Like many, after graduating from university, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do. I’ve always been interested in business, both academically and as a career option. I co-founded a graduate recruitment website after university and for a number of reasons it didn’t work out (I’m not going to bore you with those now). Whilst I was looking for my next steps, I was recommended to check out Teach First as they offer Business Studies as a subject option on their Leadership Development Programme. I applied and ended up getting a place.

I was allocated my two year placement at Highbury Grove School in Islington. I was excited; I loved my subject and I was mainly teaching sixth form (this is where my love for the subject started). I found the first six months really difficult; the marking, lesson planning and behaviour management (Y10s and Y8s) was stressful. However, overtime it became easier; I had a greater rapport with my students, I got my marking done in half the time and I was reusing my lesson plans. It was coming up to Easter in my second year and I needed to decide if I wanted to carry on teaching or if I wanted to pursue my own ambitions in business. I decided on the latter based on the fact that teaching will always be something that I can return to.

Whilst I was pursuing my own ideas, I decided to sign up with a few supply teaching agencies so that I could earn enough money to keep me afloat. In October, I was approached on LinkedIn by Vaco San Francisco, a contracting company, working on the Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme. They had a position for a ‘Travelling Associate’ that would involve going into schools all over the UK, delivering teacher training and providing tech support for Google’s virtual reality resource, Google Expeditions. The platform allows teachers to immerse their students in 360 degree panoramic images from around the world, including places like The Great Wall of China, The International Space Station and The Great Barrier Reef. At present, there are over 600 different expeditions that teachers can take their students on. During the Pioneer Programme, my role was to visit schools (free of charge) with 60 VR headsets and have two classes running simultaneously. The goal of the Pioneer Programme was for 1,000,000 students to have experienced an expedition, and I am proud to say, along with 30 other associates and a scheduling team, we managed to reached this.

One problem I found whilst travelling around the country talking to schools was the affordability of these virtual reality kits. Currently, there is only one official provider of expedition kits and these retail at £9,995 excluding VAT. In addition, these kits contain components that schools really don’t need. My thought process at the time was that it would be really disappointing if schools didn’t continue with Google Expeditions because of the accessibility of the kits. From that point on, PrimeVR was stuck in the back of my mind. I noticed that schools needed a company that could provide affordable but also bespoke VR kits. As a former Google Expeditions associate, I started PrimeVR to offer schools a bespoke and affordable VR solution. Don’t let price become the main barrier to creating awe and wonder in your classroom. In addition to offering VR kits, we also offer experience days and the option to rent kits every half term through a learning subscription.

If you have any questions regarding virtual reality in schools or you are interested in finding out what options are out there, please don’t hesitate to contact me on stuart@primevr.co.uk. Alternatively, please visit our website at www.primevr.co.uk

For more VR news or top tips regarding Google Expeditions, follow me on twitter at @primevruk.