Androgogic’s key to help a high school open its doors during lockdown

news_nov-2021_1.pngAt the start of 2021, the NSW COVID-19 restrictions were still limiting school visits. As a result, there was a palpable sense of disappointment when Principal Peter Marsh at Gymea Technology High School announced to their Parents & Citizens exec team that this year’s Open Night could not go ahead. Prior to the pandemic, these tours had been an annual event largely run by the students to open its doors to prospective families, who would have the opportunity to tour the school, chat with staff and students, and engage in classroom activities. 

“It’s a great experience for the new high school families,” said Karen Young, Secretary of the P&C. “There is a warm invitation that flows from the energy of the kids who present these open nights and it was a shame that 2022 prospective students were going to miss out.” 

Karen also happens to be a Senior Courseware Designer at Androgogic, and recognised that this problem had a solution within her skill set. “The event could easily be converted into a Virtual Reality tour—the format and structure of this unique experience was already there—it just needed to be captured with a 360 camera!” 

So when Karen pitched this concept to Peter Marsh, it was agreed that they all had to work fast with only 3 weeks before the big day.

“With Karen’s direction to understand how and what we needed to film, we planned the shoot around a ‘normal’ school day” said Peter Marsh. “Schools are busy places with so many people moving about making it quite tricky when capturing 360 video footage, but she knew what was needed and we did it!” 

Currently linked to the high school’s main website, this tour launches a 360 experience of the learning spaces filled with kids and teachers in action, highlighting some key innovations produced by the school. The viewer can interact in the virtual space, drag and drop icons to discover more information, and answer quiz questions to inform them about the school’s programs and initiatives. 

The authoring tool CenarioVR was used to develop the VR tour as well as using a GoPro Fusion camera to do the shoot—like how Androgogic’s award-winning MATE Bystander Program with Griffith University was created. 

“Using Virtual Reality as a way to tap into a learning experience is overlooked as an option,” said Karen. “Virtual Reality is becoming more accessible - it can open doors for everyone.”

Check out the tour here.