Category Archives: Issues

Seizing the opportunities of the Industry 4.0 to invest in the future: the Career Day at Marconi University

Why a Career Day at Marconi University?

Universities and industry have been collaborating for over a century, but the rise of a global knowledge economy has intensified the need for strategic partnerships which encompass a wide range of activities. Universities role is also changing and the task to guide students in the labour market is crucial.

In this light the organization of an event offering students and graduated the chance to meet companies and make job interviews is essential in order to reinforce the link between universities and the labour market.

Taking into account those considerations, Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi, in collaboration with Manageritalia, a longstanding federation of business representatives, Porta Futuro Lazio, the employment orientation agency funded by Latium Region and Agol Association, the association of Italian young opinion leaders, organized the Career Day – Future Job 4.0 on 11th November 2016. The event was held in the historical headquarters of the university located in the heart of Rome and was addressed to students, graduated, unemployed people and all individuals wishing to re-tailor their careers.

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The XII International GUIDE Conference

The XII International GUIDE Conference “Online Learning in the 21st Century: Practice Problems and Prospects” will be held on February 15-17, 2017 at B Resort & Spa, in Orlando, Florida, United States of America.  The conference will be jointly organized by Guide Association and University of Phoenix (Central Florida).

The Conference aims to promote discussions about the current status and next evolutions of distance learning. Particular attention will be given to the new pedagogical approaches to be used for the new digital generation, innovative emerging technologies and the keys for the successful improvement of a standardized quality system in e-learning. Moreover, the congress aims to push for the creation of communities of experts sharing information and best practices. Particular attention will be given to case studies and practical experiences.

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Smartphone based laboratories: a case study to measure friction coefficients

The use of didactical laboratories is a common necessity both for distance and traditional universities. If in the first case institutions have to invest money not only in the creation but also in the maintenance of the structures, for distance learning there is an always under discussion problem related to how laboratory activities can be offered to students. In this context, smartphone applications can help both cases offering simple, low cost and didactical effective laboratories. In this paper, a review of the state of art is presented together with a case study realized during the annual internships organized by INFN-Frascati for secondary school students.

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The ACADEMICA e-course: an example of good practice to train e-learning new users

ACADEMICA – Accessibility and Harmonization of Higher Education in Central Asia through Curriculum Modernization and Development – is a three-year project co-funded by the European Commission in the framework of ERASMUS Plus Program involving 15 partners coming from Europe (Bulgaria, Italy, Austria and Spain) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan).
The project’s main objective is to support Higher Education lecturers in Central Asia in the improvement and modernization of scientific curricula through the introduction of new methodologies based on the use of technology, media supports and distance learning tools.
This paper describes the rationale underlying the project and provides an outline of the implementation of the planned activities. Particular attention is given to the design of the ACADEMICA e-course that represents the core element of the initiative and that, once completed, is expected to become a good practice to be transferred even to other institutions that are not partners of the project’s consortium.

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A framework for data collection, analysis and evaluation of the relationship between students’ computer interaction and course grades in laboratory courses

Big data is an emerging topic, with huge investments in IT and education worlds. Together with awareness of the knowledge discovery and education improvement progresses, big data concept has come with a growing consciousness. There are several educational data mining analysis methods created, evaluated and presented in the literature in this manner. But, how the educational big data for finding “intelligently” valuable results to benefit students, teachers and administrators will be collected, filtered and handled? In this study, a unique data collection, filtering and evaluation framework for educational data mining was designed, evaluated and presented. In this perspective, an IT infrastructure and process monitoring software for gathering client computers’ data of 3 laboratories in a public high school was developed. Time series big data was collected during 5 months from 62 computers with this back stage working software. After filtering this data with eligible methods, resultant data was evaluated with Pearson’s correlation analysis between students’ rate of interactions with computers and their exam grades on laboratory courses. Results showed that students’ computer interaction and their success in the courses are highly correlated.

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Towards a domain model for integrating competence frameworks into learning platforms

Since adoption of the Europe-wide university-reform called Bologna Process, each accredited study path, module, or course has to be provided with a summary of the conveyed competences. Until now, this additional information had little effect on the comparability of learning content, because competences are usually described in form of free text. This leaves too much room for interpretation and misunderstandings. Standardized, machine-readable taxonomies are promising alternatives, especially in combination with so-called Competence Frameworks (CFs). In this article, we introduce the Competence Based Learning Model (CBLM). Its development starts with a specific solution for the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF)  and arrives to the creation of a generalized e-CF-independent version. The resulting CBLM is the basis for our two prototypical implementations – an extension for the learning platform Ecosystem Portal (EP) and a plugin for the Learning Management System (LMS) Moodle which extends its CBE-functionality introduced with release v3.1. A short summary and an outlook on future development conclude this article which succeeds our conference paper presented at the IX International GUIDE Conference.

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1616-2016 Four hundred years that may reveal more surprises

The Tempest of William Shakespeare deserves special attention. It opens a special view of the Elizabethan age and it can act as a bridge between the magic of the real World and the powers of the human mind. This play has been differently interpreted; however, an original analysis can be developed. An analysis that takes into proper account the possible influence of Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno on the English poet he met just a short while before writing the play.

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Editorial

On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the relationship between the imaginary world and the real world becomes more and more evocative. One can easily recognize such relationship in the changing circumstances in society and technology, in the omnipresent and pervasive reference to robots and androids that perform more and more complex activities. It is from here that the opportunity of discovering dynamic links between Giordano Bruno’s thinking and the plays of the English playwright arises. The Tempest, the last play entirely written by Shakespeare, provides the opportunity for re-considering the importance of the character on the stage in relation to the story, as well as the great power of the human mind.
On such anniversary, the attention of Formamente is not diverted from the scientific objectives of the journal that, once more, wants to highlight the great potential of new technologies as regards the exploration of a plurality of worlds on the part of a student placed at the center of the stage in the learning process that is nowadays known as “student centered learning”, the philosopher’s stone of teaching to which such modern technologies draw us closer and closer.
In this respect, in the Research section, an analysis model based on the Big Data approach shows the complexity of thinking systems that the use of PC’s achieves between students and teachers in personalized workshops.
The Highlight section of this issue of Formamente provides an overview of the topics of the forthcoming GUIDE Conference to be held in Orlando in February 2017. The Highlight section includes also information about “Career Day – Future Job 4.0”, a project aimed at offering students cross-curricular training so that they can compete successfully in the labor market both at the national and at the international level. In addition, the Highlight section provides a detailed review of the convention “Crisi delle concezioni tradizionali delle varie discipline giuridiche” (“Crisis of Traditional Legal Concepts”) promoted by the Department of Legal and Political Sciences of Marconi University in April 2016.

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GUIDE Association next conference in Rome

The new GUIDE Association conference The Education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be held in Rome-Italy the 3rd and 4th May 2018 at Gugliemo Marconi University. The purpose of the conference is to provide an academic platform for researchers, scientist, professors and institutions to analyze the impact of the new technologies involved in the so called Fourth Industrial Revolution that is characterized by the new role acquired by machines, capable to do what was considered before only possible by the humans. As far as this new approach could affect all the aspects of life, society, economy, culture, education and the job market, this requires that the Universities have to adapt themselves to the new changes by creating an adequate contexts to prepare their students for the future jobs. As a consequence of a new industrial revolution, schools, colleges and Universities have to face new challenges in the field of research and applications and to analyse the new trends coming up such as: digital ubiquity, cyber-physical systems, and artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, Big Data and Internet of Things (IOT) In this framework again research plays a central role in transferring students the ability to use and apply different knowledge in diversified contexts, in learning how to collaborate with their colleagues and their teachers and how to use new ways of communicating and the adequate skills to solve complex situations.

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Social networks for job search: the Job Hunter 4.0

This article is going to discuss the most recent update regarding the phenomena of Job Hunting, version 4.0. This update’s target is to enlighten the path of the so-called hunters and also to provide practical tools and instructions to mold the ideal employee of the future. Job Hunting 4.0 and Personal branding are core contents and objectives of the EPBE project coordinated by UDIMA – Madrid Open University. The organization, Learning Plans for All (Greece) and Marconi University (Italy) will be project partners, developing a course for job Hunters. This course will provide job hunters with tools of active job search. It will highlight aspects such as the importance of self-knowledge, resume writing, social media and job hunting, etc. and emphasizes on strategies for active job search (Udemy 2017).

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E-Learning in the age of the semantic web

The new forms of communicating how they have changed or potentially can change people’s education?
The early years of the third millennium were and still are characterized by the progressive development of ICT, Information and Communication Technology, the growing diffusion of related Internet technologies (2.0), which have made available to each user tools such as chat, email, blog, web cam, social network, now becoming everyone’s reach.
Today’s challenge is that these technologies, which are now able to expand our minds, are to connect not only intelligence, but also to create knowledge through experiences and emotions that can start a virtuous circle in learning.

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Broading the European political space on present challenges

This reflection aims to bring some elements of that theoretical and empirical approach called “Relational Sociology” or “Relational Theory of Society” into a proper politological perspective, even at the risk of providing a prescriptive assessment of the current European situation.
Such a relational approach (Donati, 1991) refers to a methodological pluralism where “the decisive step […] is that goes over the social primacy of policy. This step consists of starting to think not to a unique social order, rather to different and irreducible orders limiting one another” (Censis, 2000). It looks at the perspective of European unity within the dialectical poles of monist or polyarchical forms of the distribution of power according to the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

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Use of localization technologies and traffic prediction for the transportation assignment problem

ABSTRACT. This study develops an optimization model for bus transit network based on road network and zonal ODM (Origin Destination Matrix). The source information has been obtained via recorded phone data of transit users collected by an Italian telecommunication operator.The model aims at achieving minimum bus transfers and maximum passenger flow per unit length with line length and non-linear rate as constraints. An operations research algorithm is used to solve the problem (ACS). To further optimize results, the model uses Google APIs for traffic optimization. The model is tested with survey data of Rome city. The results show that an optimized bus network with less transfers and travel time can be obtained, and the application of operations research algorithm effectively increases the calculation speed and quality.

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E-Learning & Digital Design in Architectural Pedagogy Observations and Questions based on the On-line Msc of Interior Design

ABSTRACT. In the field of design education there is a growing consensus among institutions and instructors about the pivotal role of e-learning and digital design in the future of architectural pedagogy. Departing from this observation, this study focuses on the potentialities that exist in joining multimedia, digital tools and the web together, to propose alternative educational models for design related disciplines. In order to explore and highlight relevant issues, the creation of a new Master’s Degree for Designers is utilized as a case study. The description of this program, fully delivered online and created in a virtual environment will serve as the basis for further experimentation and reflection regarding the topic of design pedagogy in the Information Age. Furthermore, it is attempted to outline the challenges faced and lessons drawn from teaching design in a format that departs completely from the traditional – physical – relation and collaboration between tutor and student.

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The spectrum of learning analytics

ABSTRACT. “Learning Analytics” became a buzzword during the hype surrounding the advent of “big data” MOOCs, however, the concept has been around for over two decades. When the first online courses became available it was used as a tool to increase student success in particular courses, frequently combined with the hope of conducting educational research. In recent years, the same term started to be used on the institutional level to increase retention and decrease time-to-degree. These two applications, within particular courses on the one hand and at the institutional level on the other, are at the two extremes of the spectrum of Learning Analytics – and they frequently appear to be worlds apart. The survey describes affordances, theories and approaches in these two categories.

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Life cycle assessment of a virtual reality device

ABSTRACT. Virtual reality (VR) is one of the strongest trends for future communication systems. Considering the amounts of VR devices expected to be produced in the coming years, it is relevant to estimate their potential environmental impacts under certain conditions. For the first time, screening life cycle assessment (LCA) single score results are presented for a contemporary VR headset. The weighted results are dependent much on the source of the gold and the electric power used in production. Theoretically, using recycled gold for the VR subparts would be very beneficial seen from an environmental damage cost standpoint. Using low environmental impact electric power in the final assembly of the VR headset, in the final assembly of integrated circuits, and in the preceding wafer processing would also be worthwhile. Distribution of the final product is more pronounced than for other consumer electronics.

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Beehive challenges to reinforce Asian University entrepreneurship

ABSTRACT. Two significant National Reports (Indonesia and Philippines) came out from the documentary and field work researches that had actively involved Asian academic clusters within the international venture Beehive. Feedback received witnesses that University entrepreneurship is certainly considered important in both clusters even if it is evident that there is no a unique model or strategy for the University to embed entrepreneurial approach into the academic management and learning offer. The initiative, guided by the University of Varna, has been funded by the European programme Erasmus + KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Capacity Building in Higher Education). The project aims at building sustainable university-based entrepreneurial ecosystems in Asian Higher Education Institutions to enhance students’ and graduates’ entrepreneurial and innovation skills and then ability to create jobs. Partners during the project life will build up sustainable entrepreneurial university ecosystems by establishing and embedding start-up accelerators with a business start-up support services for students. Finally, the involved universities will be committed to achieve a specific quality label certifying the excellence and efficiency of their entrepreneurial ecosystems. Beehive core mission is then coherent with the last trends of the European Commission Industry Strategy since the presence of entrepreneurial education offer and services in academia environments will contribute to reinforce the linkages between information technology last innovations, business actors and academic research representatives.

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Personal branding and job hunting 4.0: Epbe project

ABSTRACT. The term Industry 4.0, initially referred only to the manufacturing sector, has been progressively extended to the digital revolution which is involving all domains and that is entailing a rapid change of business models, production and work organization, and impact on value creation, job requirements and skills. This Forth Revolution has also transformed the job search process which is for the most part supported by Social Networks. The creation and maintenance of an on line brand and reputation is becoming central for young people who are looking for a job. Thus, building a brand and an online presence allows for individuals to network with others, not only socially but professionally as well. Following these considerations, the EPBE project was conceived to provide a contribution to foster Industry 4.0 main challenges by equipping students and young people to build up an on-line personal brand and to apply job hunting 4.0 techniques for reinforcing their job search opportunities, and their access to the labor market. To achieve these goals the EPBE project outputs are targeted to both students and young people (two MOOC courses on “Personal Branding” and “Job Hunting 4.0”), as well as teachers and trainers (EPBE Toolkit and train for trainers course on “MOOCS: Methodologies in distance and Blended Learning”).

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Toward Cyber ports: a geopolitical and global challenge

ABSTRACT. The next future will be played on a cyber level, that imposes the need to merge “physical” with “digital in all fields”: phygital will be the future of current world, in many sectors, primarily in the transportation fields. Mobility and transportation have always been playing a crucial role as way to provide economic and social development. The maritime transports, as main player in freight movements, nowadays cover more than 70% of the markets: most of goods are shipped through the sea. Ports are considered, due to their strategical relevance as a Critical Infrastructure, to be protected and the main issues is to guarantee the resilience of transportation infrastructures. The Cyber Security in the sector has become a corner stone that needs to be looked after and raised on a daily basis with continuous improvement. The cyber attacks are becoming a daily problem showing how the public sector and private sector have to create synergies to provide a more safe and secure conditions: in transportation, this is more true than in any other sector. This article will present a short overview of the main vulnerabilities related to the maritime transport and the impact of a connected community where almost 3 billion of people are online and with a forecast of more than 40 billion devices connected by 2020 (IoT). Beyond the creation of the Hybrid port, that will be a consequence of the Digital Transformation and technology innovation is necessary to enable new services. Ports have to be re-thinked and re-designed in: immaterial and material infrastructure, processes, organization and information exchanged between actors. A safe and secure port is one of the current geopolitical challenge to be considered a competitive country.

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The impact of perception and presence on emotional reactions. A review of research in virtual reality

ABSTRACT. Virtual reality (VR) has made its way into mainstream psychological research in the last two decades. This technology, with its unique ability to simulate complex, real situations and contexts, offers researchers unprecedented opportunities to investigate human behavior in well controlled designs in the laboratory. One application of VR is the investigation of pathological processes in mental disorders. Research on the processes underlying threat perception, fear, and exposure therapy has shed light on more general aspects of the relation between perception and emotion. Being by its nature virtual, i.e., simulation of reality, VR strongly relies on the adequate selection of specific perceptual cues to activate emotions. Emotional experiences in turn are related to presence, another important concept in VR, which describes the user’s sense of being in a VR environment. We summarizes current research into perception of fear cues, emotion, and presence, aiming at the identification of the most relevant aspects of emotional experience in VR and their mutual relations. A special focus lies on a series of recent experiments designed to test the relative contribution of perception and conceptual information on fear in VR. This strand of research capitalizes on the dissociation between perception (bottom–up input) and conceptual information (top-down input) that is possible in VR. Recent research has highlighted the mutual influence of presence and fear in VR, but has also traced the limits of our current understanding of this relationship. An interoceptive attribution model of presence is suggested as a first step toward an integrative framework for emotion research in VR.

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The synergy between manipulative and digital artefacts in a mathematics teaching activity: a co-disciplinary perspective

ABSTRACT. This paper presents a teaching experiment aiming at constructing the meaning of axial symmetry through the mediation of a “duo of artefacts”, made up by a digital artefact and a manipulative one. The meaning of the term “mediation” is described and used from a dual perspective, joining General Didactics and Mathematics Education. Herein, we describe an interactive book, created in a Dynamic Geometry Environment and a teaching sequence, based on the use of such a digital artefact, combined with a manipulative one. The main potential of the interactive book is based on the possibility to drag geometric objects and observe the effects of the dragging. The sequence has been experimented with a 4th grade class and the activities have been videotaped and analysed. Results have been analysed through the cited dual perspective and reveal how the mediation of the duo of artefacts can foster the construction of the mathematical meaning. In this paper we show how the digital artefact, acting in synergy with the manipulative artefact, seems to exploit the potential of the sequence in terms of embodied involvement of the pupils in their cognitive process.

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How Virtualization, Decentralization and Network Building Change the Manufacturing Landscape: An Industry 4.0 Perspective

ABSTRACT. The German manufacturing industry has to withstand an increasing global competition on product quality and production costs. As labor costs are high, several industries have suffered severely under the relocation of production facilities towards aspiring countries, which have managed to close the productivity and quality gap substantially. Established manufacturing companies have recognized that customers are not willing to pay large price premiums for incremental quality improvements. As a consequence, many companies from the German manufacturing industry adjust their production focusing on customized products and fast time to market. Leveraging the advantages of novel production strategies such as Agile Manufacturing and Mass Customization, manufacturing companies transform into integrated networks, in which companies unite their core competencies. Hereby, virtualization of the process and supply-chain ensures smooth inter-company operations providing real-time access to relevant product and production information for all participating entities. Boundaries of companies deteriorate, as autonomous systems exchange data, gained by embedded systems throughout the entire value chain. By including Cyber-Physical-Systems, advanced communication between machines is tantamount to their dialogue with humans. The increasing utilization of information and communication technology allows digital engineering of products and production processes alike. Modular simulation and modeling techniques allow decentralized units to flexibly alter products and thereby enable rapid product innovation. The present article describes the developments of Industry 4.0 within the literature and reviews the associated research streams. Hereby, we analyze eight scientific journals with regards to the following research fields: Individualized production, end-to-end engineering in a virtual process chain and production networks. We employ cluster analysis to assign sub-topics into the respective research field. To assess the practical implications, we conducted face-to-face interviews with managers from the industry as well as from the consulting business using a structured interview guideline. The results reveal reasons for the adaption and refusal of Industry 4.0 practices from a managerial point of view. Our findings contribute to the upcoming research stream of Industry 4.0 and support decision makers to assess their need for transformation towards Industry 4.0 practices.

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Meeting Industry 4.0 training needs: e-learning sets out the way to move forward

ABSTRACT. Industry 4.0 is an expression that more frequently than others like industry of the future, digital industry, advanced manufacturing and so forth, is used to indicate a series of rapid technological transformations in the design, production and distribution of systems and products. The term, initially referred only to the manufacturing sector, has been progressively extended to the digital revolution which is involving all domains and that is entailing a rapid change of job requirements and skills. As a consequence, new professions are arising but existing jobs are also going through a modification in the skill sets required to perform them. The demands on employees will increase because processes become more complex, interconnected and digital. Currently and in the future, lifelong learning, the ability to think interdisciplinary as well as the development of IT competences will be basic requirements of employees in order to ensure the employability of working people, not only in technology-oriented careers (Richert, Behrens, Jeschke, 2016). Moreover, disruptive changes to business models are producing and will have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. In such a rapidly evolving employment scenario, the ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content and the aggregate effect on employment is increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals in order to fully seize the opportunities presented by these trends (World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs, 2016). Education has to adapt to the changed conditions and should probably re-think the current model of pedagogy aligning it with the potential of digitization. The use of new didactic methods and the exploitation of multimedia and technological solutions such as virtual laboratories, video-based learning, augmented reality

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New teaching paradigms in the new machine age revolution

ABSTRACT. Make students be able to deeply understand topics, to create their own knowledge-creative system, to develop creativity and lateral thinking: those are the target of the education of the future, in the so called New Machine Age. In fact, new skills are demanded by the jobs of the future. According to World Economic Forum, top skills in 2020 will include Creativity, Critical thinking, Emotional intelligence and cognitive Flexibility. How can we build these skills? A possible answer should be the metacognitive approach. Using a metacognitive approach means to teach students how they can find their own strategy, gaining personal control over academic outcomes. It means also, for students, to understand how their mind just works, how they can learn, how they can set the right targets and measure results in a dynamic assessment system. Using a metacognitive approach in distance education means also make students able to follow their own cognitive system, passions and motivation, finding their well-suited learning tools. Any problems or difficulties on learning (even dyslexia or dyscalculia) can be solved without a personalized learning route, just because there are infinite learning paths any student can choose. Any student has her/his own learning system and can find autonomously the right, personalized teaching method. Motivation is the key point of the model. Teacher should motivate students and help learners to understand their own capabilities and how metacognitive system works, also in a distance learning system. This paper analyzes the future new needs in terms of job (soft) skills. Then, following the literature about metacognitive approaches, will delineate a new paradigm of inclusive and self-regulation based teaching for Universities, focused on distance education, advanced tools and new approaches, showing result of an application of these ideas into economics courses.

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Editorial

Formamente 2017 is a comprehensive edition focused on the trends triggered by the 4th Industrial Revolution. Such an attention to the priorities of the actual digital age is motivated by the forthcoming XIII GUIDE International Conference, which will be held in Rome on May 4th and 5th. Its main topic will be Education in the fourth industrial revolution. This monographic edition can be seen as a contribution to the conference, given that it points out some guidelines that the digitalization brings into the production value chain within and beyond the industrial sector. The world of work, whose modalities change, requires new smart skills, and the University must intercept and interpret these challenges. It is no longer just a matter of transmitting the accumulated knowledge or contributing to the creation of a new one, but of enhancing the formation of skills, which will be adequate for the future and continuously adapting.
In the field of theoretic and applied research, from primary school to university to permanent training, the key point of Industry 4.0 is the new skills required by innovative holistic strategies, metacognitive approach, interdisciplinary thinking, integrated networks which characterize the actual digital transformation of companies. This perspective confers unity of meaning to various laboratory experiments that may seem distant at first glance. In this way, codisciplinarity, didactic mediation, digital artefacts and their synergy, “embodied” involvement of the students are essential elements of university and didactic courses, which absorb the emerging plots of new knowledge. In this way, cybersecurity, transport intermodality, circular economy, use of smart algorithms for traffic analyse etc. can be combined in unusual ways with job-search, personal branding and advanced professional skills. Moreover, it is using this kind of approaches that the European Union aspires to modernize its industrial policies.
The XIII GUIDE 2018 International Conference seeks to harmonize the complexity of these topics in three vast sessions: Didactics for the digital age – Educational robotics: the future of mediation – Educational strategies to enhance the production of the future: towards growth and innovation.

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Workshop Eurasia 2016

The third edition of the Workshop Eurasia, which aims to analyze the leading drivers of the economic development in Asia and the opportunities for Italian companies in that region, has been held in Rome 9-10 June 2016. The event has been organized by Unindustria and AGI under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Within this event, Guglielmo Marconi University was called to organize a thematic seminar on the opportunities given by Horizon 2020 targeting China, especially in the light of the co-funding mechanism agreed by the EU and the Chinese Government to support joint projects between European and Chinese universities, research institutions and companies.

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