Embracing technology at the Diamond Jubilee High School, Mumbai
In a rapidly evolving, technology-driven world, it is crucial to keep up with advancements to avoid stagnation. At the Diamond Jubilee High School (DJHS), Mumbai, these advancements in technology can be seen, particularly with the school’s latest adoption of virtual reality (VR) technology.
With the support of Oracle, a computer software company, and Society for All Round Development (SARD), a non-profit organisation in India aiming to provide equal access and equal opportunity to members of society from varying socio-economic backgrounds, the school opened its state-of-the-art virtual reality lab on 27 June 2023 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This was attended by Mr Sudhir Bhatnagar, the CEO of SARD; Mr Farhad Merchant, the CEO of the Aga Khan Education Service (AKES) India; AKES, India leadership team; and teachers, students and the principal of DJHS, Mumbai.
VR has the ability to transcend the boundaries of traditional classrooms by providing an incredibly real and immersive computer-generated environment. During the opening ceremony, the students were transported to captivating virtual worlds, making them active participants in the learning experience. The students could interact with objects through VR headsets, fostering a profound sense of presence and engagement.
“The VR experience was fun and interesting,” said Grade 9 student Tamim Athar Emadi. “Before the installation of the VR lab, it was difficult to learn some of these abstract concepts, but thanks to this initiative, we can now easily interact with the virtual world and understand the concepts through virtual reality technology. Learning with future technology makes learning concrete and it becomes a core part of our learning and understanding.”
Seeing the students excited and engaged while learning in the virtual environment was a delight, especially for Ms Rachna Yadav, the secondary head teacher at DJHS, Mumbai.
“As a teacher teaching science, my experience of using the VR lab in school has been transformative,” Ms Yadav said. “The integration of virtual reality technology into the classrooms has opened a whole new world of possibilities for teaching and learning science.”
During the ceremony, Mr Bhatnagar, the CEO of SARD, highlighted the importance of using technology to enhance their learning experience and shared how the apps available today can help students find new ways to engage with their studies. He appreciated the support of the AKES, India and the DJHS, Mumbai team in providing virtual learning experiences for the students.
Mr Merchant, the CEO of AKES, India, interacted with the students while they engaged with the VR lab, while also encouraging them to further explore new technologies.
“Ask more questions,” Mr Merchant said. “We must be active learners. Don’t just sit back and take information because the information is accessible everywhere and at your fingertips. Gaining knowledge is one aspect of learning but applying that knowledge in the real world is the true test of learning. With the many technological advancements, your ability to ask the relevant questions, will differentiate you from others.”
The ceremony concluded with a speech from Principal Nutan Iyer thanking the dignitaries present.
“This groundbreaking initiative underscores our dedication to excellence in education and our relentless pursuit of innovation,” she said.
Photos (top to bottom):
- A student using a VR headset
- A student talking about the VR lab
- The CEO of SARD, Mr Sudhir Bhatnagar, the CEO of AKES, India, Mr Farhad Merchant and Principal of the DJHS, Mumbai, Ms Nutan Iyer opening the VR lab
- Another student using a VR headset