Irish virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) software firm, Immersive VR Education (IVRE), has won the “EdTech Company Setting a Trend” EdTech 2019 Award. IVRE saw off strong competition from entrants all over the world, all of whom were judged on a variety of criteria, including pedagogical workability, efficacy and results, support, clarity, value and potential.

The judges were impressed by the software creator’s work on the development of their ENGAGE platform, an online virtual social learning and presentation platform. ENGAGE is a powerful virtual reality collaboration and creation tool, that allows educators and corporate trainers to host meetings, classes, private tutorials, training sessions and presentations with people from all over the world, participating in a safe, virtual, multi-user environment.

Established in 2010, the US-based Ed-tech awards program is the largest and most competitive recognition program in all of education technology, recognizing the biggest names in EdTech. The awards, run in association with EdTech Digest, recognise people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology, to enrich the lives of learners everywhere.

Speaking of their award win, which is their second this year to date, David Whelan, Co-founder & CEO of VR Education Holdings,

“These awards represent exactly where we want to be in the world of education technology – leading the charge in the growth and development in teaching & learning practices all around the world. Our goal has always been to make education interesting, informative, interactive and most importantly accessible to all. Learning is power – it’s what gives you a start in life, and enables the world to keep moving forward. No matter what your age or where you are, everyone deserves the opportunity to learn.

And we believe so strongly that VR has a pivotal role to play in the world of education – and ENGAGE can be the backbone of this. The platform itself is unparalleled in its ability to immerse the user into their learning experience, in order to increase learning retention and engagement

Most people, children and adults alike, are eager to learn – they want to take in knowledge about the world around them, but to attract and hold attention it has to be made interesting, relevant and where possible, exciting. And learning by its very nature is exciting – taking in information that you never knew before, seeing its application in real life – this can be a fascinating experience if presented in the right way. That’s exactly what ENGAGE gives to users – a chance to present this knowledge the way it should be seen and heard”.

Victor Rivero, who as Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest, oversees the program commented,

“These awards are nearly a decade in, and the people driving EdTech forward persist in their passion to improve learning. The EdTech Awards 2019 celebrates EdTech’s best and brightest all year long; innovators, leaders, and trendsetters who are shaping the future of learning. In an age of rapid technological change—innovators, leaders, and trendsetters are our greatest treasures. If our age is golden, they’re lighting the way. These are the creators and champions of the sufficiently advanced technologies that sometimes wow us, seek to help us, and ultimately move us forward.

Be ENGAGED

Mr. Whelan went on to speak about VR Education’s ‘mission’ in the education sector,

“We want to be the company at the forefront of mainstreaming VR technology in education. ENGAGE is at the cutting edge of this technology’s usage in the education sector. It is uniquely placed to do two things. Firstly, help educators visualise how the technology can positively impact their profession and their ability to influence students’ participation and performance and secondly, become synonymous with education and training technology, in the ‘learning space’ which can be applied anywhere – whether it is in an interactive museum, a second level school, a university, or a corporate training setting.

ENGAGE (See Appendix) is an online virtual social learning and presentation platform. It is a powerful virtual reality collaboration and creation tool, that allows educators and corporate trainers to host meetings, classes, private tutorials, training sessions and presentations with people from all over the world, participating in a safe, virtual, multi-user environment.

It is designed to either complement and enhance classroom teaching, or for use in a standalone environment, providing distance learners with access and opportunities to connect at a new level with their fellow students.

The EdTech Landscape

The EdTech ecosystem is now more than 15,000 companies strong, with hundreds of thousands of educators using technology to enhance, improve, and transform their everyday work. More than US$50 Billion has been invested worldwide across the global EdTech landscape in just the last several years while global education and training expenditure is set to reach a whopping $10 Trillion by 2030, according to some estimates.

Mr. Whelan spoke of the exciting future ahead for ed tech,

“Recent studies have shown the use of VR in education has a positive impact on knowledge retention and actually improves the learning experience overall. We are only at the cusp of the ed tech revolution and the possibilities and permutations of how technology can shape the education of future generations is endless.

The developments in automation and innovative technologies within the educational sphere are progressing at a rate of knots and a commonality we find in these advancements is that ed tech has the potential to immerse the student further into the learning experience than ever before – building on and complementing more traditional methods rather than replacing what has gone before.

ENGAGE is the perfect example of this – it has the potential to transform distance learning – taking the conceptual to the practical with the touch of a button.”

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