We are the Overon VR team and let us present to you our KnowledgeTree VR platform. Our team has been building games and developing VR experiences since 2014 and we’ve known for a long time that VR will play a huge part in the future of education. Due to the epidemiological situation, we have to speed up the changes to reach this future earlier. Teachers and educators need our help now.
We need to maximize social distancing with school closures so students have to manage learning in their homes. Teachers are learning new ways of teaching and testing. This situation is new to everyone, parents try to study with their children, and students are struggling with the distracting elements of their everyday life. Though researchers claim that distance learning is the way forward, recent experience has shown that distance education raises several difficulties such as its moderate efficiency and its additional burden for the educators, students, and parents.
KnowledgeTree VR platform
VR has the power to engage students and our solution the Knowledge Tree Education Platform uses virtual reality as a tool to make teaching and learning more interactive and efficient. In the field of education, bridging the gap between the children born after 2000 and the conventional forms of teaching is essential. Knowledge Tree offers a more enjoyable way of learning for the students and provides a solution for teachers to meet the expectations of the "digital native" generation.
KnowledgeTree Editor for Teachers
A large variety of teaching materials are available online already but Knowledge Tree introduces a new element. We offer an EDITOR that gives opportunity for teachers to create their own VR teaching materials and share with their students wherever they are.
This EDITOR provides different virtual locations, effects, 3D objects and most importantly lots of interactive demonstration tools. Teachers can easily add texts, pictures, videos, and even record their own voice.
All materials produced with the EDITOR are accessible in the database of Knowledge Tree Platform to students from all over the world.
As a result, the platform is independent of country, educational system or the level of education; it is as useful in an elementary school in Western Europe as in a university in Africa.
Immersion and Gamification
Students are surrounded by many distractions but using a VR headset an answer to that problem because it gives the user a sense of complete immersion and helps to focus. Unlike traditional methods of learning, VR materials provide an opportunity to learn through experience. The students don’t passively watch videos but using the controllers, they can explore, examine, and experience the curricula. Knowledge Tree and VR education are immersive, interactive and using the practices of the gaming industry makes learning fun while becoming more efficient. Gamification means that studying can feel like playing a game: an easygoing and enjoyable activity regardless of your age. VR systems may look expensive but the benefits of VR education are available using a mobile phone with a 20 euros VR phone case, and to make it accessible to every student, Knowledge Tree also works on PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
KnowledgeTree Virtual School
Using the built-in administrative and social network platform, institutions and educational establishments can create their virtual schools within Knowledge Tree. Users can organize the students into classes or study circles and assign teachers to these groups; they can coordinate the delivery of the learning materials and personalize the structure of the curricula according to their and their student’s needs. The Social Network Platform also enables feedback and the evaluation of the student's progress, as well as giving a lecture in the virtual space before any number of viewers.
A KnowledgeTree VR is designed to support and supplement the existing educational methods and in times of crisis facilitates coping with the difficulties of distance learning.
Where are we now
We’ve been growing the idea of Knowledge Tree Platform for a long time but the major part of the work started due to EUvsVirus Hackathon. Besides the framework of our Platform, we are also working on interactive VR teaching materials. These will help us to develop the best technologies and organize them into universal tools that are handy and easy to use for non-VR professionals. Since the beginning, many teachers have joined our team, and their pieces of advice and suggestions have contributed to creating the most efficient teaching materials. During the EUvsVirus Hackathon, we received support and excellent tips that give a boost to our project and face us in the right direction. Thank you for the support of our mentor and the event organizers!
What to do next
For the full operation, we still need to develop a large variety of building blocks, objects, and interactive tools but a small number of means are enough to create the first simpler VR teaching materials. We are seeking partners to test the prototypes. University and high school educators can start to test the draft version of the platform within two months. Their feedback will mean an essential contribution to the further development of the teaching materials and the tools to create them. We intend to recruit program developers, designers, and teachers from all around the world to create KnowledgeTree Platform as quickly as possible because as we said: teachers and students need our help now. Our project will require financial partners as well. We plan to apply for EU resources allocated to support education. We are also keen to work with commercial investors if we have the common objective: to help learning and teaching.
The sustainability and the continuous expansion of the Platform requires a stable and routine revenue but we don’t plan to impose a financial burden on the teachers or students while any pandemic lasts. Rather, we count on the assistance of public entities and non-governmental organizations from the field of public education. The Platform itself is capable of meeting the needs of corporates, private schools and training centers which generates profit to ensure steady operation.
Possible income sources
- Corporate clients (HSE trainings, employee trainings)
- Private schools
- Public entities
- Monthly subscription for users at a very small rate