Imagine how it would feel to travel around the world and learn about those places by remaining at the same place. Sounds quite exciting, right? As years are passing by, the invention of latest technologies seems to make our lives much easier and more thrilling.NERDIZ.com is a Virtual Reality Educational Platform in Bangladesh which explores numerous applications of virtual reality in the educational field. We talked to the CEO of Nerdiz, Pradeepta Kumar Saha and heard about this journey.
How did the journey of NERDIZ begin?
The journey started with the aim of solving a specific problem, which was the problem of visual learning. The education system was very monotonous and I always had a hard time coping up with it. No matter how hard I was trying, I wasn’t excelling in my studies given it was so conventional. Once, we were taken to Lalbagh Fort for a field trip followed by an exam afterward. Surprisingly, I scored really high in that exam and that’s when the idea came to my mind. I also happened to be introduced to virtual reality technology around sometime then. I realized there were hundreds like me who had a hard time memorizing their educational content and with the aim to help them, I decided to combine education and virtual reality.
Being a student of humanities background, how did you learn everything about tech?
I am an economics student with absolutely no knowledge of virtual reality. I self-taught myself every single thing that was needed to build this platform. Things might have been a little challenging in the beginning but I was determined and developed this platform. I single-handedly developed a prototype and then upon receiving proof of concept, developed a team to grow the platform.
Tell us a little bit about the works of NERDIZ
NERDIZ has already worked with many English medium schools in Bangladesh providing virtual reality education to the students there. We have enabled students to view many archaeological relics via virtual reality 360 degree videos in VR headsets, thus making them feel as if they are actually visiting those places. We are also developing other educational content based on the textbook materials. The students are also given opportunities to present to a virtual audience so as to improve their presentation skills. Around 4000 Sheikh Russel labs were provided with 2D skill development courses. NERDIZ is currently working with Teach for Bangladesh, Youth’s Voice and IHF to extend our services to a wider group of students.
Are the services of NERDIZ limited to only English medium schools?
Not at all. We cater to the needs of underprivileged children as well. NERDIZ launched a project called ‘PROJECT RUPANTOR’, which is a social initiative to provide virtual education to underprivileged children. This project enables these kids to experience all the wonderful education contents of VR, which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford due to monetary constraints or other barriers. Through ‘PROJECT RUPANTOR’ we are working to meet SDG 4 which is quality education for all. We plan to run VR education campaign in around 100 schools in the country. NERDIZ has already signed an MOU with 6 schools of IHF foundation and 2 schools of Youth’s Voice. Moreover, we are also in conversation with 36 schools under Teach for Bangladesh to run this program in their schools.
What are your future plans with NERDIZ?
In the future, we plan to incorporate VR labs in schools all around Bangladesh. This will take time and can’t be achieved overnight. So, we are taking small steps to accomplish the dream. The people of the rural community shouldn’t be deprived of these rights of VR education as well. At present, we don’t have the resources to extend our programs to the rural community. In the future, we would like to work with NGO’s so that we might be able to extend the services to the schools in the rural community.