Immersive VR Education have recently won their fifth International award for their educational experience, Apollo 11 VR. The company have taken out Best Educational Experience at the Proto Awards held in Hollywood over the weekend, after being nominated for five awards. It was an exceptionally proud moment, as both their Apollo 11 VR experience and Engage platform were nominated in the same category.
Virtual Reality is finally starting to be recognized globally as a great resource for education, with more and more VR Awards opening an Educational section. The military, research labs, and even NASA have been using VR as a training tool for years; and now that this technology has become available for average consumers, it has opened up a new opportunity for modern education. Simulation is a great way to learn how to deal with a variety of situations, and visualize concepts otherwise hard to explain. And now this immersion can be taken to the next level with VR.
Immersive VR Education have been creating educational tools since they opened in October 2014. The last 12 months have been especially productive, after releasing a number of educational experiences including a medical training simulator created in conjunction with the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. Since its release in April this simulator has been downloaded over 90,000 times, and gives students a way to test their knowledge in a virtual emergency situation. Available on the portable Samsung GearVR, it means students are able to train both inside and outside the classroom. Their other projects Apollo 11 VR and Engage offer completely different educational experiences.
The Apollo 11 VR experience gives users the ability to witness the moon landing first-hand, from the view point of Neil Armstrong. The experience contains original archive mission audio and film, alongside accurate recreations of the spacecraft and locations. This experience creates emotion, giving students a real understanding of the impact of this historical event. Apollo 11 VR is a new type of documentary; not only do you get to relive the events of 1969, but you can also take control and fly the command module, land the lunar lander, explore the Moon’s surface and deploy the lunar experiments all before returning to earth in a fiery re-entry. It runs for roughly 40 minutes, and can be found on both the Oculus and Steam stores.
The Engage platform is an educational tool that allows teachers to deliver lectures to students in a VR environment. Engage is a multi-user system, allowing up to 30 users into a single private lesson or meeting from any location. Teachers also have access to the ‘Immersive FX’ presenter system, which allows them to stream in virtual assets, that are interactive and make presentations and lessons fun and intuitive. Users can also change the digital environment instantly, transporting students on a virtual ‘field trip’ to a range of educational locations such as the Martian surface environment or Titanic museum. Engage also allows educators to record their virtual presentations, so they can edit and publish them on the platform for students to view. It is a great tool, as teachers are able to modify content to suit their class needs. The platform is free for download on Steam.
Although it is just the beginning of this technology coming into classrooms, opportunities to solve issues and connect students have become obvious. Students will soon be able to connect ‘face-to-face’ with students from other countries, whole classes could take ‘fieldtrips’ to places otherwise unreachable. Many universities are already bringing VR into their classrooms, keeping students on the edge of new technology. It is important to keep students interested in new technology, especially as this industry is going to play a big part in their future.
You can learn more about Immersive VR Education’s projects on their website: http://immersivevreducation.com/