One of the themes that has been developing for some time at BSD with our clients is how can we take the technology we’ve been working on for so long and really measure how well it works & make the biggest impact. Over the last few months we have been working with our partners New Media Manitoba and The Manitoba Construction Sector Council to build programming around these applications and deliver & measure the content with kids in various schools.

Kevin from my team at BSD wrote about this recently on the Bit Space Blog: https://bitspacedevelopment.com/2019/trying-on-the-trades-in-northern-manitoba/

The Workshop

During the workshop we split the class into groups. These groups are shown different content depending on the size of the class. For the VR groups they can select from 16 360 VR videos we produced at Bit Space which place you on a job site and introduce you to a trades person and view a demonstration. This has been really good for introducing kids to trades they have not previously considered. The other group is given iPads to play 1 of several educational games also produced by BSD.

After a while the groups switch and everybody tries all the activities. Once this is complete we ask the kids a few questions to gather basic results into how they felt about the experience and if they enjoyed their activities (valuable marketing data for us)

Challenges

While travelling with this technology I identified a few challenges that we needed to try to overcome. There were 2 major trips this spring where we needed to really think about how we were going to deliver. The first trip we were driving up, during this trip we needed to pack 50+ VR headsets into a van with 5 people, luggage, computers, etc. For the second trip we flew up, the Pico Goblin headsets we were using have internal lithium ion batteries (and so do the iPads) which means they can’t be checked, so how do you carry 15 VR headsets through security without looking like a crazy person?

We needed to overcome these challenges but the logistics of transporting all the technology needed for these workshops was something that planning and adapting can overcome.

Kids Can’t Focus in VR

We have found after doing these workshops that kids in grade 5 – 7 ( and younger) do not have the focus to sit and pay attention to the VR experience. We have found that the kids are so excited about the technology that they don’t immediately behind absorbing what is being presented to them. For these groups we will often work with alternate technology like presenting the content or using just the iPads.

Research

Once the kids have completed the experience we ask them a few yes or no questions. This gives us an idea of what is working and what isn’t. One hugely (but not surprising) important stat is “Did you enjoy the VR experience?” which you can see from the results below from just 2 of our stops, is yes:

As we continue to enhance these learning experiences and grow from these adventures we keep one thing in mind, make sure that the experience is fun and engaging. Remembering this allows us to reach the kids we want to reach and help them experience a new potential job, learn something new, and make sure our clients are getting the impact they need.