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Ericsson virtual reality training device benefits Myanmar teachers

A virtual reality (VR) training device has been set up as part of Ericsson’s Connect to Learn program in Myanmar. The company stated in its press release that Myanmar is among frontrunners in respect to using VR as a professional teacher development system.

The VR tool installation was the latest stage of the currently running Connect to Learn program. It enables teachers across 31 government-run Myanmar secondary schools to exercise ICT integration as a regular class teaching activity, despite being away from the classroom.

Daw Khin Mar Swe, the Deputy Director General, Department of Basic Education, Myanmar, stated that the Connect to Learn program has exhibited the capabilities of cloud, broadband and mobility offerings in delivering custom content to teachers, students, and external information sources.

Swe stressed that information availability helped in collective learning, social awareness, and sharing across cultures. He expressed gratitude in being able to release the innovative training component for teachers.

Eric Timmer, Ericsson Myanmar Head, stated that students stand to gain maximum benefits from the VR-based training system. Teachers who participate in the Connect to Learn program can develop actionable methods for student-oriented teaching. This program also enables teachers to culture and practice a VR-powered teaching approach, which ultimately contributes to the Connect to Learn program’s viability.

The VR-based training program has four different parts. Each of them can be downloaded by accessing a cloud-powered server. All training modules are designed to help teachers adopt methods that uplift education to student-friendly standards.

A cloud server is utilised to record data regarding the training performances of teachers. The data is part of a feedback system that works towards inspiring teachers and facilitating self-improvement. The Myanmar Ministry of Education can also use the program to help its teachers attain better skills for carrying out student-focused teaching.

Heather Johnson, the Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, stated that the Connect to Learn program was formulated to overcome hurdles related to the quality and accessibility of secondary education. The worldwide initiative was launched in 2010, along with Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Its key purpose has been enhancing the access to high-quality secondary education.

Johnson further described how the program helps in achieving its objective. She stated that the program incorporates ICT in educational institutions in deprived and remote regions, via the means of mobile broadband. According to her, the Connect to Learn program has been successfully launched across 25 countries. She added that that upwards of 120,000 students have reaped the benefits of the program, which also involved 17 mobile service providers. Johnson also acknowledged the Connect to Learn in Myanmar to be the largest operation, where more than 29,000 students have benefited.

The program, since 2014, has facilitated enhanced connectivity, custom educational content, devices deployment, and training of teachers. 29,000 students in 31 schools across Mon, Mandalay, and Bago have received the benefits. Partners also include Qualcomm, the Ministry of Education, the Department of Basic Education, and the Earth Institute.

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