Industrial education, forged out of the industrial age is still the backbone to our learning process. However, the speed of change and the effect of lock-down, has highlighted a clear need to transform.
Over the past few months, I have been organising, with the help of Alex Harvey from RIVR a series of events around XR (extended reality). These events under the title XRFILES have provided a feel for change.
The people who have attended, watched the live stream have all shown a thrust for experiential learning. The events themselves were created as a platform for understanding and sharing knowledge. What they have taught me is that given the right investment, both time and money, there is a real opportunity to rebuild our education experience.
Our first event featured Unity, presenting their development roadmap. This was staged within Altspace ( https://altvr.com/ ) an immersive platform that has been around since 2015. Very popular with people for socialising. The Unity presentation was a PowerPoint-like event but with the extra immersion of transporting yourself to another location. Surrounding yourself with this new experience created a deeper connection with the performance.
Our second outing was the same format, a presentation with videos around the subject of policing and crime scene investigations. Still very engaging but we realised that part two continuing the theme, needed to add exciting interaction.
Now using the EngageVR platform ( https://engagevr.io/ ), a format focused more on the learning process. We set up a cityscape and added various interactions including, a London bus.
This allowed the two expert hosts to engage the audience while maintaining a safe and rewarding environment.
We moved on to the next event, focused directly on education. History to be exact. Pointe du Hoc, not a place over-familiar outside of the real history enthusiast, but a significant part of our history. This history education event cemented the need to embarrass technology and forge a new experience focused learning process within XR (extreme reality)
Learning through experience is the digital age! The rapid absorption of data requires an extensive range of sensory inputs. Experience data opens up an advancing sensory immersion. This immersion triggers layers of information and connects multiple pathways, allowing the brain to call on more pieces of the jigsaw.
Our events will continue, the XRFILES is on a mission.
There is a frustration, a lack of momentum within the "Powers that be". Change is happening, adoption of digital is traceable and advancing. However, the people with the ability to change things at pace are bound by the industrial mindset that served us well when it was relevant to the era we live in.
Opportunities need seizing, wasting time on planning and considering options will delay transformation, which in turn restricts our next generation in taking full advantage of digital technology.
The world is transforming! climate, medical challenges, communication, skills, understanding. Each one requires a digital back-bone, a logical but rapid transition. We need to plan at pace, act through instinct and build an education platform that personalises the experience and give everyone an equal digital opportunity.