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Nuneaton Students Ride the Tech Bus to College for 360° Virtual Tours
This past year, colleges nationwide have been unusually quiet. Tumbleweed quiet. Hallways are empty of chatter, and the stampede of feet on a mission between classrooms is a distant clatter. Oh, yes, the effects of coronavirus have been disruptive. So much so that colleges have turned to technology as a means to reach prospective students. Discovering the power of VR and coaxing learners to explore their options via dynamic 360° virtual tours - all delivered by our pioneering platform LaunchYourCareer VR.
Our efforts to support schools was even covered by the BBC… read on to find out more.
The future of college tours, open days, and visits
One institution taking their campus to a new dimension is North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College. The college trialled our innovative approach to visits by opening its virtual doors in spectacular fashion to enthusiastic students at Nuneaton Academy. Highly immersive, the VR tour put learners at the heart of the campus with the freedom to explore courses and the environment at their own pace. All the while, tips, pointers, and support cues were always available to guide learners on their journey.
The tours took place as Nuneaton learners made their way back to school after a year-long lockdown. From the safety of their classroom, they collectively slipped on our cardboard headsets, and within seconds transported to the college. From its entrance, learners were treated to an audio-visual expedition where they could examine departments, gain insights into student life, watch videos, and see courses in action. The positive influence on colleges and learners alike led the BBC to cover the trial at Nuneaton Academy.
Aiding Learners Through Virtual Experiences
Technology is advancing at an accelerated pace. Everything is going online, not just your shopping basket. For a long time now, the education sector has been growing stagnant. Stuck in its old ways and stubborn to evolve. If the pandemic has taught us anything, digital is the way forward. Schools and colleges have the power to succeed with the right tools. Especially when it comes to career guidance and college recruitment.
Two concerns for colleges are recruitment and retention. Getting and keeping the finest students on their courses is getting harder. As college marketers spend hours crafting the right message to entice teens to visit their college, they could make the process easier with virtual tours. Blending all the things that make their college great into one cohesive, interactive online experience. Informing learners in engaging ways.
Greg Parker, director of career-led learning at Launch Your Career, said: ‘Planning for the future is a key step to helping learners get on track. Our technology allows them to experience college environments they might study. With a click of the VR headset, they can also explore a variety of courses available. It’s the closest they can get to the real thing, and because it’s immersive, it feels like they’re really at college.’
For example, learners at Nuneaton Academy were inspired to follow their passions. Budding florists could visit onsite flower shops. Would-be mechanics could walk into garage workshops. Future fitness trainers could check out gym facilities. Then, when they’ve found courses they like and are famished, they could explore a canteen where they may one day be sitting with their friends deep in conversation.
Are educators ready to go virtual?
The pandemic won’t be around forever. But engaging learners and keeping their attention will always be paramount. Giving learners access to more resource, information, or ways to interact with new opportunities should be on every teacher’s agenda. Even beyond Covid, the capability to empower learners to visit a college of their own volition is fundamental. Virtual reality can make a difference…
Allison Louth, school marketing officer at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, said: ‘Through virtual reality, we can create a fabulous, close to real-world experience where potentially anyone with the internet and a headset can access our college. We’ve now got a lot more accessibility for pupils to access information. It the perfect solution to staying safe [and] gives teenagers a taste of life at the college.’
Lara Hall, principal at Nuneaton Academy, added: ‘It gives learners a goal. I think that’s the main thing in this. It’s not about them surviving a pandemic but thriving and having the aspiration to do what they want to do when they leave school. This is a perfect way to bring future opportunities alive for them.’
With a new wave of digitally savvy learners coming forward every year, now’s the time to embrace the future. Nuneaton Academy noticed this. Always forward-thinking and ready to create virtual accessibility for its pupils, the school relished the chance to share our VR experience to give learners a slice of college. Students at Nuneaton were impressed, too. One student exclaimed: ‘I found it interesting to see what courses I could take.’ Likewise, another pupil said it was ‘useful for those who haven’t made a choice yet.’
If you’re a college and want to know how virtual tours can maximise recruitment and learners’ success for the future, then please allow us to give you a tour of how it all works. Please click here to sign up.
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