30.10.2023 – In September 2023, the Regional Technological Center (RTC) in Flanders launched an ‘XR lending service’ as part of the “XR Action Plan,” enabling 150,000 students across Flanders to access XR technology for immersive learning experiences in various industries. VR Expert provided 1,000 Pico 4 Enterprise Headsets for 250 XR Kits, which will be distributed to 690 schools, allowing students to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
The aim of the XR Action Plan is to enable over 150,000 students to experience XR (extended reality) as part of their educational journey. The primary objective is to provide XR training and resources related to 30 different industries from healthcare to logistics and many more, which individual schools may not have been able to afford on their own. This enables vocational schools to facilitate a seamless transition from theory to practice, providing immersive experiences that empower students to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios.
To fulfill the hardware part of the project VR Expert was chosen to provide RTC with 1,000 Pico 4 Enterprise Headsets with controllers, routers, and specially designed by VR Expert cases, all of which will be assembled into 250 XR Kits. These XR Kits will be carefully allocated to cover all five provinces in Flanders. Each province’s RTC branch will oversee the loaning process of these kits to schools within their jurisdiction. This strategic approach ensures that each of 690 schools in Flanders will have the opportunity to loan and test an XR Kit.
Building upon this technological foundation, RTC is curating an extensive library of educational XR software, which is uploaded on the headsets and is available for the schools to utilize. All the software undergoes testing by RTC, ensuring that mostly content that offers educational value is included in the collection. The library includes training and materials across 30 different fields of study, including healthcare, car mechanics, construction, electricity, and logistics.
Over the course of the next two years, the content library will be gradually updated. By continually expanding the collection, RTC aims to provide an extensive ever-evolving XR software resource for schools, enabling students and teachers to access the latest advancements in XR technology, keeping the educational experience engaging and up-to-date.
To utilize the XR Kit and access the content library, it is essential for representatives from each school to complete the specially designed XR training provided by the XR Academy and RTC. This training program equips participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively utilize the XR technology and leverage the resources available in the content library. By concluding the XR Academy training, school representatives will be fully prepared to integrate XR technology into their educational practices, ensuring an effective learning experience for their students.
RTC is hard at work training ICT coordinators from each participating school. They will be facilitating the implementation of the XR Kit and content library in schools across Flanders. After the ICT coordinators are trained, the focus will shift towards providing comprehensive training for teachers. This training will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively integrate XR technology into their classrooms, maximizing the benefits of the XR Kit and content library for their students. By ensuring that both ICT coordinators and teachers are well-prepared, the project aims to create a supportive ecosystem where XR technology can thrive in vocational and technical schools throughout Flanders.
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