ClassVR: Sri Lanka Ministry of Education
Following a competitive tendering process, Avantis was awarded a contract to deliver 3000 headsets to over 460 schools in Sri Lanka.
The 13 Years Guaranteed Education programme is an ambitious project being undertaken by the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka to improve standards of education across the country for all students. It is designed to support vocational, technical and social skills for all children, to solve the problem of thousands of students leaving the education system before gaining any qualifications.
This programme has many facets, including an overhaul of the curriculum, teaching approaches and schooling streams. Its focus on vocational, work-oriented learning is intended to create improved economic opportunities for all students. As such, the Ministry of Education proposed a system of immersive virtual learning to support and extend these practical objectives.
Customisation and Configuration
Avantis’ team of Educational Specialists worked with Sri Lankan partners to create a customised approach for the demands of the local curriculum and teaching approach. They aligned the resources to the aims of the 13 Years Guaranteed Education Programme, sourcing content applicable to the specific needs of teachers and students.
Bespoke Collections of Resources
Individual collections of resources to support the teaching of specific areas of the curriculum were hand-picked by Educational Specialists. These included 360-degree images and videos, plus 3D models in mixed reality. A wide range of traditional, vocational and social subjects were covered, including agriculture, catering, design, engineering, business English and the arts.
Teaching Support Materials
Each collection of resources was supported by a simple, easy-to-use booklet outlining the collections of resources and providing teachers and students with QR codes. These can be scanned to change which content is available on the headset at any given time.
Customised Technical Configuration
Networking infrastructure in Sri Lanka is sporadic, and as such Avantis needed to ensure that any solution we provided could be used effectively in an offline environment. All content was preloaded onto every headset before dispatch, and an innovative offline QR code system used to allow teachers and students to switch available experiences.
Content can also be sent seamlessly to headsets online where Wi-Fi is available, with teachers able to log onto the ClassVR Portal and access all available resources, harnessing the full control capabilities of the device management system. Where applicable, teachers could also access the free ClassVR Connect app to control headsets in an offline environment (via local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth).
Future additions to the bank of curriculum-specific content and software can also be deployed offline by implemeting a simple USB-stick method; this permits application of updates even in an environment where internet access is limited or unavailable.
Dedicated UK Avantis staff members worked with local partners to manage the implementation process in a tight turnaround time.
Hardware, software, content and accessories were all supplied and managed by Avantis, ensuring a smooth deployment from factory to school every step of the way, with deliveries of equipment timed to maximise training time and minimise disruption.
Avantis consulted with the Ministry of Education to establish the networking requirements of the schools and ensure that equipment could be used effectively even in those institutions without reliable Wi-Fi or internet access.
Initial Training Sessions
Key teachers from the schools taking part in the project attended training sessions, led by experienced trainers from Avantis alongside local training partners. These sessions were carefully designed to provide staff with the knowledge and skills they required to begin using ClassVR effectively in their teaching.
Ongoing Training and Support
This initial training was supplemented by access to online training courses that cover all aspects of the product and its use in the classroom, plus additional training sessions delivered by local partners to refocus staff after their initial experiences with ClassVR.
Monitoring and Impact
Where online Wi-Fi connectivity is reliable, device properties, including battery level, Wi-Fi connectivity and usage can be monitored at a high level via the ClassVR portal by administrators, enabling time-critical support to be offered remotely and giving insight into potential problems.
Devices used online also report back launch and usage statistics to the Portal; this provides insight into which specific resources are being used, when, and how frequently. Access to this data informs future content planning and potential training approaches.
Experienced staff in the UK committed to ongoing professional development of local staff and were available to discuss high-level educational questions with the Ministry.
Local technical support is provided by Avantis’ regional partners, who were trained by expert technical staff from the UK. This results in a fast turnaround time for any hardware issues. Online ticketing escalation systems are used to raise any problems that local partners are not equipped to solve, in order to best support customers.