|1||Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?|
|Education as well as young people’s interest and motivation to take up careers in science and technology have had critical years throughout Europe. Unless the present situation is improved Europe will lose its chances to meet the challenges of a knowledge-based economy and become a society with improved scientific literacy meeting the goals set in the EU 2020 Strategy. International surveys prove that although secondary school students’ attitudes towards science are generally disappointing there are some areas – with a special respect on individual problem solving, environmental awareness and active participation – where students are very receptive to new ideas.
Modern pedagogy suggests that inquiry based methods would improve the present situation in teaching and learning sciences. Also, our knowledge about knowledge management and learning environments became more sophisticated, therefore combining efficient tools and methods seem to be a rational solution. One of the possibilities is the so-called serious game concept, which combines the environment and tools of the games the younger generation tend to play on a daily basis with the content and purpose of education.
|2||What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to? How was it addressed before?|
|The research responds to the environment and methodology gap between education and modern ICT tools. In order to respond to these problems our aim is to establish a future leading learning environment with particular emphasis on technical-virtual features as well as social aspects in which learners can observe and discover phenomena through genuine inquiry. In order to achieve this we have written a software program supported by teaching guidance – and also conducted successful experiments – which takes a complex (post-normal and cross-curricular) approach to ecological problems. The basic sets of problems are introduced through the students’ exploring, experimenting and individual problem-solving which provides the context of the joy over the recognition. Therefore we can place the students into a comforting yet challenging learning environment that is similar to the ones they most frequently use in non-formal learning (just like in computer games) and which is efficient at improving key competencies related to science learning. We also aimed at providing teachers with a tool with which they can continuously follow and support the students’ work individually allowing process-orientated work and assessment.
|3||What is the potential for further research?|
|The project has high potential for further research. In particular this project currently focuses on the potential roles of the Local Area Network. This can be an answer for more frequent problems during the continued usage of the model, primarily for the teacher. It can be difficult to follow the students’ work if the teacher does not see all of the monitors from the teacher’s desk. With the help of the local network this problem can be solved, as we can ensure the close communication between the teacher’s server and the students’ clients through which the teacher is able to monitor the individual student’s progress. This method also enables the teacher to help the individual students accordingly. Web-based support is also being considered.
|4||What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)|
|As the product itself is software it requires and as a consequence has indeed quite limited availability of IPR-protection methods (especially in Europe), however the proposed option is Special Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) by the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office and a trademark.
|5||What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?|
|The first step is to register the product in the voluntary register of works, which allows justification of later usage. In the USA a patent can be submitted costing $ 1,600-2,400. A Hungarian trademark costs HUF 240,000 and SIPP costs HUF 5,000. It is important to note that the rights can only be extended before the prescribed deadlines.
|6||What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?|
|The scientific maturity of the NaturePlayer methodology and software for ICT aided education is considered substantial. The main advantage of the system is the new concept enabling personalized problem-solving and the user-friendliness of the software.
KEYWORDS QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT (0-5).
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