The Virtual CO: Lab
Education reform has been at the top of the agenda in almost every country in the world. Despite increases in spending and attempts at reform, the performance of school systems has not kept pace with the changing needs of society. Why? We believe that learners need more opportunities to reach out beyond the walls of their classrooms to connect with communities and share experiences with other students and teachers to enhance their learning. There is a disconnect between using traditional storytelling techniques as a way to pass on and store knowledge and help learners become creators rather than mere consumers of learning and media. Today, people use digital tools to capture story and we argue that by connecting global communities through focused knowledge-based digital storytelling we will be able to speak directly to the hearts and minds of learners.
The Virtual Co:Lab proposes to use community objectives and curriculum development to translate knowledge into story to share with a sister community. From ancient times to the present, storytelling has served as a tool to pass on knowledge, maintain a historical record and sustain cultures and identities. According to scholars Renée Hulan and Renate Eigenbrod, storytelling traditions are “the means by which knowledge is reproduced, preserved and conveyed from generation to generation.” Technological advances, such as virtual reality cameras, editing software and authoring tools, have increased accessibility and facilitated ways to share ideas. We are bridging this gap between past and the present by building global networks and communities and facilitating digital storytelling using curriculum as a starting point. It’s based on an open source sharing economy, with content housed on a public site, with the objective of fostering a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.
An add-on component that re-purposes course content into story. From ancient times to the present, storytelling has served as a tool to pass knowledge to future generations. Our industry experts are using this premise of passing on knowledge by helping students articulate themes they want to build into a media narrative, based on course content, to share and explore with a sister school.
Using technology to share ideas and narratives with a sister school. Our team will help students create narratives using new and emerging technologies. Story development is left open so that students can use whatever tools inspire them and make sense with the narrative. A time-lapse video, a virtual reality “day in the life”, the linear illustration of a scientific document are just some samples of content ideas.
Integrating funding infrastructure for development into each exchange. In addition to bringing education into villages we have also integrated funding into the infrastructure of each exchange by partnering with NGO’s which answers the question of how a school or community in the developing world benefits from an exchange program, they would be getting development dollars that would be supporting a whole village.