Paramedics and the 360° Experience.

Barry Matthews (Lecturer in Paramedic Practice and Pre-hospital Care) based at Edge Hill University’s Manchester Campus.  Barry has been trying out Learning Services’ Giroptic 360cam, to create immersive resources for his students.

The Giroptic 360cam produces 360° photographs and video and was the topic, back in January 2017, of Mark Wilcock’s blog post “360 Degrees of Learning Potential”.

Barry agreed to talk to us (on video) about his experience of using the 360cam and his ambition to expose his students to as many on-the-job challenges and dangers as possible, without putting them in harms way.  He is convinced that the introduction of immersive technologies has the potential for doing this.YouTube PlayerRead on and learn more about Barry’s vision to offer an immersive experience for his students, which might otherwise be impossible to do within the safe and controlled environment of a classroom or simulation centre.

“The paramedic team have recently been experimenting with social media to reach current and future students/applicants. We have found that a lot of applicants attend open days at the Ormskirk campus and that their attendance at the interview day is the first time they have ever seen inside the Manchester site (St James’). I wanted to use the 360cam to give prospective students a view of what resources and facilities are utilised at St James’ and to give them a chance to see the bespoke teaching environment, clinical skills area and of course, the ambulance.

This mini-projeAmbulance and Clinical Skills room ct of these images for social media was to gain some experience of using a 360cam, and discover its potential and limitations. It was easy to use, but as St James’ has multiple companies with multiple Wi-Fi networks, a stable connection to a weak standalone Wi-Fi was impossible. This meant I had to set the camera up, push the shutter button and run. This was not particularly easy with so many reflective surfaces! I had to be inventive with my camera placement, opening doors to change the reflective angle of the glass and setting up somewhere near to hide. I do have some nice photos of a garden taken using the Wi-Fi at 10m, so it does work outside of this Wi-Fi jungle.

The 360cam is a simple device to use and can be controlled by buttons on the device itself, or by using a mobile platform and its own Wi-Fi. This produces three images in 4k definition which the software stiches together to form a 300°x360° image, as a panoramic, that can be exported as a JPEG. I then uploaded the panoramic image into Facebook which transformed it into a photosphere which can be explored on any device. The only additional software I used was Adobe Photoshop to blur a face out of one of the pictures, which is available through the EU application catalogue.

The resolution of the images taken by the Giroptic 360cam are good, a little bit of noise,Giroptic 360cam in palm of hand but useable. The video does not record in the same definition (2k) so I didn’t use this functionality as the images were more than sufficient for the aims of this task.

Within the paramedic team, we have a great many potential uses for a 360cam-like technology. Simulation training enhances skills such as functional expertise, problem-solving, decision making and team-based competences (Lateef, 2010). Ambulance crews can work in any environment, and at times these can be stressful. We want to simulate these stresses for our student paramedics by using immersive environments. We utilise a room which projects video on the walls, with sound, to recreate these stressful and potentially dangerous environments to prepare our students for practice in a safe and controlled way.

The recreation of an environment has been shown to increase student engagement; with a negative aspect being identified as at times the environment can be distracting to the student (Bradley, 2006). This is exactly what we want with a student on both the DipHE and BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practice programmes. The situations that they will be working in when they qualify can potentially be distracting and dangerous, so we want to prepare for them for this so they don’t lose focus of their environment. I have attended patients in football stadiums, on airport runways, between live motorway carriageways…. I could probably describe a patient in every environment you can think of, and add some to the list.R.T.A. Scene Re-creation

Another use for the 360cam we are looking to explore is the creation of images of potentially hazardous environments, such as ‘drug dens’, construction sites etc. The students can then practice their observational skills and identify individual hazards and use this to influence their dynamic operational risk assessment. It is important the students learn how to identify hazards before they develop in a safe and protective environment. Therefore they can maintain not only their own safety, but also the safety of their colleagues and their patient, in any environment or situation they are presented with.”

Barry Matthews

 

 

Barry Matthews
Lecturer in Paramedic Practice and Pre-hospital Care

 

Are you interested using this technology or looking to explore innovation in your area please get in touch with us. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions or just get in touch if you would simply like to know more!

Contact us by email LTDSupport@edgehill.ac.uk or phone us on Ext 7754.

360 Degrees of Learning Potential!

Just recently we acquired the Giroptic 360cam to explore the potential of 360 cameras and how they might be used in HE to help enhance the student learning experience. Even within the first week of getting to grips with the camera we had already identified many possibilities in which it could impact and enhance teaching and learning within the institution (covered further on in this post).

So “what are 360 Cameras” I hear you say?

Well, 360 cameras allow you to capture a 4k photo and/or video in a spherical format where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama, a form of virtual reality. There are a growing number of 360 degree cameras on the market today, here within the LTD team we have the Giroptic 360cam (shown below).

360cam

Hosting any 360 media is straight forward, there are many free multi-platform services that let users upload and share any captured images and videos from the 360 camera. One of the biggest highlights for the 360 camera is the announcement that YouTube now supports 360 degree videos. You may have possibly seen some of these already, but did you know there are two different viewing experiences? If you view a 360 video on a laptop or desktop computer you will be able to navigate the scene by clicking and dragging around the video, or by using the directional arrows that are overlaid in the top left-hand corner of the screen.  However, if you view a 360 video on your mobile device you will be able to pan your device up, down and all around the video like you would with a virtual reality headset or Google Cardboard.

Take a look at the example below from the BBC. Try viewing it on a laptop as well as on a mobile device to get a feel for how each one works. Once you are done, check out the 360 Video channel on YouTube for more examples.

BBC 360cam Demo

So how can I use 360 Media in my Teaching & Learning?

If you are interested in using the 360 Camera, here are just a few possible Teaching & Learning scenarios we’ve come up with to help you get thinking about!

Workshops, Coaching & Observations: Using the power of this media could potentially support instructional coaching and teaching as a reflective tool to help analyse performances within an array of situations.

Performing Arts & Sport: Concerts, sports, theatre performances could take on a decidedly different form when the whole event can be viewed in 360 degrees. With the use of a 360 camera within any centre stage while students were performing scenes from a play or taking part in an event. Students could replay their performances in a way that was never previously possible to enhance their learning experience.

Virtual Field Trips: This is perhaps the most obvious example and in many ways it may be one of the most powerful. Using a 360 camera on a field trip could be used in a variety of ways for discussion and evaluation purposes.  In terms of accessibility It could also be useful as a tool for students who may not be able to attend field trips because they were absent or because they had a physical disability that prevented them from attending.

How can I get my hands on this Tech?

Feel free to email LTDSupport@edgehill.ac.uk or phone us on Ext 7754 if you are interested using this technology or looking to explore innovation in your area please get in touch with us. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions or just get in touch if you would simply like to know more!

Mark WilcockMark Wilcock

Learning Technology Development Officer