Virtual Reality Teacher Training.

Impact Area:

Quality Early Learning Programmes

Year of Investment and Stage:

2017 | Early Proof of Concept

Current Stage

Early Proof of Concept

Investment Amount:

>R500 000

Financial Instrument:


Have we reinvested:



Closed, Inactive

Exploring the use of Virtual Reality as a teacher training tool, by providing ECD practitioners with an immersive experience of quality early learning activities, wherever they are.

The Problem

A study conducted by the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) indicated that there is little to no knowledge of quality teaching practices by most ECD centre teachers in SA. Most educare teachers in South Africa have not been on the receiving end of quality early years education and have not observed quality ECD in practice. In addition to this lack of first-hand experience, they have limited access to traditional classroom based training, resources and best practice examples to inform their understanding of what quality education is.

A cost-effective and scalable solution is needed to upskill the ECD workforce in SA to enable the delivery of high quality early care and education services.

The Innovation

The use of Virtual Reality (VR) presents an exciting opportunity to address this critical need within the ECD ecosystem in South Africa. VR will be used to bring best practice learning environments and activities to teachers, wherever they are. They will – through an immersive experience – be able to visualise and internalise what a model ECD centre looks like and what the best methods of teaching are. The VR classroom experience represents an opportunity to influence instructional practice across multiple layers. By placing a trainee in the shoes of a child being taught by a master teacher, they will gain first hand insights into the nuanced movement, positioning and tone that underpin successful use of general teaching practices.

By demonstrating, from a child’s perspective, the experience of a regular classroom occurrence such as a storybook read aloud, with new ideas injected to make the learning experience more engaging and hands-on; the trainee will come away with actionable lesson content ideas to incorporate

Why We Invested

Virtual reality is being used in multiple sectors, to increase awareness of social issues, to train and mentor staff, and as entertainment, amongst others. We believe that this technology opens doors to new ways of addressing systemic challenges to the scale-up of quality early years interventions.

The Project Team

Emblematic is a team of award-winning journalists, filmmakers and developers who are leading the industry in creating and staging powerful virtual reality environments that place users at the scene of a story allowing them to engage with the action.

BlueDoor leverages technology and economies of scale to deliver affordable, high-quality early childhood education in low-income communities in South Africa.