The Virtual Horizons Foundation was established to merge the universes of technology and education and to support a digital transformation of the polish school. The founders have been working professionally with virtual reality for years – from producing VR experiences to promoting their use not only for leisure purposes but also teaching and supporting social development.
Profiting from their wide experience in implementing VR projects the Foundation’s team mainly focuses on creating tools and educational content on the basis of that technology for the purpose of increasing the educational effectiveness and building key competences among pupils. The Foundation’s mission is also to support educational institutions in introducing technologies in schools.
Technological progress has gathered momentum since a few past years and plays now a more and more important role in the everyday life of all of us. It is thus natural to see it appear in the context of educational processes. In a long perspective teaching methods will undergo changes, especially with respect to pupils’ engagement in the process of building knowledge and to development of social and critical abilities as well as competences highly valued at the labour market. A more controlled and balanced introduction of digital solutions to the educational process represents an important and necessary step towards the adjustment of school to the requirements of modern world and technological trends, which influence all domains of our lives. Virtual reality enables pupils to acquire knowledge much more effectively, especially abstract ideas thanks to experiencing various places and situation in VR.
The Foundation prepared a full class scenarios using virtual reality content (360* films). The materials are well supplementing the core curriculum for elementary schools. The content is created with supervision of expert teams (teachers, psychologists, research institutions). All materials are also tested in chosen schools. The Foundation also prepared materials helping to deal with behaviour issues within the polish schools. The Foundation’s beneficiaries are thus pupils, teachers and parents.
School is a place where pupils not only acquire knowledge, but also social competences: the ability to coexist within a group of people and solve problems, the ability to cope with rejection or to implement the need for acceptance. When starting their education, kids are at different levels of emotional development and teachers face various behavior problems, which have a significant influence on the working comfort with a certain group of kids. Research shows that the scale of certain behaviours at schools is increasing such as violent behaviours, lack of tolerance for various forms of differences, lack of concentration skills among pupils and various spectra of emotional and social disorders.
Acknowledging the importance of this issues, the Foundation has prepared a set of scenarios for tutor’s classes accompanied by virtual reality films. The viewers do not only watch, but they can „seize” a given film. They are able to experience the limitations, problems and challenges of a child who suffers from disorders, physical or verbal aggression as well as various forms of discrimination.
The content presented in such way enables the children and teenagers to better understand emotions of their peers. The films may serve as a modern support for the teachers in solving behaviour issues of their pupils. The materials are also dedicated for parents.
The Foundation’s team has a long experience in the production of 360* movies, including films focusing on social issues such as the campaign „My first day at work” prepared in cooperation with the SYNAPSIS Foundation, showing people living with Asperger syndrome.
The SYNAPSIS Foundation recommends the film entitled „Details” as a tool for schools and psychological and pedagogical counseling centres.
Films made by the Foundation:
A story of a boy with Asperger syndrome who did not pass a written test and receives a chance of retaking an oral examination.
A story of a girl who faces the stress of a public appearance during a school academy.
A story of a boy who is verbally abused by his peers.
The „Empathy” project has two main goals:
For the last 15 years he has dealt with planning event in Poland and abroad. He started with cultural, educational and sport events for his peers in high school and in college. Marcin Pleta has been a co-founder of an event company Windmill for 10 years. Co-founder of World of VR – one of the first companies on the Polish market specializing in delivering complex solutions of virtual reality.
Education and technology have been a big part of her life for the past 14 years. She was a manager of the fundraising and promotion department in Caritas Polska. She coordinated a national educational project popularizing the trading rules on the stock market among the pupils of high schools. The project was implemented within the framework of POKL. For many years she has been related to the Polish department of Microsoft Polska, where she was responsible for the development of the program Microsoft for Education and the strategy of marketing campaigns for educational market. For many years she has been cooperating with the non-governmental sector representing human rights – Amnesty International, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Foundation of the Centre KARTA.
Legal counsel, member of the Warsaw Bar Association, conducts a one-person law firm. In the past she worked as a lawyer for one of the technological stock exchange listed companies. Author of many articles related to the labour law and parenthood. A huge fan of Woodie Allen and Audrey Hepburn movies, theatre, culinary experiments and travels; for many years an active scout girl.