Tees Valley is one of the leading areas in the UK for developing AR/VR. Not only do we have rapidly growing companies that seem to expand every few months but we also have Teesside University with a world renowned digital range of courses on offer. Graduates regularly pop up in games and virtualisation companies all over the world. It is one of the reasons we have the International Animex Festival here every year with speakers from companies like Pixar and Disney. Surprised by this? Well the surprise is that many people in the Tees Valley don’t even know this!
Our Altered Reality days are an opportunity for schools to bring pupils to experience some of the latest tech and learn about careers and companies locally that work in this sector. We also build in a virtual task that requires collaboration and effective teamwork skills.
Our new Oculus Go headsets worked really well today to complement the more ‘in depth’ Vive that really transports the children into the virtual world. Alongside that we had a visit to the 360 projection dome and some Google Expeditions.
For the session we became human pioneers. After being blasted into space as a colony crew, we found a planet and built a new society. To ensure we planned it effectively Georgia (Wynyard Primary) and Gabriella (Acklam Whin Primary) were elected as joint mayors and directed building works for different aspects of the new town. This was then created in Minecraft Education Edition with every child contributing to the city with assigned roles. The level of co-operation, effective listening, compromise and co-ordination to achieve this was evident from the first moment and the two mayors worked really effectively as a team, ensuring they kept each other in the loop with decisions they had made. They told us that the end that it had been a really hard job Bec cause with the role came the responsibility of making a decision and potentially upsetting someone. I can honestly say that after watching them come up with effective solutions for the best part of an hour from a constant stream of requests, the world is in safe hands when they grow up!
Here are some of the pupils’ constructions despite only having half an hour or so to plan and build. Amazing.