#1096: IEEE XR Ethics: Education


The Extended Reality (XR) Ethics in Education is the next paper in the series of the IEEE Global Initiative on the Ethics of Extended Reality.

The lead author is Eleni Mangina, Professor at the School of Computer Science at the University College Dublin, who has been looking at XR in education use cases as a part of the Horizon 2020 effort, and education policies from around the world. The paper details the challenges around Equity, Acceptance, Safety, and Privacy of educational XR experiences, and has a number of recommendations for creating XR education frameworks and addressing the variety of legal concerns, ethical concerns, data privacy concerns, and strategies for bridging the digital divide and making XR more equitable and accessible for the use within an educational context.


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Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.412] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye and welcome to the Voices of VR podcast. So continuing on my series in collaboration with the IEEE Global Initiative on the Ethics of Extended Reality, this episode's on Extended Reality Ethics in Education with Eleni Menjina, who's a professor at the School of Computer Science at University College Dublin. She's been working on a number of different Horizon 2020 projects on XR education and, yeah, just has a really good beat as to what's happening in the context of education and digital education trends. And so in this paper, she does a survey of a lot of the variety of different issues at different levels in terms of the different stakeholders, the different laws around the world, around privacy, as well as just some trends around legacy access and planned obsolescence. Education is not an area where there's a lot of resources. It ends up being very scrappy and a few iterations behind the latest technology. But I think with COVID-19, there's actually been more and more movements around the world in terms of looking at digital learning strategies and technologies. In that context, what does XR have a role to play? What are the different learning frameworks and different strategies to produce content? and engage with the teachers in that sense. And so in this paper, it covers a lot of different ground, but also looks at some of the challenges around equity, acceptance, safety, and privacy. So that's what we're covering on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Eleni happened on Sunday, May 22, 2022. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:01:42.269] Eleni Mangina: ELENI MANGINA I can. Thank you for inviting me. My name is Eleni Mangina, and I'm a professor at School of Computer Science in University College Dublin, and the last seven years I've been doing projects in Europe on XR and education. I've done case studies at higher level education, primary schools education with XR for augmented reality and virtual reality. I'm also the VP International for all College of Science. So I'm quite knowledgeable in terms of the global education strategies and the different standards of education around the world.

[00:02:18.855] Kent Bye: Okay. And maybe you could give a bit more context as to your background and your journey into XR.

[00:02:23.857] Eleni Mangina: Sure. I started my prior degree in Athens in Greece, and then I moved to university of Edinburgh where I got specialized in artificial intelligence. And then I did my PhD at the electronic and electrical engineering in Strathclyde university in Scotland. And since 2002, I've been in UCD in the school of computer science, and I've been teaching advanced data structures, I've been teaching artificial intelligence and robotics. Through my robotics experience, by teaching and then the introduction to VR and AR development, I started investigating the impact of these emerging technologies within education. I started with small pilots in order to identify what would be the impact. And in 2017 was when I secured the first big funding through the European Funding Horizon 2020. And we applied an augmented reality web-based solution for a pilot in Ireland, where we had 117 students diagnosed with ADHD. And there was an intervention in terms of the literacy skills. Now, don't forget that these kids are the ones that normally would have attention deficit disorders. So they would be very active in the class. There would be those that are in trouble. And we want to see whether augmented reality, actually, Brazils want to see whether augmented reality would make them be more focused and would make them deliver the homework on time. So we had intervention in 2018 for a year, and the reading aids of the kids pre-intervention, of course, we had a control group as well. So before intervention, the reading aids would be for the age of nine, 10 years old, around five-year-old reading aids. And after the intervention, we were able to advance it by four to six years, which was a great success. I still receive emails from parents telling me how their life has changed, how their kids have been focused, and it made a life change. So after that, I started looking into the development of augmented reality components, looking at the strategy on how can we enforce these technologies within the educational pedagogy of different sectors. In the meantime, my research group were doing research in different levels of education, like third level education. So I have a couple of pilots with three hospitals in Ireland. One was with the Krumling Hospital for diagnosing heart defects for newborns. So what happened was the consultants would diagnose the heart defect from 28 weeks of pregnancy. And then straight after they were born, they would be taken to the ward for a surgery. But because they couldn't tell they needed to make a decision as a number of different consultants around the table. And they wanted to see the 3D model of the heart, which made it easier to actually identify whether they will move on with the surgery, which was very, very dangerous. And many kids, there's a high mortality in this. type of surgeries. So that was assisted for the consultants. Then the other project we have done is with the Holy Street, the maternity hospital, where we're helping, we call it We Are Baby, the pilot, where we're actually having 3D models of fetus babies throughout the weeks of pregnancy. so midwives can be trained on different deficiencies and different diagnoses. The other pilot was with Mater Hospital, and all these have been helping third-level education students in medicine. The other project was we made an AR solution mobile app based for either operations at the Mater Hospital, where the consultant agreed to have a look on how we can help visualize when they're inserting the camera, because they're using a lot of CAT scans and there's too much energy, whether they could actually view it through the augmented reality application. And of course, we have another big case study with the School of Veterinary and UCD, where we have embedded virtual reality components within specific curriculum for the anatomy of dogs, actually. And it helps a lot the students. We have some publications, you can see the impact that it makes. So all these were different pilots. And then it came the idea, especially after the AHA project, which is Augmented ADHD, we thought it would be easier instead of just Ireland to make a big pilot for all around Europe. So back in 2019, I applied for Horizon 2020 project, the ICT call, which is quite competitive. And we got 4 million euros project for a duration of three years. And we have different augmented reality solutions. Now, it's not VR. It's augmented reality because the rule is that we can't have VR headsets for students that are less than 15 years old. So we opted for augmented reality solution. Now we are in our end of the second year of this project and there are around 4,000 students under intervention right now in Europe. We have pilot one, which is for literacy skills. Pilot two, which is for STEM sciences, geography and geometry. Pilot three, which is very, very innovative. It's about positive behavior in schools environment. And we just created the pilot four, which is training teachers to create their own content. We found out from another project, I found out it's the XR for the coaching education. We did a big study with around 350 educators and we wanted to find out how ready are the teachers with the knowledge. We found that the kids, we're talking about generation Z, they're quite tech savvy, they're open to everything, but the technological speed in education does not go in parallel with the technical and digital skills of the teachers, actually. So, we need to train the teachers. So, we created a pilot for, we made an open source, Augmented Reality Offering Kit, and we're calling teachers to come and join us so that they can create their own content. We are actually going to open a free marketplace for teachers to put up all the Augmented Reality scenes they're going to create. They will be grouped by subject. So if, for example, there is a teacher of physics in Dubai, then they can create their content. This might be used for similar curriculum in Ireland or in the States. So this is pilot four. And in the meantime, ethics came along as to how do we inform the public of the ethics around XR education, which are the dangers, all the dangers that are within the existing technologies anyway. But even more with educational ethics, for example, we have to consider how the mental models of the kids are changing, right? We're doing another project. It's called Fairytale Science. It's finishing next year and we have an intervention where we have three big augmented reality scenes for science again topics where we're asking students to tell us about their mental models. So, how is the earth? Is it flat? Is it like a sphere, so we can see the changes before and after. So this is where it all started from.

[00:10:09.830] Kent Bye: Okay. Okay. Yeah. That's a lot of good context there for where you're coming from with this paper. When you start off this paper, you talk about some of the legacy access and planned obsolescence. And I know that when I've had different discussions within the XR community, I've often found that there's a lag in terms of how accessible some of the technology is. In educational contexts, like the Google Cardboard as an example, was used for a really, really long time when within the larger community of XR professionals, they're using much more higher end equipment, kind of the state of the art. But there's usually limited resources and limited funds, and maybe a little bit of a lag between what the bleeding edge of technology is and what's available for education practitioners. And so I'm Wondering if you could go into a little bit of this legacy access and planned obsolescence dimension as we talk about education within XR.

[00:11:04.399] Eleni Mangina: That's right. And that's a valid point. And the teachers, the educators have mentioned it, that even if they find very good solution that they could adopt in the classroom, then the budget limitations come along and that stops them. And this is why I'm doing this big project in Brussels, so that I can inform the policy and tell them exactly what the impact is going to be. Because if we can show to governments that it will increase their skills by a specific quantitative measurement, a standardised measurement, we're using standardised tests, pre and post intervention, then they will be able to invest in the technology. But you're absolutely right. And from the societal perspective as well, we don't want these to be accessible only from countries or schools that they can afford it. I think the whole ethos of exile and education should be education for all. equally. And this is why we are having our marketplace open source for everyone, as well as the offering toolkit.

[00:12:12.314] Kent Bye: And when you start to set the broader context of some of the recommendations you're talking about here, the digital learning 2020 and everything from the XR digital strategy for schools, the XR digital teaching and learning framework, ethically approved XR teaching and learning methodologies, XR technologies to ethically encourage active and collaborative learning, XR technologies to ethically create new knowledge, content, and 3D artifacts, and then XR technologies supporting effective learning and teaching learning assessment strategies. So it seems like a number of different dimensions there from both the teaching and measuring of the teaching. Maybe you could set the context of this digital learning 2020 and how that is related to this XR ethics white paper.

[00:12:53.506] Eleni Mangina: Thanks, Kent. Yeah, I was trying actually to include here all the possible different areas that XR in education is involved in. So if we take from one side the technical perspective, we need a digital strategy for the schools. What should be applied for certain levels of education and what shouldn't? What kind of specific digital strategies in terms of security? And now, don't forget, I wrote that before the metaverse started, so it applies for the metaverse, the education in metaverse as well. Then the digital teaching and learning framework, that has to do with having a standardised methodology of creating these lesson plans that A, would be compatible with the curriculum and B, would actually facilitate the XR functionality of the hardware and the software. Now, the ethically approved XR teaching and learning methodology is something else. It has to do with accessibility. It has to do with ethical content. If you have a look at the standards of metadata for learning objects, we have the loan, for example, now we have Ireland with augmented reality for XR, but we don't have ethics-related metadata. And that's the next development that I would like to see within the standards. Then technologies to ethically create new knowledge, content, and 3D artifacts. So for example, in the marketplace we're going to launch soon, we need to make sure that every contributor gives the consent and reassures the public that the content is ethically approved. And the other area is the XR technology support effective teaching and learning assessment strategies. And that goes hand in hand with the digital teaching and learning framework. So, you have at one side, the technology, the standardised curriculum, and then on top of that, XR framework for teaching and learning and XR for supporting the content, which content is there to facilitate the curriculum that is already being in place.

[00:15:19.874] Kent Bye: Yeah, and as you start to lay out the overall challenges of education context, you have the equity in terms of decreasing the educational digital divide, the acceptance of what level of readiness each of the stakeholders have for these XR technologies, the safety for how safe it is, and are there any special concerns in terms of the health and wellbeing of the students and how to put that in consideration, and the privacy, which is how to maintain agency and control over the information that's being radiated off of bodies and what happens to that data and where's it going. So maybe we could set the broadest context for equity, acceptance, safety, and privacy.

[00:15:58.592] Eleni Mangina: Sure. As I mentioned earlier, it should be education for all with excellent education. That's the whole ethos. And this is why governments should invest so that all societies should have access to it. Acceptance. I'm currently doing some research with the technology model acceptance. I want to see what is the acceptance of different stakeholders. So, for example, we know the students. We have quite enough of that at the moment. It will be published soon. from students in Europe, and we are looking now into the TAM for teachers. But from the initial questionnaire that we did, it was definitely their readiness is of low level, and we should train them to include it safely. And getting into the safety, what is safe use of software, hardware, And in terms of the safety of software, again, it runs in parallel with privacy. Who owns this data? But we need also to consider that the data for education is like any other data governance law for education. So each school would have private data for students. They would be GDPR compliant in Europe. And I think we'll discuss about the differences with other countries as well. But yes, I mean, privacy students, or better again, their guardians should own the data. So the safety is related with the safety A of the hardware, which hardware is going to be used. Now we are lucky enough that the augmented reality mobile apps are quite developed at the moment. And in terms of the data analytics, it should be considered who owns this data. But these are data like any other educational data in educational systems. So the school would have GDPR compliance with all the university to govern this data. And the same should apply, but the stakeholders should have the option to actually be forgotten. So if a guardian didn't want to include the data for analysis from the school, for example, then they should have the right to do so.

[00:18:16.235] Kent Bye: And we start to map out the ecosystem of XR education. There's a number of different stakeholders that you start to talk about, and we can maybe start at the learners, the people who are the students, and then you have the parents of those students, but in the context of the school, you have the teachers and instructors, and then the content that they're teaching, so the learning material curators and purchasers, as well as the ICT pedagogy experts. And then as you start to expand out, you have the school-based IT department, And then the school top management, as well as the national or state central administrative authority for the public school system. And then you have the XR hardware that's coming in. Then you have the providers of that hardware, software platforms and content. So as you map out all these different stakeholders, where is the most interesting aspects when it comes to the ethics of XR in education?

[00:19:06.929] Eleni Mangina: I think the most important aspect does not lay within one of them. It's like a graph, an interconnected graph. So the security, for example, the insurance the stakeholders would have of the use of the system depends on the system and the strategy in place from the school-based IT department. which again, it's tied with the school top management and how much budget is provided for the IT support within security and the software and the hardware that they're being used. But I still believe it's not a bottom-up approach, it's a top-down approach. The national central administrative authorities should be the ones that would give the guidelines to be followed instead of each school doing their own application or just showing up or buying their own platform, there should be a generalised, ethically approved, ethically designed with a content platform given from the authorities.

[00:20:11.987] Kent Bye: Okay. And as we start to move into the next section, you start to talk about both the legal requirements, both from privacy perspectives, as well as some more regional specifics. But maybe let's start with the privacy because that seems to be a topic that comes up in almost every contextual domain that I've looked at so far in terms of the data that's collected and what you do with that data. In the United States, at least, there's COPA compliance, which is the Children's Online Protection and Privacy Act. And so there's certain restrictions in terms of what you can and cannot do with the data that's collected within an educational context. And so maybe you could start with talking a bit about the privacy requirements and if there's a larger concern here in terms of having systems that are already COPPA compliant and what they're doing with the data. And if it's not falling in alignment with the COPPA compliance and you can't really even use it in an educational context, but that's specific to the United States, but I imagine that there might be similar approaches from around the world. And so, yeah, I'd love to hear a little bit more context as you start to think about the issue of privacy in the context of education.

[00:21:13.316] Eleni Mangina: That's right. And I'm sure you're aware that although the COPPA, the Children's Online Protection Privacy Act, has certain requirements in terms of web-based applications. At this stage, there's no specific guide or there's no policy on requirements for the ethics on XR applications. We have the big ethics design report, but we don't have requirements for ethics in education for XR. Now, what could be gathered with XR devices or different other applications That's the one that we should pay attention to. So do we gather just the traffic of how long the students stayed in the platform? Who did they interact with? Which contents they interacted with? What is their performance over time? These are things that need to come within the specific policy. And apart from that, we need a sustainable methodology because the technology is only going to advance. Metaverse is here, but it might be here within education in a more standard way. And we need to set the rules and governance and the regulations. Now, in terms of the opportunities that are created, they're huge for XR, but we need to be very careful in terms of security safety, what could be physically dangerous if somebody is wearing the headset and is trying to take some actions. And furthermore, do we need a surveillance mechanism within the XR applications or do we just need a policy to specify only which parts of the data we're going to follow? with the systems I have worked with. We have quite a rigorous approach in terms of GDPR compliance. I've written another paper on the three-tiered approach I presented in ISOCITE in November 2021. And there is quite a rigorous approach with specific templates that institutions should follow in order to have an ethically approved XR solution. But again, this was based on my experience. It is compliant with the European law. And as you mentioned, the regional ethics laws in education are quite different and there should be a common understanding in terms of being respectful of the citizens' rights within the world, not just within the different states.

[00:23:58.185] Kent Bye: And you go into more detail for each of the specific regions, but at the end you have some generalized recommendations for the requirements that have to do with everything from the personal identifiable information in terms of their contact details, their location information, the myometrics and psychometrics, so different categories of data, but also the knowledge, perceptions, alteration, and ethical concerns on the validity of new knowledge derived from XR environments, As well as, you know, as you're engaging with these systems, the management of that sensitive information from ethical perspective, and then the methodology on how do you approach different ethical considerations. So I'd love to hear a little bit more context of some of the privacy and education requirements that are a little bit more universal recommendations that you have from an ethics and education context.

[00:24:48.685] Eleni Mangina: I'll start with the privacy and education requirements. These recommendations, not only for this section, but even for the rest, these are quite abstract in general, but each one deserves a standardisation mechanism. For example, we need standardised methodology for the governance of the systems. We need standardised management of this sensitive information, if we collect any sensitive information. Who owns this information? We need the knowledge, perceptions, alterations through the XR education, and I'm referring to the mental models of the students. Then the personal contact details and the location information, of course, is very important. And finally, the biometrics and psychometrics. So, there has to be an understanding of what we track, when we track it, and why we track it, and whether the stakeholders agree with this action. And further down with the user requirements, it's the educational awareness, student-centered engagement, and the usability and affordance of XR that we mentioned before. And then again, the hardware requirements as to what kind of devices and operating systems we can support, and just consult with the stakeholders, have a very honest picture and snapshot of where we are at the moment, which I will have in a couple of months in terms of the European market, but I don't have that for the other states. Globally, I don't have that, but we do work with different stakeholders abroad And I hope to have all this information soon.

[00:26:38.211] Kent Bye: Yeah. And in terms of the hardware requirements, maybe you could go into both the hardware and software requirements aspects as well, in terms of what type of things you were trying to point out to the stakeholders and what they should be aware of in terms of the hardware and software.

[00:26:53.696] Eleni Mangina: Sure. In terms of the hardware, the need to be aware of the health and safety, first of all, and also the need to be aware of the capabilities of the hardware. And then with the software, there is so many software at the moment out there for exile education, but they need to be informed of exactly, for example, what type of plugins they require, what types of third-party software are linked with this platform and whether they consent their data and information to be shared. And also, we need to consult with stakeholders in terms of the iterative process of ethically designed Excel systems for the software development. So the systems themselves should provide the platforms and provide the inclusion and accessibility And I know XRSI are doing great work around this. And of course, provide feedback as well to allow the stakeholders, if they find some inappropriate content, so they can provide live feedback.

[00:28:03.343] Kent Bye: Okay. So as we look at the other couple of sections that you have here, there's the XR ethics and education, the 3D educational content, and a number of different high level things in terms of accessibility, which there's a whole dedicated paper on, but there's specific things that you need to create the technology that's accessible. And then from the stakeholders, the teaching and learning, And then the toolkits, authoring toolkits. So maybe you could go through these three sections that are around specifically the 3D educational content.

[00:28:34.692] Eleni Mangina: We looked into offering toolkits in terms of how many are free, how many are under specific license, how many include maintenance. And there are not that many open source platforms that can be used. Also, they're not that many standardized. There's no standard platform where primary school level or secondary or high level education can go at any point of time and create XR content. Then another issue is that we don't have a repository. We do have a lot of open educational repositories with a license to reuse, but we don't have a 3D repository accessible. And in terms of metadata, I think I mentioned that the 3D repository metadata should have information, should have ethics parameters within the description of the learning objects. Another issue with accessibility is with respect to specific disabilities. For example, think about it. How many VR applications are actually accommodating deaf people? Not that many. We're doing some research at the moment on trying to do lip reading through LinuxR to help people. So we need to consider the different stakeholders disabilities as well. Now, in terms of teaching and learning processes, again, we need free or open source content. We need to create the affordances of the Excel education ethics based on how the content is prepared. And then we need to generate the sense of presence. We need to have interactivity and it's not easy to be developed, to have the multi-user interaction within XR systems. It needs an extra layer of development for the software developers. We need to be adaptive. We need to provide feedback. We need it to have linked representations. So it's not linear and it's not rule-based. It's more kind of a networking implementation within XR. And as I said before, the authoring toolkits, we need to have them open source. They need to be reusable from everybody. We need to empower our educators to create their own XR content.

[00:31:08.560] Kent Bye: In this final section, you have the extra ethics and education, the impact in the context of both the educational impact, but also the societal impact and some of the different sustainable development goals and just some of the trends that are happening with COVID-19 and distributed learning and remote learning. So maybe we could go into both the educational impact and societal impact here in the final section.

[00:31:31.469] Eleni Mangina: Yes, and the pandemic taught us a lot, taught us about our affordances in terms of technology, taught us about our resilience in terms of technology, increased the digital skills of everyone. So I think these are the positives to take out from it. But coming to the recommendations in terms of the educational recommendations, built a framework, a global framework, not just a European or just an American or Asian Just build a global framework and address the needs, not so much of those that they would already buy the system, because they buy always the latest technology, address the needs of the whole population and support the different collaborations, standardize the impact. Of course, we're trying to, through my projects, I'm trying to provide to government and to funders, this is the impact for specific type of students, for specific level of education. So we will need to standardize the impact assessment and encourage the accessibility, the availability of the content, and just enhance the skills, the digital skills of all the stakeholders that would be involved. And coming back to the societal issue in terms of creating the global framework, at the end of the day, it's all about learning. And if we cannot be with the learners physically in the same space, then we can be in the virtual space with the learners. So, they will not lose from the experiences, they're going to be immersed. And that would create higher creativity, productivity, because I know some companies as well have been using XR for training, so the same rules apply there too. And at the same time, it's easier to have a platform where content there is being adapted for the different needs for different phases and just have a global transnational platform and collaboration with the same target to have education for all.

[00:33:49.405] Kent Bye: Yeah, and I'd love to hear some final conclusions in terms of this section here where you're reiterating some of the infrastructure and structural things in terms of the external ethics advisory board and trying to think of both these frameworks, but also these structures that you think would be necessary in a more generalized sense, like you said, that would be applicable across multiple contexts. And then some of the open challenges that we have from the legal concerns, ethical concerns, the data privacy concerns, and a digital divide. So yeah, I'd love to hear some final thoughts as you start to tie up all this specific considerations that folks within the education realm should be aware of.

[00:34:28.927] Eleni Mangina: Yes, as concluding here with all these recommendations, what we want to see is a governance system, a global governance system that is underpinned from the same principles and values and maintain the ethical standards of practice. The whole basis is to protect the human subjects from harm, to protect them from harm and at the same time to provide education anywhere to everyone. We need to have fully informed consents. We need to have legislations on board. And this is actually, I'm delighted today, I'm meeting here in Dubai, Professor Melodina Stephens, who is a professor in innovation management, and she's working on the governance and metaverse. And we have long discussion about how metaverse is going to change education, of how education is going to be embedded in metaverse. And actually all these recommendations, all 42, apply within the governance needs for metaverse communication. Also, establish a board, establish an ethics advisory board. So when there is a policy reform, when everything is settled with a specific framework, with a specific technological needs, specific software needs, ethical design systems and ethical design content and authoring toolkits. We need this advisory board in order to reassure the public and policy regulation bodies that everything will be done or is being done properly. Now, in terms of the challenges this process will have, and I'm sure maybe Professor Melodina Stevens might have a lot to say about that, legal concerns, as the law is not advancing as fast as the technology is advancing, so they will have a lot of catching up to do. They will need to develop specific laws for XR, industry experts and systems that we need to consider the ethical concerns and the ethical code of conduct with clear boundaries worldwide, because XR, metaverse, there is no boundaries. So because the systems have no boundaries, we shouldn't think as different states, we should think as one state without the boundary, we should think globally as the planet is educated within this system. In terms of data privacy concerns, again, without boundaries, we need to make sure the public is aware about the educational system's collection of data and avoid the digital divide. So given the cost of XR hardware, there has to be some collaboration with the government and the technology providers so that the experiences will be from everyone. I don't know if Professor Melodina would like to say a couple of words about the metaverse, although you will hear a lot from here in the next publication. So thank you, Professor El-Yini, and thanks, Kent. So I guess metaverse, when we look at the concept, we're not really there yet. It's still evolving. It's more hypothetical. But the worry is, and I think because we're talking challenges, is a lot of it is coming from the gaming world, where a lot of gamification is used. And this is being adopted in education. So straightaway itself, this is a little bit worrisome that we're using some of these techniques. on very young minds. So we're still learning the effects of extended exposure of these kind of technologies on young children. And it's so important, just like Professor Alini said, that we monitor and we have this ethics and rapid feedback so that we can ensure that what we're doing does not affect future generations. So I think definitely we need to work on this. It needs to be a collaboration with hardware, software, people who own data. It needs education of parents, children, private engineers. We're really looking at the systems perspective. And I think that's so far we've been addressing it from silos, but we need to move beyond that. And I think that's what the real challenge would be.

[00:39:00.189] Kent Bye: Great. And, uh, and Eleni, I'd love to hear what you think the ultimate potential of XR and XR within the context of education, what the ultimate potential of that might be and what it might be able to enable.

[00:39:14.900] Eleni Mangina: My vision, and that's my personal opinion, my vision is that if I am anywhere in the world and I have a need to learn a new skill or to upgrade my skills, top skill, then I would like to be able to have access to this XR platform or the metaverse where I can go and I can feel reassured that I will A, have a quality of training and education and B, it's safe for me to use anytime and anywhere.

[00:39:50.285] Kent Bye: Great. And is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the broader immersive community?

[00:39:56.349] Eleni Mangina: The future is coming, so I don't think we can avoid this. So it's our responsibility and duty to make sure that it's extremely positive and it's for the benefit of humankind. I think also we want to make sure it's not at the cost of the planet. Exactly. Yes. So having a green planet, a positive green planet, it's a big issue. And then we need to consider, for example, now the data centers that will be used for the metaverse and the XR in education. What will be their energy resources? What will be their energy demand? So everything will come into place. But my recommendation is to avoid the silos, avoid little systems being created in one country or one state, and then there is no collaboration. We still come together. And I'm glad we have the IHRP meeting in Stanford in July. for the Positive Planets 2030 and we'll all meet there. I'm sure the extra education will be discussed there as well.

[00:41:02.188] Kent Bye: Rainey, thanks so much for joining me today on the podcast and also all the work that you did on not only this paper, Ethics in XR Education, but also helping to take over the role of helping lead up all the other white papers, which I started a little bit on that role and then pass the baton to you to help bring it home, herd all the cats and get all the deadlines met and everything just to get all these initial batch of white papers out. So yeah, thanks again for joining me today and unpacking a little bit of this paper on XR Ethics Education.

[00:41:32.604] Eleni Mangina: Thank you very much, Ken. It was a pleasure.

[00:41:35.306] Kent Bye: So that was Eleni Mangina. She's a professor at the School of Computer Science at the University of College Dublin and has been working on a number of different Horizon 2020 projects and was the lead author of this paper from the IEEE Global Initiative on the Ethics of Extended Reality called Extended Reality, XR Ethics, and Education. So I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that, first of all, I do think, overall, that education is going to be a really compelling use case within XR. But at the same time, there's going to take a lot of time in order to understand the grammar of how to tell stories and convey information within XR technologies. We're in this huge shift from moving from 2D to 3D. In that process, there's a lot of tool chains and open-source frameworks. Eleni is saying that there's a lack of tooling to be able to actually create a lot of these different experiences. I expect a lot of these will probably end up with WebXR. There may be other Unity applications or Unreal Engine, but the whole pipeline for producing XR content is still fairly bespoke. It's not very easy for people who don't have a lot of extra time and energy to start to create educational content. There are a lot of challenges around equity, acceptance, safety, and privacy. In terms of the privacy, there are some regional considerations. I mentioned COBOL compliance. I actually should have said FERPA, which is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which is more of the educational privacy-specific legislation. There are other legislations that she digs into in terms of Europe has GDPR. China has the December 2020 decision on strengthening information protection on networks. Japan has the 2003 Act on the Protection of Personal Information, which then was a commission in May of 2017 around the establishment of the Personal Information Protection Commission, and then South Korea has the Professional Information Protection Act in 2011. The bottom line is that whenever you are engaging with these XR technologies, there's a lot of information that's made available. Where is that information going and what context is it being used in? And I'm sure there's going to be some use cases where that information could actually positively help the process of learning, but there could also be ways that that could be misused or abused. And so understanding what happens to the data when students are in these XR technologies, I think, is one of the huge concerns that was repeated throughout the course of this paper. and I think throughout the course of every contextual domain. But there's also just ensuring that there is safety and equity, you know, trying to do whatever can be done to bridge the digital divide, whether that's in direct collaboration with the companies and private producers of some of this XR technologies or content, and just to ensure that it's accessible for people who may be deaf or blind. And so that's a whole other issue that I dig into in great detail in one of the other XR Ethics white papers here. A lot of emphasis of different frameworks and need for standardizations, but also just trying to measure the impact and see what is the impact of these technologies and keeping an eye towards not only producing opportunities for people to have this technology, but just understanding how it fits into the overall pedagogical framework is another emphasis of this paper, as well. So yeah just different global frameworks to be able to address the needs of everyone around the world as well as global Governance systems to help protect from harm and have governments on board so a lot of different layers in which as we move forward I'm sure that you know moving from 2d to 3d is going to take many decades a whole generation I think of trying to understand what it means to create content for this format and the education is going to be huge part of helping to form a The structure of what's the best way to use the immersive technologies for learning? There's certainly no lack of really compelling use cases for there But if you think of something like the Wikipedia, you know, that's in 2d and how do you translate something? That's that rich and robust in terms of trying to capture the zeitgeist of cultural information for an encyclopedia context How do you translate something like that into a spatialized medium and is it different events? So there's certain subject matters that makes more sense to do XR translations of so A lot of work yet to be done in terms of living into the potential of education context of XR. And yeah, just summarizing the different legal concerns, ethical concerns, data privacy concerns, and how to bridge this digital divide. And we heard from Melveen and Stevens. We'll be diving into much more detail into the metaverse and its governance in the final episode of this series of the IEEE Global Initiative on the Ethics of Extended Reality. So, that's all I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a list of supported podcasts, and I do rely upon donations from people like yourself in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So you could become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. Thanks for listening.

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