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Smart Sussex provides new cutting edge learning tech on the go

Twelve sets of portable ‘GoBags’ are now available for Schools to loan as part of the Smart Sussex strategy.  

The innovative new service, inspired by the powerful GoPro Fusion camera which forms the core element of the new resource, is designed to put immersive technologies directly into the hands of staff and students.

Each GoBag also includes an iPad Pro, smartphone, headphones, monopod and Google Cardboard affording users the possibility to not only experience virtual and augmented reality content but to create immersive experiences as well.

Smart Sussex is one of the enabling strategies of the University’s new Sussex 2025 Strategic Framework for 2018-2025. The strategy emphasises the University's ambition to pioneer the use of virtual and augmented reality technologies to deliver a distinctive learning experience as well as research and professional service benefits.

Hover over the labels below to learn more about the GoBag contents

The GoPro Fusion camera is a revolutionary 360° camera that enables users to capture high quality video (5.2k) with a device that is very easy to use, and familiar to anyone who has used a standard GoPro.

Combining the high quality output of the GoPro Fusion with the power of an iPad Pro allows users to quickly view the footage that has been captured and then share this content direct to YouTube, or to a computer to edit their very own 360° video.

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Innovation, Professor Rorden Wilkinson, who led the development of the new Smart Sussex strategy said: "We are really excited about using digital technologies to enhance our education and research.

"The launch of our new ‘GoBags’ enables students and faculty to be creators of their own immersive experiences and not just the passive recipients of content developed by others. This is an exciting first step in what we intend to be a pioneering digital journey."

Immersive technologies - and the immense potential they afford within education - are already in action at Sussex. Art History students recently captured 360° footage during a field trip to Rome and the same technology was used by music composition students studying the art of communication within an orchestral ensemble (see below). The new GoBags make this exciting new technology more readily available across the University.  

The University's Head of Music, Professor Ed Hughes, was one of the service’s first adopters and spotted the potential. "As soon as I heard about the 360 video GoBags being trialled by TEL I had a hunch that it could be a way to create very immediate teaching resources for my musical composition student.

"With TEL’s support I took a GoBag to a rehearsal with my ensemble, the Orchestra of Sound and Light, to prepare a 360 film that introduces the musicians as a group and then encourages the student to choose how they focus on individual players as they perform and communicate in an ensemble setting.

"I am looking forward to trying this out in class and hope to be able to work with TEL again to produce further materials with choirs and other groups that will help my students write their ideas down effectively in music."

The art of communication within an orchestral ensemble - preview of the 360º film

The GoBags are managed and supported by Learning Technologists from Technology Enhanced Learning who are able to offer a spectrum of support, from working with staff to explore the potential of these new technologies to providing focussed support for staff or student projects.

Visit the Technology Enhanced Learning website to find out more about immersive technologies and how to borrow a GoBag, 

By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2018