Award-winning innovative Brisbane interactive education pioneer List Premier Education on Monday launched a world-first breakthrough to bridge the gap between technology and education.

The program, ZenoBot, uses digital avatar technology to create a digital classroom assistant or teacher’s aide, allowing the teacher to provide focused attention to students while they are being “taught” by ZenoBot.

ZenoBot, patented worldwide, was launched and demonstrated at a ceremony on Monday, November 14, at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Building, Spring Hill.

The launch was be addressed by List Premier Education CEO Dr Johann Debeer, Mr Rob Whiddon, Member of COALAR (Council on Australian Latin American Relations Board) and Dr Brad Postma of Cullens Patent and Trade Attorneys.

ZenoBot uses cutting edge software to allow the classroom avatar to present a combination of audio, video, text, and graphic images through any of 8 avatars. Users can bring the avatar to life through giving it a voice, from over 15 available international languages, facial expressions, as well as certain actions, such as waving.

It is highly interactive, allowing modern hi-tech children to move from “gamification and digital graffiti” to enjoyable accelerated high-quality learning.

Brisbane-based List Premier Education is a pioneer and world leader in developing interactive education programs, and has won prestigious awards both in Australia and overseas.

Last year the company was a finalist in the Education and Training category in the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, having won the top award in the category in 2011.

List Premier Education also last year garnered a prestigious Chinese Foreign Expert Award for its contributions to mine safety training, presented at the North China Institute for Science and Technology in Beijing, by the State Administrations for Foreign Affairs and Work Safety.

List Premier Education founder and CEO, Dr Johann Debeer, said he was “immensely proud” of his Brisbane-based company’s ZenoBot breakthrough.

“This is a genuine first of its kind worldwide, and I think it is great that a small Brisbane-based company can achieve something of this magnitude.

“We meet so many teachers who are frustrated by the immense pressure to keep up with technology and to somehow find time in their busy day to learn how to use new software. Some programs have extended training programs. Who has the time?”

“Our ZenoBot avatar will be present in the classroom, ready to help the teacher and students, effectively a virtual ‘teacher’s aide’. ZenoBot allows a user to quickly, easily, and intuitively create content and present it, and is incredibly easy with almost no training required.”

“Users can quickly and easily drag text, images, sounds, music, and video on to a time line and can either upload their own video or simply provide a YouTube link.”

“They then can select an avatar, choose a language, facial expressions and gestures, and enter the text. The ZenoBot avatar will then narrate that text, while users can also record their own voice or import a sound file.”

“The ZenoBot avatar uses highly advanced text-to speech and lip sync software to give it even more immediacy and life.”

“Now teachers are freed up to focus more closely on each student. They are not distracted by the transfer of information onto the screen and can use their knowledge and experience to connect and help the students where it really matters – one on one,” he said.

According to Dr Debeer, to stay relevant we must use modern technology, but he stresses technology must be applied responsibly, ensuring that children also develop social skills with the teacher remaining in full control of the classroom environment.

He said: “The proliferation of ‘apps’ and games has a place, but not when it takes over the educational environment and the classroom. They may be great examples of technology and graphic design, but provide what I call a ‘digital graffiti’ model which ultimately pollutes the educational experience.”

“ZenoBot is such a useful tool that I envision it being used beyond the classroom by business people, professionals, or anyone that has a need to present information more efficiently to customers.”

List Premier Education is a member of the World Council for Education, and uses the guidelines set out by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

For more information e-mail us at info@zenobot.com or simply visit www.zenobot.com_ml_0487