International VR-English Research Project: Milestone Reached

Our international collaborative project exploring how virtual reality can support the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language continues to make progress.

With the help of the talented young developers at the University of Salento’s Augmented and Virtual Reality Lab in Italy, we have now achieved an important technical milestone – the refining and successful importation into the VR collaboration platform rumii of our 1,600 year-old church which will be used in our English lessons this spring.

Thanks to some technical magic and relentless testing by Doriana Cisternino and Carolina Gatto of the AVR Lab, we were able to ensure that the church, originally created by Giovanni Mastronuzzi of the University of Salento’s Department of Cultural Heritage, is viewable in virtual reality and can be visited and toured by anyone, anywhere in the world as long as they have a VR headset. To test it out, the staff from the AVR Lab met Michael, the English teacher and founder of Gold Lotus, in rumii, and here are some shots:

Carolina Gatto, one of the VR developers and experts in cultural heritage, admiring the timber roof of the 4th-century church while describing to Michael of Gold Lotus the history of the interior

International VR English project - Gold Lotus, Uni Salento, University College London

Doriana Cisternino, embodying a virtual avatar while exploring the tombs of villagers who lived in the southern-Italian town of Vaste 1,600 years ago.

Here's a short video of how it all looks in VR: