Over 100 teachers cultivated skills such as empathy using virtual reality technologies during trainings across the island as part of a European Erasmus+ project.
In the context of the European project VRTEACHER – Virtual Reality-based Training to improvE digital Competences of teachers, in which the Cyprus University of Technology is the coordinator, joint training activities were organised by the Cyprus University of Technology and the Peadagogical Institute Cyprus using Virtual Reality technologies for in-service and pre-service teachers.
More than 100 in-service teachers participated in the educational activities and had the opportunity to be trained in issues related to the use of virtual reality in education as well as to use the virtual reality pilot application created in the context of the VRTEACHER project by the Cyprus University of Technology in collaboration with the Carlos III University of Madrid.
The pilot VRTEACHER application aims to cultivate teachers’ skills, such as empathy, self-esteem, adaptability, and critical thinking. During the training, the teachers had the opportunity to experience the scenarios through the eyes of the teacher, but also experience the same incident through the eyes of their students through a change of “virtual body”.
The educational activities were divided into three phases: initially, an online lecture was organised in early December 2022, where the VRTEACHER project was presented to teachers and an introduction was made regarding the use of Virtual Reality in education. Afterwards, the participants were divided into small groups and took part in training activities that took place at the Peadagogical Institute in Nicosia, the Cyprus University of Technology in Limassol and the Aradippou 4th Primary School in Larnaca. In this training, teachers had the opportunity to use the pilot VRTEACHER Virtual Reality application and provide feedback on their experience.
At the last online meeting in January 2023, the teachers who participated in the process had the opportunity to reflect on the experience and exchange opinions about the use of Virtual Reality in teacher training.
During this last online meeting, the teachers expressed the positive thoughts they got from their training with the pilot application created in the context of the project and proposed new topics that can be included in the future, as well as other suggestions for improvements. The planning and implementation of the training were delivered by the scientific manager of the project, Dr Kalliopi-Evangelia Stavroulia.
The University of Technology, as the coordinator of the project, would like to emphasize the important contribution of the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute to the successful co-organization of the educational-training activities and to warmly thank Assoc. Director Dr Eleni Chatzikakou and Professor Dr Christos Rousias for their valuable support and assistance. Our cooperation in the VRTEACHER project will form the basis for further cooperation both for the specific program and for new initiatives.
We would like to sincerely thank the teachers for their interest and participation, the time they devoted to all the activities that took place and the valuable comments and thoughts they shared with us. Also, we would like to thank all members of the VRTEACHER consortium for their contribution in the process, and especially Dr. Christos Kyrlitsias and Mr Lefteris Ioannou who were in charge of the development of the Virtual Reality Application used during the training events.
The VRTEACHER program involves six partners from five countries: Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus), Aegean University (Greece), University Carlos III of Madrid (Spain), Fundación Siglo22 (Spain), Future In Perspective Limited (Ireland), and Commonwealth Center for Connected Learning (Malta). The coordinator of the project is the Social Informatics Research Unit, through the Visual Media Computing Lab of the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology. More details about the program are available on the official project page https://www.vrteacher.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/VRTEACHERproject.
Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News