Rural teacher in Belagavi uses VR tools in his online classes

Basavaraj Sungari in one of his video lessons.

Basavaraj Sungari in one of his video lessons.

A young science teacher working in a village in Belagavi is using augmented reality and virtual reality tools to teach children online.

Basavaraj Sungari, who is a teacher at the government primary school in Bhutaramanahatti in Belagavi taluk, is creating videos for his students during the extended lockdown period. An avid user of new-age technological tools, he has created 3D content using mobile and desktop applications. He has also been using some video editing tools to create videos in Kannada to explain physics, chemistry, and biology concepts. He is using Arloopa, a mobile app that helps artists embed their videos with images or videos using augmented reality and virtual reality technology. “Such tools are used by young people to develop games. But I found them useful in creating content that can be easily understood by rural students,” he said.

His two videos about wildlife and the solar system have been a huge hit with students.

In one video, he is seen inviting an Asian elephant into the classroom. He starts speaking about the characteristics of the elephant while it is seen shaking its head and moving its ears. In another video, he explains concepts such as solar eclipse, while virtual models of the sun, moon, and the Earth move in elliptical orbits in front of him.

Poornima Naik, a class 5 student from Bhutramanahatti, she liked the wildlife video as it felt very lifelike. “It was as if the teacher was standing beside a live elephant while he spoke to us. It was very interesting.”

Mr. Sungari wants to further refine his videos. “I am also working on making my videos interactive. If we can develop free or low-cost video content that is interactive, we can easily sail through the lockdown period,” he said.

He also recognises the problems with online classes and feels that they can not replace classroom teaching. He said some rural students, especially those from poor families, were missing out on video lessons because of scarcity of resources or lack of access to smart phones. “We could distribute phones to our students if some donors help us,” he said.

He has also been speaking to community leaders in the villages to see if they can contribute money or used phones to students in need.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 10:26:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/rural-teacher-in-belagavi-uses-vr-tools-in-his-online-classes/article32378971.ece