A new dimension in Education

By October 30, 2018Education

The increasing speed of technological transformation poses huge challenges and opportunities. If we want to keep our societies healthy, democratic and fair, we must ensure that we understand and benefit from this change. A radical shift in the way we learn and train is extremely needed to achieve so.

“What if you had the opportunity of walking on the cliff of a volcano with your classmates while studying geology?”

The power of games

The most natural and effective way in which all us mammals learn is through experience and game. Virtual reality allows us to recreate realistic learning situations that you can experience anywhere, without limits. What if you had the opportunity of walking on the cliff of a volcano with your classmates while studying geology? Wouldn’t it be more fun and engaging? Think about an oil company rehearsing an emergency plan from their headquarters multiple times instead of doing it once. Wouldn’t it be safer and more effective? 

How we started with VR

Beyond The Gate was born one year ago exactly with the mission of harnessing the potential of virtual reality to make learning more effective and engaging. We believe that such experiences need to be multiplayer so that our users can learn together exercising communication and collaboration: skills that make the difference in professional and personal life of the XXI century.

How did it all start? Just like every other start-up we didn’t have a proper office. Our “garage” was my grandmother house. It was me, with a gaming PC and Samuele, a young 3D artist from Pavia, whom I met online.

Our first project at the Sforza Castle

At first it seemed most natural to focus on the great beauty that surrounds us in Italy: art and cultural heritage. We created a prototype of one of the icons of Milano, the Sforza Castle. We then made it better, in collaboration with many talented creatives, the Università Statale di Milano and the City Council. We launched it in March 2018 and in few months thousands of visitors travelled back in time with us to discover the castle’s defence systems as active protagonists rather than spectators.

Video Teaser of the castle experience.

With the start of the school year we had also several classes coming for an unusual field trip in the history of Milan. It was great to see how students felt natural with this new media and teachers were excited about the use of the technology applied to their curricula (We will talk more about this in a future post). Although there is much to learn and discover about the use of VR in education, our first experiment confirmed what emerged from similar experiences: VR, as new media, increases student engagement.

The next destination is multiplayer

On the base of these early findings we are now developing a new exciting platform that will bring small groups of people “inside” different topics, to experience them in first person. Teams will have to cooperate in order to succeed! The idea is to harness the potential of team play to make students, families and “why not?” businesses to get out their comfort zones and collaborate in unusual situations. If this stuff sounds interesting do subscribe to our mailing list. Me and my team will keep you in the loop with what happens with immersive technologies, education and training.

Our office in Milano Affori

We will be writing from our new studio in Milano (Affori area) about our activities, but also about interesting stuff happening in the Edtech world.

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Marco Arena

Author Marco Arena

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