Menu

Education Today Logo

Devika’s Virtual worlds in classrooms

News Image

Start-up Devika has been focusing on introducing Virtual Reality (VR) to Australian classrooms to make experiential learning software a feature in learning.

Its learning program ‘Kolb’ uses VR headsets to transport students to Antarctica where they can experience the sights and sounds of the landscape and ecosystem of the world’s harshest environment. Students get to navigate different scenarios of the inhospitable continent, in line with curriculum content. It has already been trialled at six schools in the Illawarra in NSW with outstanding success.

Ken Kencevski, CEO and Founder of Devika, said the use of VR technology in Australian classrooms was underutilised.

“Virtual reality is making its way into the education stream and while it is an exciting platform to use, its relative newness often results in hesitancy when it comes to adoption. The impact of VR in the classroom can be transformative and we’re trying to encourage Australian education to embrace it more robustly,” said Kencevski.

“To encourage wider adoption, we have worked with Dr Shiva Pedram at the University of Wollongong to deliver a study to better understand how VR experiential learning can help teachers,” he added.

The UOW study looked at over 120 students in grades 5 to 11 across Illawarra who trialled the immersive experience of Antarctica with Kolb in 2018.The schools included Sherwood Hills Christian School, St Joseph's High School, Figtree High School, Mount Ousley Public School, Dapto Public School and Warilla High School.

The findings demonstrated that experiential learning through VR can help teachers accommodate each of their students different learning styles, and introduce students to first hand scenarios they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to experience. Students content related performance was enhanced by 37% after the VR learning experience.

Kolb currently consists of one scenario, the Antarctica experience, but Devika plans to create an array of scenarios, all mapped to the high school learning curriculum.

Devika offers free trials of Kolb to any interested schools and the VR app is available globally for download on Viveport, Oculus Store, Microsoft Store and Steam VR. It has already been downloaded over 14,000 times.

Kencevski said that although they had only trialled Kolb at local schools, they had experienced significant international interest.

“Due to growing numbers of downloads from China, we had to create a separate experience which is in Mandarin. Globally, we’ve just been recognised for our work with Kolb as the winners of the Unity Unite 2019 Sydney Non-Game Award,” he added.

 


17 Oct 2019 | GC
Game on – first primary school esports league News Image

It’s only natural that esports would interact with education at some stage and St Hilda’s on the Gold Coast is launching the country’s first primary inter school esports competition. Read More

17 Oct 2019 | ACT
New teaching telescope in Canberra News Image

Young astronomers from across the Canberra region now have greater access to high-quality telescopes thanks to the expansion of a unique facility at The Australian National University’s (ANU) Mount Stromlo Observatory. Read More

17 Oct 2019 | Vic
Lowanna College bulletproofs its data management News Image

Schools are increasingly dependent on their IT infrastructure to deliver rich engaging lessons, that means a lot of data generated and a lot of data to be accessed and stored, the last thing you need is constant damage control. Read More

17 Oct 2019 | International
Machine learning catching contract cheating News Image

Three in five University students who engage in contract cheating will be caught by markers using machine learning software, new academic research has found. Read More

17 Oct 2019 | National
Training for the next generation of techies News Image

CompTIA, the trade association for the global technology industry and its ANZ Channel Community are launching an initiative to train and certify 3000 students in the fundamentals of technology.  Read More