Ericsson has deployed a Virtual Reality (VR) training tool for its ongoing Connect to Learn program in Myanmar. Myanmar is one of the first countries in the world to implement VR as a professional development tool for teachers.

The deployment of the VR training tool is the latest phase in the Connect to Learn program. The tool allows teachers from 31 government secondary schools across Myanmar to practice integrating ICT into their day-to-day classroom teaching, even while they are away from the physical classroom. 

Daw Khin Mar Swe, Deputy Director General for the Department of Basic Education, Myanmar, says. “Connect to Learn has demonstrated the power of mobility, broadband and cloud solutions to provide students and teachers access to customized educational content, as well as to information sources around the globe. We have seen how this access to information supports collaborative learning, social awareness, and cultural sharing, and we are pleased that today we are introducing an innovative VR training module for teachers.”

Eric Timmer, Head of Ericsson Myanmar, says: “We consider students to be the ultimate beneficiaries of the VR training tool as this will allow the teachers who are part of the Connect to Learn program to adopt a more student-focused teaching style in the classroom. Furthermore, the fact that the teachers can continue to practice and develop their teaching methodology using VR, will help contribute to the sustainability of the Connect to Learn program.”

The VR training tool has four modules that are downloadable from a cloud-based server, with each module designed to allow teachers to practice methods of teaching that are more student-centered.

Teachers’ training performances are recorded and are accessible on a cloud-based server.  This feedback mechanism contributes to teachers’ motivation and self-improvement. The VR tool also provides a means for the Ministry of Education to equip teachers with improved pedagogical skills for student-centered teaching.

Heather Johnson, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, says: “Connect to Learn was conceived to address some of the challenges relating to secondary education access and quality. We launched this global education initiative in 2010, together with the Earth Institute of Columbia University and Millennium Promise, with the aim of scaling up access to quality secondary education.

“Connect to Learn does this by bringing ICT to schools in remote, resource-poor parts of the world, over mobile broadband. To date, Connect to Learn has been launched in 25 countries, benefiting over 120,000 students and engaging 17 mobile operators. Our largest Connect to Learn initiative is in Myanmar, where we have served 29,000 students to date.”

Since 2014, Connect to Learn has delivered connectivity, customized content, devices and teacher training to 31 schools across Bago, Mon and Mandalay, benefiting the education of 29,000 students to date. In addition to Ericsson, Myanmar consortium partners include Qualcomm, the Earth Institute, the Ministry of Education (MoE), and the Department of Basic Education.