Projekt Mladi za(S)klad VR – (The Youth Project for the VR Fund)

Type of document: VR / AR methodology, Good practice example

Country of origin: Slovenia

Issuing body/Authors: Državni izobraževalni zavod Jožef Štefan Trst

CT: VR FOCUS: VR / AR support, Formal education

Short description

The Youth Project for the VR Fund is a large-scale project financed by the Mitja Čuk Fund and is divided into two parts: education of teaching staff and education of students in the field of immersion technologies. The first phase of the project started in November 2021 at the Jožef Štefano Institute of Technology in Trieste with the first of two trainings for teaching staff. From January to May 2022, lectures were held for four classes of the electronic and mechanical department. During the 25-hour course, which took place both in the morning and in the afternoon, the students learned about the basics of Augmented Reality – AR, Virtual Reality – VR and Mixed Reality – MR tools, the concept of immersion and the basics of 3D graphics and 3D modelling.

New technologies and widely applicable innovations, which characterize Industry 4.0, are being introduced and implemented significantly faster and more extensively than in the past and are radically changing the world in which we live. It is precisely for this reason that it is important that educational systems proactively respond to such changes and use these technologies in updating the learning process.

The goal of the project was not only the bare upgrading of the students’ technological knowledge in the field of immersion technologies. While developing digital literacy, the students also strengthened technical and professional knowledge, communication skills in a foreign (English) language and soft skills, such as self-initiative, solving complex problems and creativity.

At the Mitja Čuk Foundation, they realized the potential of immersive technologies in the 2019/2020 school year, when they designed the Youth project for the VR Foundation, in which they offered teenagers the opportunity to create their own virtual space for socializing during shutdown of public life (covid pandemic) and in this way led to the responsible use of virtual or augmented reality technology. That’s when they came to the realization that digital technologies could be used for educational purposes.

Using immersive technologies makes the learning experience more effective and popular. This method encourages children and teenagers to quickly absorb knowledge, increases their motivation level and increases their level of engagement. The time to master the material is thus reduced by 75%.

The purpose of the project was to offer students and teaching staff an innovative project, which public education had difficulty including in the curriculum, mainly due to the lack of financial resources and the insufficient number of suitably qualified teaching staff.

Students tested these new technologies using the experiential learning method (learning by doing) and discovered their potential for themselves. Through the game, they explored, experimented, and created new ways of using augmented reality.

Today, the use of immersive technologies is no longer limited to the military industry and video games but is increasingly gaining ground in a wide variety of industries, in the fields of medicine, architecture, tourism, and more and more often seeps into art… and classrooms, where gadgets and consoles for virtual reality can improve the learning process, promote understanding of the material and increase student motivation.

The rise of digital technologies in science and industry and the advantages of their use in the learning process strengthen the belief that schools must strengthen new knowledge, skills and competences that open up new employment opportunities for students.

Target groups

  • Teachers, students