The Naledi3d Factory, based at the new Innovation Hub in Pretoria, is working on a new education and training paradigm. They have combined the concepts of Virtual Reality (VR) and Learning Objects to create the unique “Interactive 3D Learning Object”, writes Naledi's David Lockwood.

Learning Objects are a powerful way to build learning material that can be adapted or re-used in many ways; VR is an interactive visual way of showing learning concepts – and in a way that is much closer to how the human brain works. When combined, the two form a powerful way of building learning material that is not only engaging, but also, because the material is visual in nature, totally overcomes two traditional barriers to learning in Africa – literacy and language. Interactive 3D Learning Objects convey a specific item of knowledge which can be reused in different ways and learning contexts.

One of the most interesting and important features of the evolving Interactive 3d learning object is the ability for end-users to swap the language elements (text, audio and video) to suit local conditions – what is termed “localisation”. The Naledi3d Factory has devised a way of changing these elements without the need for the original VR authoring tool.

The Naledi3d Factory is hosting a workshop at the end of November to transfer the “localisation” skills to educational specialists from Ethiopia, Mozambique Senegal, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe; in what will become an informal pan-African network through which future Interactive 3d Learning Objects can be localised and distributed continent wide.

This work was recently recognised by the African ICT Achievers Awards process, where the Naledi3d Factory is one of three finalists in the category “Most Innovative ICT Company in Africa