ARVR & Ai in Classroom: Middle East’s Largest VR Education Program Launched for Public Schools

ARVR & Ai in Classroom: Middle East’s Largest VR Education Program Launched for Public Schools

Dubai is hitting another major milestone with the VR based STEM Lab Program for schools

Over a million students and thousands of teachers across the Middle East have experienced the most immersive technologies. Their collective huge response in favor of these technologies and the positive impact they have on education has already led many schools in Dubai to introduce the modern learning methodologies in classrooms. These schools have termed VR technology as “a powerful learning tool”.

Virtual Reality for Public Schools in the Middle East

Moving forward, the education ecosystem in UAE is now hitting another major milestone with VRXOne’s VR based STEM Lab Program for schools. Designed around the Classroom Format, the initiative is the largest program of its kind helping educators to implement VR, AR and Ai led education in schools across the Middle East. A massive initiative to put the region on the world map as the most advanced in classroom learning solutions and teaching aides.

Designed around the Classroom Format, the initiative
is the largest program of its kind helping educators to implement VR, AR and Ai led education in schools across the Middle East.

Prior to it, UAE government’s A Million Coders Program and subsequently, VRXOne’s One Million Expeditions for Emirati youth, gained immense response for their impact in enhancing students’ learning abilities. It comes as no surprise then that immersive technologies are dictating a massive shift in human-technology interaction. And VR based STEM Lab is the next step in classroom education not only locally but globally as well. Instead of moving around a mouse or tapping on a screen, we are able to step inside and explore the realities of our universe in the virtual world.

We know for a fact that the early adoption of these immersive technologies is a must as per the government’s vision of a knowledge-based economy. It is the only way to close the gap between education and job markets at a rapid pace. And VRXOne’s VR based Lab Program helps to work towards that goal by providing the youth with the most immersive learning solutions.


“VRXOne has the largest library of
VR/AR/Ai lessons available in Arabic Language covering
a huge range of STEM Subjects.”

VR for STEM Education – Leading the Way

Virtual Reality has emerged as the ultimate medium for delivering “experiential learning”. No other methodology even comes close in impact. The fact that no physical or geographical boundaries stand in the way of this technology, is reason alone for its huge impact. Add to that the element of safety and cost-effectiveness and you have a win-win combination.

Virtual Reality is the ideal technology and well-suited to delivering the learning in STEM subjects. Since all these disciplines – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics – are based on highly critical thinking and applied knowledge, VR is the perfect fit for STEM education.

VRXOne’s VR based Classroom Format offers the most advanced level standalone program today equipped with machine learning applications allowing the teachers full control of the curriculum-aligned virtual lessons. VRXOne has the largest library of VR/AR/Ai lessons available in Arabic Language covering a huge range of STEM subjects. No longer does a student need a physical presence in a science lab to understand a concept thoroughly. Every VR class provides pedagogically sound, engaging content to students for proper exploration and understanding. For instance, VR technology eliminates the need for a microscope to examine an organism or to study DNA sequencing. The VR lab actually provides full immersion for further exploration of DNA and the atom at the molecular level. Something which is not possible in a physical lab.

Such are the opportunities available to STEM students today in the UAE made possible through the VR technology. These captivating lessons are the way forward for the youth to develop the right skill-set needed for the future markets in the era of technology. Moreover, the technology is exactly in line with the innovation goals of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai,

“Our vision for development is driven by a deep understanding of the future needs, and built on proactive ideas because we want to be in first place globally. Our methodology for development is based on the launch of initiatives that can be applied anywhere in the world and creating a global model for not only our economy but also for the global economy,”

Learning Languages is Fun with VR

Learning a new language is one of the most exciting as well as daunting things for a student or any individual. There is always an initial hesitation with a new way to pronounce, speak and interact. VR helps to eliminate the element of hesitation and self-consciousness by providing scenario-based, highly interactive environments to develop new language skills. It can put you in a class full of learners or amongst the native speakers to perfect your command over the language.

Because VR experiences support interaction and are able to replicate different situations, there isn’t a more realistic way to learn a language than reality itself. With VR, you could either be buying cannoli on the streets of Sicily or asking for directions in Turkey. There is the added benefit of instant feedback on pronunciation and suggestions for vocabulary to further enrich your learning experience. The Head of Languages at Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, Chloe Briand opines that VR helps to build students’ confidence and reduce the level of anxiety associated with learning languages, “This is a tool that you use to practise and improve on your fluency and accuracy in a real-life scenario, without feeling self-conscious in front of a native speaker. It’s the perfect segue between a relaxed familiar environment and the outside world.”

Building a VR lesson is Easy

Being a great interactive medium, it is fairly easy to build and create a lesson in VR for both teachers and students. For instance, it is as easy as ‘1,2,3’ to get a class started on a Google Expedition. But in case you wanted something more, you could easily use Google StreetView to create an exclusive expedition of your own. Visit famous landmarks or walk through historical places.

By virtue of being a virtual medium, VR can put you in any location, inside a lab or an archeological site in an instant. There are boundless opportunities to explore and learn with VR so much so that not only does it remove geographical walls but time-bound as well. You can explore the lengths of Roman Colosseum or walk on the Acropolis of Athens. It is all within reach with VR.

Bringing Augmented Reality in Schools

In the same fashion, Augmented Reality enhances the learning experience for STEM lessons. You can use it to examine the 3D models of plants, animals as well as the natural features in your class. Students can go “deeper” in a lesson by rotating, swiping, and zooming in and out of a model at will. They can even take photos or videos of the model within their surroundings.AR is a great learning technology and brings huge value to everyday lesson plans. Aligned with the standards of the UAE Ministry of Education, the platform supports all kinds of different visual overlays and hundreds of lesson plans with valuable educational content.

Artificial Intelligence for Today’s Classroom

Immersive technologies can help us to make classroom learning fun and exciting as well as more relevant and comprehensive. But at the same time, it is important to monitor the students’ performance to ensure positive outcomes and compliance with the educational standards.

This is where Artificial Intelligence helps to customize lessons for students providing a cross-reference between subjects to support interdisciplinary learning. Moreover, the automation of processes through Ai – such as performance monitoring, feedback, marking, tracking growth, etc. – provide further assistance in the class freeing up more time for teachers. On the part of students, Ai helps them understand concepts better and self-pace their studies. It also inculcates innovative and entrepreneurial thinking in the students’ something which is the need of the day. Sreejit Chakrabarty, the Director of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at Gems Education Dubai, says that Ai opens a huge door of opportunities for young minds, “Naturally, this Ai literacy brings in and helps students to extend their knowledge of English, Maths, and Coding. For example, by seeing how their programming strategies are reflected in the learning and behavior of a machine, they can better grasp abstract concepts such as to cause and effect. They can also get immediate feedback from the machine and iterate their ideas based upon this. These are powerful opportunities for learning in a cross-disciplinary way.”

Teachers are Ready for VR Education in the UAE

Arab teachers view the virtual and augmented reality apps as invaluable mediums to support “deeper learning” practices. As more and more content is being developed to align with curriculum requirements, the teachers find it immensely helpful to inspire curiosity to learn and ingenuity to create in their students.

Martha McCleary, Head of Digital Literacy at Foremarke School Dubai, shares her experience of VR in the classroom and how it has helped to involve students in the learning process, “We have been using VR to visit faraway places and go on virtual field trips. This heightens engagement in lessons as children get to experience new environments. Recently we have begun looking at creating our own VR experiences. The children are busy creating online galleries of their work. Beyond learning about VR, this engages the children in learning about design and user experience.”

One of the GEM schools, The Winchester School at Jebel Ali has also teamed up with VRXOne to improve learning productivity of their students using VR and Ai. The Vice-Principal of the school, Dr. Ritika Anand believes that these immersive technologies become the basis to provide a thorough and holistic learning experience to the students, “Student experience is the biggest testimonial of a school’s commitment to providing holistic learning. The use of technologies like VR is aligned with the concept of experiential learning in pedagogy. Such technologies encourage inquisitiveness, innovation, and excellence, and ultimately lead to bigger impact through nation development.”

Students Ready for Expo2020 and the Year of Innovation Ahead

In the wake of these immersive learning experiences, students are well-equipped for the year of innovation ahead. Ai has a huge part to play in UAE’s National Innovation Strategy. Consequently, it is also a major component of Expo 2020 as well. As UAE gears towards the fast-approaching event, the students are enthusiastically curious about using Ai to put their imagination to work and manifest their innovative ideas into reality.

The Emirati youth is more than ready for the upcoming challenges ahead backed by their mentor and the State Minister for Artificial Intelligence, His Excellency Omar Sultan Bin Olama, “Youth have a responsibility to contribute to the development of the region and look into the use of future technologies for a better future for all.” Speaking to a conference in Sharjah, he stressed upon the importance of AI as part of youth’s everyday life now and said, “Each of you have to be aware how to use it and develop it for you to be able to adopt it.”


Future of Education – Exploring Alternatives in Teaching Practices with Artificial Intelligence

Future of Education – Exploring Alternatives in Teaching Practices with Artificial Intelligence

As the world prepares to celebrate Teacher’s Day on the fifth of October, UAE starts its tribute to teachers today at Sheraton Hotel, Sharjah. In honor of their services to the nation, the ‘Future of Education’ event has been held today, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

A learning enthusiast all his life, the presence of His Highness at the event was indeed inspiring for the educators. The formation of international Supervisory Educational Authority is the evidence of his vision for teaching profession in the UAE. Whereby the authority will supervise and improve all aspects of the educational process in private schools in the Emirates. “This body is working under my personal guidance to improve education, and will take care of everything going on in the classroom of the teacher evaluation and methods of teaching”, Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi said in an interview.

The Future of Education event today was an acknowledgement of the valuable contributions and dedication of the Arab teachers to the nation. Additionally, it also highlighted the role of innovative technologies in the classroom. How the classroom learning and interaction are being affected by the technology. How can teachers help to incorporate technology in the school curriculum for better academic outcomes. The participants were also enlightened about how the future classrooms will be impacted by immersive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

The government is most focused on transforming the landscape of the entire economic development based on modern education techniques. This is a mission that can only be accomplished through dedicated efforts of the teachers. In line with the same vision, the Teachers Association UAE has done tremendous work to improve classroom education. As a hub for teachers’ development, the association is a platform for education professionals to connect and improve teaching practices. Present at the event was also Munfarid VRXOne, one of the mentor organizations to empower local Emirati teachers through methods in deep learning. VRXOne has pioneered the transformation through innovation in immersive, experiential learning using AR, VR and Ai programs.

Artificial Intelligence is taking hands-on learning to next level both within the classroom and without. As Ai uses students’ performance data to improve classroom instruction and education, it also makes the curriculum much more versatile. The versatility means that the curriculum can be customized to a student’s learning tendencies. This way, Ai helps develop an impactful student-teacher relationship through personalized education strategies.

Automation of processes, for instance grading, frees up time for teachers to invest helping students to develop important life skills. The lessons in robotics and machine learning, such as Google Ai programs, help teachers in getting students to understand concepts better. Moreover these programs push students towards developing innovative thinking and entrepreneurial aptitude. Ai technology in classroom ensures that all the students have access to high-quality education.

This is something that educators today are fast realizing and see as a challenge that must be addressed. Sreejit Chakrabarty, the robotics manager at Gems Dubai American Academy sees huge potential for Ai as a core subject, saying, “Naturally, this Ai literacy brings in and helps students to extend their knowledge of English, Maths and Coding. For example, by seeing how their programming strategies are reflected in the learning and behavior of a machine, they can better grasp abstract concepts such as cause and effect. They can also get immediate feedback from the machine and iterate their ideas based upon this. These are powerful opportunities for learning in a cross-disciplinary way.”

The head of curriculum at the Kindergarten Starters, Gauri Meghani goes a step further in her approach to adopt Ai in classrooms. She would like Ai integrated with all other subjects simultaneously. In her view, a blended approach towards student-machine interaction is way more beneficial for children. She explained, “Our grades 3, 4 and 5 have learnt to Program LEGO Education Wedo 1.0 and 2.0. They have used all the sensors, motion and display blocks to make their robots do different tasks, like sailing a boat, for example. These activities have instilled a deeper understanding of math and science concepts and evidence-based reasoning.”

The use of technology makes schools much more efficient and innovative learning environments. Students today have the opportunity to actually explore and get involved with the educational experience. And this is only possible when teachers are empowered through technology to enhance their pedagogical performance and communication.

A Sneak Peek Into the UAE Innovation Month 2018

As the start-up drive proliferates in the Middle East, government and citizens come together to magnify tech growth with an emphasis on community betterment.

 

The United Arab Emirates, in an attempt to shape the nation’s future, has shown a keen desire to instill creativity in youth. In the ongoing month of February, the country celebrates inventiveness with the organization of ‘UAE Innovation Month 2018’. The month is dedicated to the enterprising spirit of UAE’s visionary leadership. It is a manifestation of UAE’s plan to equip and nurture a culture of innovation. The program has seen hearty participation from citizens across the seven emirates where activities, programs, and conferences showing various innovations in UAE are being conducted in full swing.

 

Most prominent universities and schools are hosting innovation programs to prepare the students for real-world challenges. Education technology takes the center-stage everywhere given the massive potential and proven results. The purpose of investing in an Edtech Revolution is apparent. The aspiration is to raise an Emirati workforce that can enjoy good living standards through increased productivity and high-wage jobs.

 

In an initiative to hail inventive and creative thinkers, the Google Innovation Hub UAE was launched in the first week of February at the UAE University’s Science and Innovation Park. The first of its kind center in the Middle East can cater up to 120 students daily and train them for essential skills in 3D printing, Makers Space, laser cutting, machine learning, app development, robotics, etc. The Makers Space courses can be undertaken by students aged 8 to 16 whereas the Machine Learning and App Factory courses, comprising coding in virtual reality and lessons in robotics can be taken by students aged 16 to 24. The center for technological excellence is poised to steer innovation in education in UAE.

The prime focus of innovation hub is to amplify the progression of science and technology and equip the students with the best of Google resources. The tech hub is a venue for aspiring developers and tech enthusiasts to engage directly with companies and training partners like Google. Essential parts of the innovation center will be technology-related events, workshops, and coworking spaces.

 

The inauguration ceremony was graced by the Lt-Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior UAE. His Excellency was escorted by other Government ministers and representatives of Google throughout the launch event. During the event, H.E. was seen interacting with the participants, also showing an avid interest in demonstrations, especially of the wearable technologies like Virtual Reality.

 

The Chairman of Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, Saif Ali Al Qubaisi was delighted at the inaugration of the hub, “I’m extremely proud that we’ve opened the Innovation Hub Powered by Google. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that will allow students to participate in valuable high-tech classes, which will benefit the next generation of talented minds here in the UAE.”

 

“Alongside UAE University (UAEU), the Abu Dhabi Department of Education (Adek) and Google, we aim to achieve the long-term vision for the UAE by developing the innovative and technological skills of the country’s people.”

 

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Adek, Chancellor of UAEU and member of the Executive Council shared a similar optimistic emotion, “This is an agenda that aims to enhance awareness of the importance of innovation and digital creativity.

 

“Artificial intelligence is the engine driving forward the Fourth Industrial Revolution; it encourages companies around the world to design innovative products by using artificial intelligence.”

 

Such initiatives and establishments are the templates for urban success. They drive us to believe that innovation is a work ethic and a way of life.

 

Transition to a knowledge-based economy is fortified by the establishment of these innovation centers focussing on STEM subjects. The drive also supports overall internet ecosystem in the country.

 

Elementary and middle school students gain immense confidence when receiving hands-on training. This fact has been emphasized enough