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VR Platform to Help Students Learn Remotely During Covid-19

David Paul

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VR platform

The new Edify platform combines VR learning and video conferencing to help students learn from anywhere in the world.

Scottish immersive technology company Sublime has announced the launch of the new Edify VR platform to help improve students’ remote teaching experience during the Covid-19 crisis.

The platform allows students to explore and learn through virtual environments from anywhere in the world, helping to continue studying despite lockdown restrictions.

Edify has been in development for two years and has gained more than £2.5 million in funding from companies such as Innovate UK since 2017. Around £1 million of that total was secured during the lockdown to support an acceleration of launch plans.

Having piloted immersive teaching with the University of Glasgow, Sublime is now launching the Edify platform with ten apps designed by academics and created and built by gamers, technologists, and philosophers to augment and optimise learning.

The pilot apps cover all four of the university’s colleges and include a 3D model of the heart, a tour of the stomach, a virtual geological tour of Arran and a replica disease diagnostics laboratory.

Students, studying topics including physics, history and anatomy, will be able to connect to their instructor’s 3D Lab or classroom environment, with or without access to virtual reality (VR) hardware via platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Martin McDonnell, CEO and Co-Founder of Sublime, commented: “Sublime have been on an exciting Research & Development journey into realising the potential of immersive learning over the last two years, but the global pandemic has required us to respond dynamically to unprecedented disruption to teaching delivery worldwide – something felt keenly by our project partners, University of Glasgow.

“With Edify we will help address this challenge by enabling learning without limits through an immersive, online, and remote teaching ecosystem.

“Edify will enable educators and learners to meet in virtual versions of high-tech labs and amazing learning locations and is perfectly suited to delivering high-quality outcomes under these unusual and challenging teaching conditions.

“With Edify, our aim is no less than to make the impossible, possible, for learners and educators alike.”

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Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow said: “This is a dynamic and positive response to the challenging situation we are finding ourselves in during this unprecedented public health crisis.

“Edify has the potential to allow students to access many of the benefits of VR teaching from the comfort of their own homes while social distancing is in place.

“I can see great potential to enhance the remote teaching experience for those studying subject areas covered by this platform, allowing access to VR technology and recreating the experience of being together in a lab or classroom without the need for specialist hardware. I look forward to seeing how this develops.”

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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