. He also shared that VR gadgets are not suitable for children under 13 as their face muscles are not fully developed, which makes this as one of the biggest challenges of introducing VR learning at schools. Andreea then added there are still no efficient ways to read and write with VR, which limits learning with lots of reading and writing exercises. Another challenge of VR technology she pointed out is unable to see facial expressions on VR. Teachers will need to see students’ reactions when they are teaching, so these will be the challenges to be overcome in the future.

Panel discussion session

During the COVID-19 pandemic, VR goggles were sold out, which seems that VR technology has become more popular these days. Andreea described people enjoy gaining “superpowers” through VR, but when they go back to the real world, they would appreciate more with the physical bodies and reality, and this is a win-win situation. Kyle believed the online connections between people would become the norm for the new generation and this is the time for people to think of alternatives for physical interactions. This is also the moment to be more creative of using the new technology.

FabCafe Hong Kong was delighted to have Andreea and Kyle to share their insights on XR technology and we believe there is more to explore on applying the technology on learning. We are going to host more FAB Meetups to discuss different social issues in the future and we will do online live streams as well. Stay tuned for our next meetup!

Click here to watch the full recording of the meetup on YouTube.


  • FabCafe Hong Kong Editorial Team

    This articles is edited by FabCafe Hong Kong.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
    Contact us

    This articles is edited by FabCafe Hong Kong.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
    Contact us

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