Oculus will provide headsets and training to three new pilot locations alongside a fresh helping of educational VR content.
Oculus Education continues its ongoing streak of generosity with the expansion of its educational pilot programs to Taiwan, Japan, and Seattle. The company previously partnered with the California State Library system to deliver 100 Oculus Rift’s and VR-ready PCs across 90 libraries.
Now Oculus seeks to spread the adoption of VR technology even further by providing museums, libraries, and schools across three new locations with the latest Oculus products, new educational experiences, and in depth training for teachers.
With the assistance of the Taiwan Internet and E-Commerce Association, the East Asia state will receive both Oculus Rift and Oculus Go headsets, which will be made available throughout the following locations: American Innovation Center, Kaohsiung Main Public Library Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, National Central Library, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Natural Science, National Taiwan Museum, New Taipei City Library (Main Library), Social Innovation Lab, Taipei Public Library (Main Library), and Taroko National Park Headquarters.
Partnering with Seattle Public Schools, specifically Ballard High School and Franklin High School, Oculus hopes to kick off the 2018-2019 school year right with a VR creation and learning program designed to prove the technologies relevance in the classroom. Students at both schools will create their own VR experiences throughout the year, presenting their final project at the culmination of the semester. Not only that, but they’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate online from across the two schools using VR.
Japan’s pilot program, on the other hand, is focused more on connecting educators to students in remote parts of the country. Oculus sees an opportunity to provide proper education to those who may be located far from a school by linking them with trained instructors through VR.
Each of these locations will utilize the technology in ways relevant to their offerings, such as an art museum offering visitors the chance to design their own VR masterpiece using programs, such as Quill, or a school providing an academic experience relevant to the coursework.
Of course these programs would be fairly meaningless without a solid catalogue of education content to inspire and stimulate. Luckily, these new pilot programs come on the heels of three new academic experiences centered around key topics such as science, culture and history.
BREAKING BOUNDARIES IN SCIENCE
Available on Oculus Go and Gear VR, Breaking Boundaries in Science explores the unprecedented scientific achievements of histories most brilliant women. Users will dive into the lives and accomplishments of primatologist Dr. Jane Goodal, famous for her groundbreaking study of wild chimpanzees, Marie Curie, discoverer of uraniam and first female winner of a Nobel Prize, and US Navy Rear Admiral Grace “Amazing Grace” Hopper, a skilled programmer responsible for the revolutionary COBOL programming language.
Last week saw the official release of Titanic VR, a jaw-dropping recreation of the famous sinking of the RMS Titanic. Users have the opportunity to experience the terror of being aboard the doomed vessel as passengers frantically clamor for the lifeboats. Not only that, but they can also fast-forward in time to explore the massive sunken wreckage that now lies deep below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean via an open-ended sandbox mode.
HOOVER DAM: INDUSTRIAL VR
Powered by Unreal Engine 4, Hoover Dam: IndustrialVR is a virtual documentary experience giving users an unbelievable behind-the-scenes look of Nevada’s massive structure. Users can choose to fly over the jaw-dropping piece of engineering genius, or head deep into dam and explore its inner-workings.
All three of these experiences are available now via the Oculus Store.
Image Credit: Immersive VR Education / Oculus / Filament Games