The chief executive of the Education & Training Foundation says he has been ‘blown away’ by the new virtual and augmented reality facilities at Telford College.
Mr Russell heads up the government-backed national support body for the further education and training sector – which describes itself as ‘the guardian of professional standards for the sector’.
He took to Twitter to say: “Quite blown away by the learning technology I’ve seen at the VR/AR centre at Telford College. So much potential to be used to enhance education. A very exciting professional development challenge for staff.”
Creative studies students are the first group to experience our virtual and augmented reality suite
Anna Dowdall, lecturer in creative studies, felt the feedback from students had been brilliant.
“The group came to use Google Earth and visit locations from around the world, so that they could choose a landscape of their choice to paint, inspired by the style and technique of the French Impressionist artists,” she said.
“The training session also allowed myself and fellow tutor Joe Adams to try the new equipment for the first time – it was fun to experiment with the equipment, and to try new things.
“We were especially impressed with the way the technology allows us to see amazing locations and feel like we are there. I’m so pleased I could share it with the students.”
She added: “It was lovely to see the students laughing, and joking together, all helping each other to use the technical equipment and put on the head sets. The group loved it, and had never experienced some of those situations before.”
The VR/AR suite is based on the top floor of the college’s W block, and is taking technology-led learning to a new dimension with an array of cutting-edge equipment.
It has been kitted out with the latest immersive virtual and augmented reality teaching aids and software packages, including:
- A virtual reality ‘cave’ which can transport you into a learning or working environment anywhere in the world, recreating any climate, or environment
- Interactive mirrors, and ‘smart glasses’
- Virtual reality and motion simulators
- A hydroscopic 3D presentation screen
Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of the college, said: “We’re all really excited about the opportunities which this new suite opens up for students, as well as for our partners and
“This is the future of learning – education has to adapt to young people’s modern-day lifestyles, which means we should no longer put all the emphasis on traditional classroom-style tuition.
“What we have created here at Telford College is one of the most exciting, sophisticated and interactive learning experiences in the region, adding to our university-standard facilities.”