Pilot project seeks to apply virtual reality to education

By SU MYAT MON | FRONTIER

YANGON — Educational software developer 360ed will launch a pilot in Myanmar in early January aimed at harnessing technology to improve the standard of teaching.

The project will target both public and private schools, said 360ed co-founder Daw Hla Hla Win.

She said the pilot would have three components: massive open online courses in available to teachers in English and Myanmar languages; the use of virtual reality to take teachers into classrooms around the world; and online collaboration, such as sharing lesson plans and uploading videos.

“I am really passionate about bringing technology to Myanmar so we can leapfrog, especially in education,” said Hla Hla Win, who formerly worked as a teacher at Myanmar Egress before completing a Master of Public Administration at Harvard.

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She said she had previously wanted to open a “model school”, but decided to focus on educational technology after meeting 360ed co-founder Laurent Boinot. She said rather than improve education outcomes for hundreds of students, technology could be used to help thousands of students across the country.

“It’s very important to me that my daughter’s generation has the chance to keep up with students around the world,” she said.

Hla Hla Win’s previous experience as a teacher had highlighted the poor standard of training that most educators in Myanmar receive.

“We want to provide [teachers] with continuous and sustainable professional development at a cheaper price,” she said.

Laurent Boinot said that 360ed’s mission was to equip teachers in Myanmar with 21st century skills. He said virtual reality would enable them to learn from some of the best teachers around the world, adding that the pilot could “reinvent” the way teaching is learned.

Myanmar is the first country selected for a 360ed pilot project, with Bangladesh and Indonesia next in line.

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