“As teachers, we’ve become aware of the technological resources at our disposal and we’ve transformed them into improvement opportunities for teaching, practice, and theory, from home.”
That’s how Dr. Rosalino Rodríguez, a School of Engineering and Sciences professor at the Tec’s Morelia campus, spoke about the challenges teachers have faced when looking for new ways to share their knowledge with students remotely, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the 5th IEEE World Conference on Engineering Education (EDUNINE 2021), Professor Rosalino revealed his educational innovation project to the world, entitled ‘Home laboratory for free automation learning,’ via an online talk.
The project developed by the Morelia campus professor consists of creating remote laboratories that don’t require any additional investment by the educational institutions where they’re implemented or highly specialized personnel to run them properly.
“To run them properly, specialized remote laboratories generally need an internet connection, a website server, a database, a web camera, and other physical components, as well as expert personnel in various fields, which results in an investment of over 10,000 dollars. This is somewhat costly in the short term, which is how much time the pandemic gave us,” said Dr. Rosalino.
So, the laboratories proposed by Professor Rosalino allow engineering students to practice with the equipment they would normally use on campus, via a secure connection through VPN, TeamViewer, or Anydesk, enabling students to interact in real time with laboratory equipment.
So, the architecture of the laboratory proposed by the Morelia campus professor consists of an internet connection, a computer with a camera, physical components, and a point-to-point connection with the user’s computer system.
“The main motivation for developing this project was to give engineering students the opportunity to do their laboratory practice while still at home and avoid affecting their classroom learning. I needed to find a quick, effective, and accessible solution to this problem,” said Professor Rosalino.
Since beginning virtual classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Dr. Rosalino has been able to apply this educational innovation in three different courses: Logical Automation, Industrial Networks, and Control.
“These subjects have a practical purpose. They’re essential to learning things you’ll be faced with once you finish your degree. Being able to operate laboratory machines from home without the need for very powerful computer equipment, allows us to learn more than with simulation,” concluded Eduardo Gómez, a Mechatronic Engineering student at the Tec’s Morelia campus.
Dr. Rosalino had the chance to present his educational innovation project to other professors, doctors, and students of engineering from different parts of the world, such as Spain, Peru, Argentina, and Guatemala.
The 5th IEEE World Conference on Engineering Education (EDUNINE 2021), organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), was held in a hybrid format (online and in-person) in Guatemala City from March 14 to 17 2021.
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