On October 18, the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo hosted the first ever Virtual Ibero-American Congress of Education Disruption in the VirBELA Open Campus. With participants from Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, Peru and more, this was a global event. It brought together teachers, researchers, and education entrepreneurs eager to explore what lies on the horizon in the world of education.
Despite geographic boundaries, participants came together in the Auditorium inside the Open Campus and had a sense of togetherness and shared space throughout the event. Here's a peek from where I was sitting in the audience:
Antonio Delgado, the event organizer, has long been a pioneer in the distance learning and education technology space, and he chose VirBELA as the medium for this event. In his words, “VirBELA allowed us to expand and transform the learning experience, making it accessible anywhere without losing interactivity.”
This was the largest event in VirBELA with Spanish as the primary language, and we're grateful for Antonio Delgado for making a thorough video tutorial for VirBELA in Spanish (found here if interested).
The program was packed with provocative speakers. First, Dr. Juan D. Farnós Miranda spoke about Disruptive Education. Following Dr. Farnós, there was a presentation about University 4.0 from Dr. Milagros Huamán Castro (shown below). Shifting the conversation towards education and employability, Prof. Carlos Jiménez González presented about the Bonds Between Universities and Industries. To wrap it up, speaker and event organizer Prof. Antonio L. Delgado Pérez talked about Megatrends for Education 4.0.
After the talks, all of the speakers came to the stage together for a conversation with the audience.
Speakers used a wide range of tools at their disposal in VirBELA, such as the multiple screens to display presentations, images, and websites. They also took advantage of features in VirBELA that help online events run smoothly, such as the ability to shut off the microphone of anyone who may have left it on accidentally. In a playful end to his talk, Dr. Farnós had his avatar do a quick dance.
Those in the audience were able to raise their hands, ask questions, and even clap for things they appreciated. Just as it would in the "real world", the amount of clapping demonstrated that the event was a rousing success.
In the words of the University of Puerto Rico staff, “VirBELA is a remarkable, user-friendly platform, and it gives us the opportunity to hold meetings across the work, work on collaborative projects, and host events like this one from anywhere in the world.”