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Animmersion UK creates “game-changing” immersive classroom

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Animmersion UK has created an accessible and immersive classroom for Darlington College.

It has worked with Art AV on the project, which traditionally would have been out of reach both financially and technically for most colleges.

The Teesside firms provided the classroom with in-house software so teachers, with limited IT knowledge, can create and display content that enables students to experience real-life and simulated situations.

Up until now, the so-called, CAVE systems, which create a virtual environment using the walls, floor and ceilings of a room have been prohibitively expensive for most education settings, plus they required a high level of tech expertise to operate.

The two companies said that their system could be used by “anyone capable of delivering a basic PowerPoint presentation.”

“This is a technology that just a few years ago was beyond the reach of most education providers, beyond well-funded research institutes and top universities,” said Samuel Harrison, CEO of Animmersion UK.

“By developing the software, we have made immersive learning more accessible and user friendly – ending the situation whereby advanced digital technology was underused because educators found it was overcomplicated or could not grasp its full potential.”

Teachers can also capture their own content using 360 degree cameras.

“The possibilities are endless, and the immersive classroom expands the learning opportunities of students right across the curriculum,” said Lliam Morrice, the College’s programme leader of computer games development.

“Students learning English have been among the first to use it. One creative writing group were transported inside a haunted house to heighten their senses and creativity.

“It allows computer games students to experience and test the work they have produced, while engineering students can view machinery or a process inside a factory that would normally be off limits to visitors on safety or access grounds.

“Many students haven’t had much experience of the outdoors, and this brings the world to their feet. It is not only inspirational but pushes the boundaries of teaching and learning.”

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The initiative has resulted in Darlington College being nominated for a top honour in the Edufuturists Awards 2023.

“The investment in this immersive classroom reflects Darlington College’s commitment to bringing the very best learning experiences to our students that are all linked to lesson outcomes,” added Principal Kate Roe.

“Introducing tools, such as 360 cameras and virtual reality content production models, adds longevity to this fantastic resource and allows us to be ahead of the game as VR increasingly becomes a part of education and training.”

Animmersion UK and Art AV see education as key new market and they’ve recently been working with Sunderland College and Newcastle College.

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