VR Education’s platform to support US students hit by Covid-19

Deal with Victory XR will bring educational content to US students in schools and at home

 Sandra Whelan and David Whelan, founders of VR Education.

Sandra Whelan and David Whelan, founders of VR Education.

 

Waterford-based VR Education has signed a deal with VictoryXR that will see the US company using the Engage platform to help support students affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

VictoryXR focuses on virtual and augmented reality content for the education sector, specialising in science curriculum content such as virtual animal dissections. It has created more than 240 VR and AR learning experiences.

VR Education’s Engage platform is used to provide remote training, distance learning and also hosts global virtual events, including tech company HTC’s event in March. Under the deal, VictoryXR will import its content library on to the Engage platform, providing its services remotely to school children across the US.

Teachers will run live virtual classes using Engage, offering access to students in physical schools, home schooled children, and those who have had access to traditional learning methods interrupted by Covid-19 restrictions.

“VictoryXR is taking school inside virtual reality with Engage. Students will learn with the best teachers and have the best learning labs, all in an interactive virtual world,” said Steve Grubbs, chief executive of VictoryXR. “We view Engage as the platform, much like the iPhone is the platform for world of apps. VictoryXR will build a VR school curriculum app on top of this platform which gives every school and every student access to the best equipment, the best teachers and the most effective learning.”

More than 2.5 million students were home-schooled before the Covid-19 pandemic, and VR Education chief executive David Whelan said that number could rise further following the restrictions on public movement to curb the spread of the disease.

“Having a platform like Engage to deliver this content and provide easy-to-use content tools allows VictoryXR to develop and deploy similar high-quality content quickly and easily at a much lower development cost,” said Mr Whelan.

“At a difficult time for education across the globe, Engage provides a fantastic solution for distance learning and through this partnership with VictoryXR we are now able to provide services and content that go beyond anything previously offered within traditional educational programmes, not only in the US but globally.”

Dublin-listed VR Education launched the Engage platform at the end of 2018, signing partnerships with Nokia and Shenandoah University, and offering content developed through VR Education’s partnership with the BBC, the University of Bristol, the University of Oxford and the University of New Haven. It has since partnered with the US Space and Rocket Centre in Alabama, and expanded into South Korea.