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Irish virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) software firm, Immersive VR Education (IVRE), has been shortlisted for the BETT Awards 2019 in the following categories:
The Bett Awards are a celebration of the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The awards form an integral part of Bett each year, the world’s leading showcase of education technology solutions. The winners are seen to have excelled in ICT provision and support for nurseries, schools, colleges and special schools alike, with a clear focus on what works in the classroom.
The winners will be announced on the evening of 23rd January 2019, at the Awards ceremony and dinner in London.
This ties in with the Bett Show expo event, where IVRE will showcase their latest offering to the virtual reality education market by exhibiting its ENGAGE Platform. The Bett event takes place from the 23-26 January 2019 at ExCeL London and is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together 800+ leading companies, 103 exciting new edtech start-ups and over 34,000 attendees from the global education community. They come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the role technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive.
ENGAGE is an online virtual social learning and presentation platform for creating, sharing and delivering proprietary and third-party VR content for educational and corporate training purposes.
Through ENGAGE, students can build virtual worlds and scenes that create simulated life experiences, which culminate in five-minute immersive training experiences for real-world clients. In addition to school environments, the creators envisage that ENGAGE driven training videos and modules will aid business, law enforcement and emergency medical services in everything from suicide prevention to simulations for communicating with patients of dementia. The power of the platform is that students not only build the virtual scenario, but they star as role players in the experience.
IVRE CEO and Co-founder, David Whelan, spoke of their dedication to transforming the delivery methods of education and corporate training by utilising VR technologies, to deliver fully immersive virtual learning experiences,
“It is a powerful virtual reality collaboration and creation tool. It allows educators to host meetings, classes, private tutorials, training sessions and presentations with people from all over the world participating in a safe, virtual, multi-user environment.
It is designed as a complementary tool to enhance classroom teaching, or as a standalone tool providing distance learners with access and opportunities to connect at a collegial level with their fellow students.
Our ENGAGE platform aims to fully immerse the user into their learning experience, in order to increase learning retention and engagement. It will allow people to receive the best education, from the best educators from around the world, all from the comfort of their own home using virtual reality.”
The Power of Ed Tech
Mr. Whelan spoke of the exciting future ahead for ed tech,
“Recent studies have shown the use of VR in education has a positive impact on knowledge retention and actually improves the learning experience overall. We are only at the cusp of the ed tech revolution and the possibilities and permutations of how technology can shape the education of future generations is endless. A 2016 report from Goldman Sachs predicts $300 million in revenue for VR/AR educational software in 2020, and that figure is expected to grow to $700 million by 2025.
The developments in automation and innovative technologies within the educational sphere are progressing at a rate of knots and a commonality we find in these advancements is that ed tech has the potential to immerse the student further into the learning experience than ever before – building on and complimenting more traditional methods rather than replacing what has gone before.
ENGAGE is the perfect example of this – it has the potential to transform distance learning – taking the conceptual to the practical with the touch of a button.”
Other highlights of the IVRE work to date include:
Mr. Whelan spoke of the award-winning production,
“Titanic VR is a factually animated VR experience that tells the tragic story of the sinking of RMS Titanic as witnessed by survivors. As well as creating a realistic VR experience that tells the story of the tragedy in a compelling way, the game will also serve as a valuable resource for discovering more about the stricken ship, through a realistic exploration experience, using detailed maps and 3D models of the historic wreck site. We have used motion capture, face-scanning technology and professional voice actors to immerse users in the story and to enable them to relate to the people involved. In developing this, we wanted to create an accurate portrayal of events, so it is not only educational, but also emotional and very engaging.”
Apollo 11 HD also allows VR users to land on the Moon’s surface, explore the Apollo 11 landing site and deploy the original experiment, and explore every detail of the lunar module and command module at their own pace. It allows users engage in a breath-taking educational virtual trip of the mission taken by astronauts Neill Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon.
Mr. Whelan, went on to comment,
“Apollo 11 is the story of one of the greatest journeys ever taken my humankind. Our Virtual Reality creation allows people to experience this historic event through the eye of those who lived through it in July 1969.
It is my belief that there is a child alive today somewhere on this planet that will on day set foot upon Mars. I hope that they get to try VR in school as part of their education and that they get one day to experience Apollo 11 and that this experience sets them on the path to becoming one the next generation of astronauts, engineers and scientists.”
The Apollo 11 virtual reality documentary experience has already won 4 major international awards
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