NubianVR: Facilitating better access to VR educational tools
Building learning tools for educators and learners accessible in WebXR
NubianVR is a virtual reality innovation company based in Accra, Ghana. We are on a mission to provide educators and learners the tools to deliver and receive education in VR. It is our goal to converge the best-practice in digital learning into virtual environments.
In Africa, not only is the vast numbers of young people that are out of school concerning, but also the fact that the ones who attend, don’t learn. According to The Center for Universal Education at Brookings, it is estimated that ‘61 million children of primary school age – one-in-every-two across the region – will reach their adolescent years unable to read, write or perform basic numeracy tasks’. Shockingly, over half of these children will have spent at least four years in the education system.
Additionally, inadequate learning facilities – i.e. schools under-equipped with relevant labs and learning resources – as well as the distance learners have to travel from home to school, further contribute to the learning crisis.
Leveraging technologies – such as virtual reality – presents an opportunity for educational stakeholders to circumvent the physical barriers preventing children and youth from attaining quality education.
Globally, there is a skills gap in social and emotional learning - pairing VR together with other key digital innovations such as game-based tools promises a new way of learning and bridging these gaps, which are critical for a rapidly evolving world.
Virtual learning environments can provide better access to learning experiences that would otherwise be too costly or complex to set up in the real world. Our solution is designed to provide educators and learners with tools accessible in WebXR, thus eliminating a number of frictions between the technology, and the user.
In addition, we seek to explore more functionalities, such as delivering learning instructions, administering assessments and tracking all in virtual learning environments.
ON BEING OPEN SOURCE
With our solution open source, we’re able to collaborate on a global level with other actors that share our vision of attaining the SDG 4 (inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all). It also offers us the opportunity to test the resilience of our solution across various contexts -- providing us better insights on where to focus our efforts.
TEAM & DIVERSITY
As global citizens, our team is committed to working on global challenges. Collectively, we represent three nationalities from the African Continent with professional experiences in education, research, system design, software development, and management. Our team’s diversity reflects our capacity to solve multi-faceted problems -- through the collective pool of all our experiences.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund investment will enable our team to support and advance our research and development. The funding will help us expand our team to include two more full-time developers and a research assistant; all of whom will help us expedite the development of our solution. Part of this funding will also be directed towards piloting our technology with a school assessing the effectiveness of our solution. Data gathered during our pilot test will be key in enabling us to secure follow-on investment.
Our team is excited to have the opportunity to work alongside other emerging technology enthusiasts within the UNICEF Innovation Fund portfolio. We are particularly excited to collaborate with other start-up working in the Education Technology space encompassing Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Game Based Learning.
About UNICEF Innovation Fund: The Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that has the potential to impact children on a global scale. The core motivation of the IF is to fund "clusters" or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology, like UAVs, Blockchain, Data Science and AI or virtual reality - so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children.
As well as funding the start-up companies, UNICEF’s Innovation Fund will provide product and technology assistance, support with business growth, access to a network of experts and partners. The Fund also actively seeks second-round investment and support for companies it has invested in, as well as the opportunity to scale-up these technologies, when they are successful, in the more than 190 countries and territories where UNICEF operates.
More info: www.unicefinnovationfund.org
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