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Social Distancing has elevated the need for effective Distance Learning – and Irish companies are responding

Innovative, immersive VR-based education is helping bridge the knowledge gap and make E-learning more engaging and effective than ever before.

In this time of social distancing, the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the need for e-learning options. Students and professionals alike are looking for ways to continue their education, and to learn and train while they are stuck at home, away from school, the office, and others.

According to BusinessWire, in 2018, the global E-Learning market was valued at around $190 billion US, and that number is expected to grow at around 7% a year from 2019 to 2025. The increased prevalence of tech-enabled learning is the main driver of this market growth, and the pandemic will certainly increase interest in the E-learning market. The year-over-year growth rate for 2020 is now estimated at 10.17%, and total market growth will accelerate at a CAGR of over 10%. Nearly 40% of the growth will originate from North America.

New technology such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), as well as AI, data analytics, and machine learning are making it easier than ever for people to experience educational content in innovative and immersive new ways. Many Irish companies play a part in this, offering up their learning platforms to people, allowing them to engage with content remotely. For example, technology now allows students to attend virtual classrooms, interact with instructors and peers, and have content tailored to their learning styles with optimum efficiency.

A host of Enterprise Ireland supported companies are coming on strong, advancing the technologies and capabilities of E-learning. Here’s a quick look at the innovative companies that are shaping the next generation of E-learning systems and technologies:

Enterprise Ireland- supported companies:

Code Institute

Code Institute provides companies with a cost-efficient mechanism for developing a pipeline of tech talent. Their industry-led and university-validated curriculum ensure graduates are highly-skilled, job-ready software developers with a globally recognized qualification. Companies can choose between online, in-person, or remote team learning, depending on its own learning outcome requirements. With a variety of delivery mechanisms, students can graduate in as little as 14 weeks.

Digisoft

Digisoft builds and hosts interactive multimedia for the pharma and life sciences market. CyberTwin, by Digisoft, helps Production Managers and Digital Transformation leaders who are limiting visitors to their facility during this time. A CyberTwin virtual representation of a facility can provide an automated or self-guided tour to visitors remotely. These tours can be narrated and include explainer videos for critical parts of the process and even allow visitors to see inside otherwise inaccessible areas. CyberTwin also provides an IoT dashboard for remote maintenance. 

Immersive VR Education

Immersive VR Education Ltd is a VR software company dedicated to creating quality education experiences for all students. Their core product is the education platform ENGAGE, that enables educators and corporate enterprises to share their own content with their global audience with ease in a virtual setting through VR hardware such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Students and employees can globally interact and collaborate- hosting meetings, private lessons, workshops, and presentations in a safe virtual multi-user global environment. 

Intuition

Intuition is a leading global knowledge solutions company dedicated to engaging, motivating, and inspiring workforces to become better versions of themselves. The company works with clients to develop the skills and expertise they need in key business areas, such as technical and professional skills, risk and compliance, onboarding and induction, customer and partner education, sales and product knowledge, change, and transformation. By incorporating a range of digital content, assets, and delivery mechanisms, the eLearning provider conducts engaging workshops for a worldwide audience. They also boast a range of award-winning technologies to help unlock critical knowledge needed to compete in this new world of work

Prodigy Learning

Prodigy Learning is an award-winning EdTech business providing digital skills certifications, learning solutions and professional development for Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, and other technologies. As part of the next evolution of digital learning and assessment, Prodigy Learning remains at the forefront of innovating and developing new skills pathways and credentials in the education and corporate sectors. They allow learners to receive digital skills certifications from a distance. All that is needed is the online video learning software and the practice tests that can be taken offline on any device, anywhere in the world.

Robotify

Robotify developed gamified coding to introduce children to the world of coding, teaching them real-world programming skills which they can develop into a hobby or career down the line. They provide students with the experience of learning to code using robotics. The robots live in the cloud so kids can learn from home. The Robotify software can be seamlessly integrated into any educational environment allowing educators with very little/no prior knowledge to teach code and robotics. They currently have a large range of interactive courses available online and are releasing new courses every month. Such as their new Mars course that shows kids what it’s like to be an astronaut.

UtilityAR

UtilityAR creates Augmented Reality solutions for industrial sectors like manufacturing, pharmaceutical, utilities, and data centers. Driven by the team’s experience in utilities and the industrial sector, UtilityAR is building the next generation of workplace and asset management tools for those industries. UtilityAR also offers a platform called ‘Remote Adviser’. This allows a more experienced person to use the forward-facing camera of a pair of augmented reality smart glasses to see what the local technician is seeing and to provide feedback to them on next steps audibly, using onscreen mark-ups or sharing their desktop while they are present and have their hands available to take the actions required to fix the problem. This function is especially beneficial when there is a need for limited personnel on a site.

VRAI

VRAI creates data-driven VR simulation training for high hazard environments. VRAI has created HEAT, a Hazardous Environment Awareness Trainer which combines authentic virtual training environments with cutting edge data capture and analytics to improve performance, safety, and training outcomes. HEAT allows organizations whose activities are risky, remote or rare to train in a more authentic, memorable, and measurable way.

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