Educating The World Using Virtual Reality and Rumii

A lot of companies claim to be making the world a better place. At Doghead Simulations, we’re actually doing it. Here’s the proof.

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Bringing High School To An Island In Africa

We were recently featured in an upcoming PBS documentary produced in partnership with The Good Road, HTC and AMD due out later this year. We were thrilled to be part of such an important project in which Hunters Lane High School in Nashville, Tennessee used HTC Vives and rumii to teach children on the tiny island of Pemba, just off the coast of East Africa (part of Tanzania's Zanzibar Archipelago). The production crew took the HTC Vives with computers that had our VR education and collaboration software named rumii pre-installed on them and, after landing in Africa, took a 6-hour boat ride to the island of Pemba, setup the computers and Vives and within minutes the kids in Pemba were inside rumii communicating with educators and students in America. It was truly inspiring to not only see how eager the kids were to try VR, especially since most of them had never even seen a cell phone, let alone a computer, and take to being inside VR and use rumii as naturally as anything they had done in their lives.

What we’re most proud of here at Doghead Simulations is that these kids are now using rumii to learn from high school teachers in America and connect with their peers on a different continent, interact, learn, communicate and collaborate as though they are all in the same room at the same time. That is profound!

Now, because of this production, our partners and rumii, the people of Pemba now have access to high school education.

Think about that.

Through rumii, these people are now able to educate themselves in ways never before possible and realize what was once unimaginable.

That alone makes all of this worth every late night, difficult funding pitch, all of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into building our company. Even now, thinking about that first interaction with those kids, makes my eyes well up with happy little tears.

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Bridging Education In America and China

We’re proud that rumii us being used by Harvard University to teach American students at Harvard and Chinese students at Zhejiang University about archaeological activity at the Giza Pyramids and the surrounding cemeteries and settlements. I was personally in attendance at the Harvard Media Lab when the very first class was taught in rumii with the Chinese and American students. Led by Peter Der Manuelian - a Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology at Harvard University - and Rus Gant - Harvard’s virtual reality designer - with assistant Josh Widdicombe in America and in China with Dr. Changyu Diao of Zhejiang University the course was not only the first of its kind to bridge the two schools, but a watershed moment in higher education.

I was speechless when I personally witnessed the American instructors load multiple 3D environments and objects of the Giza Plateau inside rumii and the Chinese students immediately congregate around the hieroglyphs and discuss their meaning and importance with their American counterparts, as though they were all inside the tombs and halls, together, at the exact same time.

I am proud that rumii is being used as an international bridge of education and understanding by our two nations.


An Educated World Is A Better World

I could go on to list the 5,000 other educational institutions, enterprise companies and governments around the world using rumii for distributed, instructor-led education, corporate training and business travel reduction. But, then this article would get quite lengthy. The two projects above represent our customers using rumii to help make our world a smaller and better place through education in VR.

While I’ve always been an eternal optimist, these experiences have taught me that people of all ages around the world are the same. They’re just like you and me. We all have the same desires to provide for our families, educate ourselves and in each of our own ways, help make the world a better place.

But I’ve also learned that education is very different from a degree. We can have a long-lasting and important impact on the world by simply being life-long learners. It is through VR, through rumii, that we can bridge our social classes and remove barriers to learning and work together to impact the world in positive ways.

We also need to stop college shaming. Just because someone didn’t go to college doesn’t mean they have anything less to offer the world. College isn’t for everyone and not everyone can afford college, in time or money. I, myself, was one of those people, having grown up in poverty.

So I am proud to now be able to help improve our world by bringing education to as many people on planet earth as I can… and rumii is directly enabling that dream to become a reality. Soon enough we will all be able to educate ourselves from anywhere on earth and earn a valuable degree, certification or gain knowledge for the price of a monthly subscription and not a decade of six-figure debt.

In fact, you can get started today and outfit your entire 30 student class with our turnkey rumii VR solution for less than the price of two iMac computers.

rumii is directly improving human potential. After all, an educated world is a better world

To learn more, simply download rumii and interact with us in VR as though we're all in the same room at the same time.

--- Mat Chacon, CEO of Doghead Simulations