Students from NK College Photo: NKC
A group of North Kent College students have safely defused a bomb as part of Public Services class. But don’t worry, no one was put at risk as it was done from the comfort of their classroom using the College’s state of the art VR headsets
There are 90 headsets across the College’s four campuses in Dartford, Tonbridge, Gravesend and Hadlow, and they allow for significant learning opportunities. Once a student puts on the VR headset they are transported into a 360° view that brings the curriculum alive, allowing them to travel to other countries, explore inside the human body, dive deep into the ocean, experiment in a chemistry lab and, in this case, defuse a bomb, all without leaving the classroom
The Public Services students were taking part in a session called ‘Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes’, which saw the class divided into two groups, with one person in each group wearing the headset.
The members of the group not wearing the headsets are ‘the experts’ and must guide the person wearing the headset through the bomb defusal process using a manual provided. The two groups were competing against each other to see who could diffuse the bomb the quickest. The session is designed to improve students’ communication, logic and teamworking skills.
The VR technology was also put into action by Health and Social care students at the College’s Dartford campus, who used it to brush up on their interview skills.In their ‘Bodyswaps’ sessions they interacted with avatars, who asked the students questions to which they would respond. Feedback was then given to the students on their pace of speech, body language and eye contact.
The students were also able to ‘body swap’ with the avatar, and see how they came across in the interview from another’s perspective, hearing their own responses and observing their own body language. The Bodyswaps session also made use of more of North Kent College’s learning technology, with the session being run live from the College’s immersive room at its Hadlow campus.
These hi-tech classrooms allow for a seamless learning experience with teachers and students in other immersive classrooms, and to connect with employers at remote locations.
The classrooms are fully interactive with digital whiteboards that students can use to answer questions or tasks set and engage in lessons as if they were in the room with the lecturer. There is an immersive classroom at each of the College’s four campuses.
Michele Balazs, Head of Learning Tech at North Kent College, said:
“Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate, so it is important that we keep at the forefront of it. The VR Headsets, and our immersive classrooms, offer massive benefits and allow us to bring the best possible learning opportunities to our students.”
North Kent College is set across four campuses at Dartford, Gravesend, Hadlow and Tonbridge, Students benefit from a range of state-of-the-art facilities including the highly acclaimed Miskin Theatre, the National Maritime Training Centre and a ‘concept orchard and vineyard’ that utilises AI technology and robotic fruit picking.
Many facilities across North Kent College’s campuses are open to the public and include a theatre, professional standard restaurants, hair salons and spa and beauty facilities that include sauna and steam rooms.