Virtual Reality Tech Provides Socially-Distanced Solution For Schools

This autumn, virtual reality training pioneers Virti are partnering with schools across England to enable powerfully effective remote learning. 

Virti have equipped several secondary schools with VR headsets and cameras which can be used to create personalised immersive video content. These instructional or demonstrative videos can then be uploaded to a cloud-based platform, and accessed remotely by staff and students as often as is needed.  

The VR tech is being used for the following:

  • To train teaching staff at a safe social distance outside of school premises
  • By science students to complete practical experiments without direct teacher instruction, outside of the lab
  • By teenage pupils to explore mindfulness exercises as they readjust to school life and work to catch up on missed teaching 

These collaborations mark the first instance of virtual reality technology being deployed in UK schools to overcome the unique challenges of socially-distanced education. 

With students and teachers contending with strict regulations and localised lockdowns – whilst under immense pressure to catch up on missed learning time – remote and effective solutions such as Virti are in high demand.

Headteacher of Upton Hall School, Mrs Andrea Gaunt, comments: 

“We have been working hard to provide the best education in the safest manner; innovation is essential for this, so Virti’s platform will be an invaluable tool in our school. 

Our students reacted incredibly well to online learning during school closures.  I am sure that when we develop resources in Virtual Reality, using both headsets and their mobile devices to access their learning, they will benefit immensely.

Our staff will value the ability to create and upload their own personalised content to the platform, and shortly will begin using it to help students with preparation for upcoming exams. 

At this moment, young people need to make up a lot of lost ground as they prepare to enter a tightly competitive and highly skilled job market. In my opinion, it’s time for all schools to explore adopting VR technology for socially-distanced learning.”

A solution tailored to 2020 and beyond

The hands-on, fully immersive experience of learning via VR is an effective way for groups of students to access content from the safety of their homes or school ‘bubbles’. Additionally, the mindfulness sessions are designed to build teens’ mental resilience and alleviate any academic or pandemic-related anxiety. 

The technology is also being used across the Atlantic. High schools in Indiana are making use of Virti’s technology to participate in remote work experience and build their employability skills. Teachers have reported a high demand for places on VR work experience courses, and plans are underway to expand the range of opportunities and partner organisations. 

Virti are currently developing the platform’s capabilities, with the goal of making immersive remote learning a central pillar of every student’s education experience. 

Founder of Virti, Dr Alex Young, comments: 

“Schools are facing a raft of new challenges this term, with students and teachers negotiating an uncertain and unpredictable landscape. The Virti team are excited to be putting our immersive reality platform to powerful use at this important moment. 

The challenges and successes of lockdown-era learning have made it clear that education providers must reimagine their pedagogical frameworks to allow for a flexible combination of socially-distanced and face-to-face instruction.

At the same time, there’s growing recognition of the fact that the introduction of VR technology into classrooms has the potential to drive incredibly impactful change in the secondary and higher education sectors.”