Real Time Interface for Fluidized Bed Reactor Simulator

Real Time Interface for Fluidized Bed Reactor Simulator

Luis Alfredo Harriss Maranesi (University of Campinas, Brazil) and Katia Tannous (University of Campinas, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch214
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Nowadays, the world witnesses a large technological revolution which has brought new information distribution forms, interpretation and storage. With that, computational tools can be used to sustain the education, as with the learning objects case. A learning object is any digital product that could be re-used for knowledge acquisition, with significant economy and reduction of computer time. Learning objects have led to new solutions, which resulted in good structured and safe programs. Hereby, they rend possible creations of simple units, and the objects, which are associated with each other, can produce large units. Some of them are distinguished among the presence or absence of simulation functions. The software SEREA has been developed to reach undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering for studies about fluid dynamics of fluidized bed reactors motivating students in order to acquire a successful learning process. Motivating students is certainly a stimulating and challenging problem, and is always present in teaching methodologies (Tannous, 2007). This article will present a comparison between two methodologies for interface creations, to sustain the chemical engineering learning and other correlated fields.
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The design and development of computer games for education and training has become a hot topic in multidisciplinary research involving elements from education, computing, art and design. The fruits of this research are now starting to penetrate the classroom, as serious computer games based educational material is developed. This in turn will inform classroom practice and eventually national policy. Like many educational innovations, the proposed use of computer games may be traced to the availability of a new and cost-effective technology (such as the introduction of interactive white-boards), but in this case the context is much more complex and involves many factors.

First there is the cultural context of our digital age, where our youth has grown up immersed in digital technologies, especially computer games. These ‘Digital Natives’ (Prensky, 2001) expect to play computer games. This expectation when coupled with the findings the JISC report (JISC, 2004), which suggests that learning should be congruent with the cultural context and also with Prensky’s description of today’s learners as ‘engage me or enrage me’ (Prensky, 2005), leads to the conclusion that our digital natives will expect computer game technology to appear in some form on the school curriculum. In this chapter we argue that this technology should be harnessed to produce ‘Educational Immersive Environments’ (EIEs), learning resources which use computer games technology, but which are based on sound pedagogical principles and may be used in all school classes from physics to literacy (Price, 2008; Moore and Price, 2009).

A second factor has been the falling recruitment in ‘Science Technology Engineering Mathematics’ (STEM) subject courses. This is especially true of physics education which is seen to be in a state of crisis due to lack of interest in these subjects (Smithers & Robinson, 2005; 2006). The Institute of Physics has called for ‘an increasing number of young people who should be enthused by physics’ (IOP, 2001). What better motivation than virtual experiments investigated within an EIE? A third factor is the drop in literacy standards in UK primary schools (Frean & Woolcock, 2007; Paton, 2007). This has resulted in a call for an examination of teaching standards in education and a call for new forms of expression in the classroom in order to prepare our Digital Natives for the knowledge-based 21st century (Dede 1995).

Against this backdrop, research has suggested that computer games may be used to address these issues (FAS, 2006; Gee, 2003; Price, 2006). Indeed it is suggested that computer game technology may be transformed into a new educational technology which, when grounded in educational theory such as experiential learning may equip our Digital Natives with skills required in the contemporary world (FAS, 2006). The design of any EIE must start from sound educational theories as well as being informed by content specified by the curriculum (Tang et al., 2007). Often in the past, educational materials have been driven by technology, with learning approaches adjusted to the technology.

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