Thursday, January 8, 2009

4Di: A Futuristic Solution For Canberra Primary

Imagine a classroom that can house any virtual environment- a virtual environment completely immersive and interactive, enabling the teachers to take their students on an interactive journey to the past, present or future. Imagine students interacting with atoms and molecules or space walking and studying the planets and stars. Imagine trekking through a large ecosystem interactively learning about the flora and fauna and their complex inter-dependencies by simply touching.

This is not science fiction. This is called 4Di.

Constructed using patent pending innovations researched and developed locally in Singapore by Playware Studios Asia Pte Ltd the 4Di is all set to redefine the standards for technology in education.

4Di is the largest virtual environment laboratory in the world. The first of its kind, it allows 45 students to interactively explore the virtual environment simultaneously. It also has the world's largest Multi-Touch, Multi user screen which spans a gigantic 42 sqm and completely surrounds a floor space of 80 sqm.

Through this technology, each student can control their own avatars and interact with people, objects and creatures from the virtual environment.
The innovative 4Di solution is currently being developed by Playware Studios Asia Pte Ltd as part of the FutureSchools@Singapore project by the Singapore Ministry of Education and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

Incorporating Microsoft's latest technologies, the 4Di features the first educational use of Microsoft's new Surface computers. Surface computers are interactive intelligent tables that not only operate via touch but can also recognise and wirelessly communicate with the personal learning devices simply placed on them. This allows students to take their learning experience outside the 4Di by transferring their avatars from 4Di to their personal learning devices like laptops or mobile phones.

Playware Studios Asia Pte Ltd is a member of the Champs consortium led by SingTel. Playware is working together with Marshall Cavendish Online and other leading educational software and ICT vendors such as Heulab Microsoft Singapore, NCS, and ACP Computer to conceptualise and build a solution for innovative learning in order to mold the educational landscape for one of the five Future Schools, Canberra Primary.

The development of 4Di solution seeks to fulfill the goal of the FutureSchools@Singapore project to effectively push for the innovative transformation of the education system in Singapore through the fusion of ICT into the curriculum.

Looking ahead, Playware and Marshall Cavendish Online along with industry partners are more confident to see further innovations in the educational programmes which will create a more enriching and engaging learning experience for the students.

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