If you could speak to any person from the past or present, what would you ask them?
Well now you can. Gaia is pleased to announce the arrival of Animates, our virtual hot seating solution.
Our ground-breaking software allows you to bring a topic to life by bringing characters into your school. Your class could interview Henry VIII and his wives, talk to a World War 1 soldier or debate with a character from a text they are studying. It develops skills in listening and speaking, deepens pupil understanding of character and improves their knowledge on a historical or topic based subject. It can engage children with specific learning needs by using a character as an intermediary. The simple system is easy to use and requires no training.
How does it work?
The controller has the ability to call upon a variety of facial expressions, voices and movement for every character and can react to learner queries in real time. The Animates environment is a believable learning space whereby outcomes are visually reinforced and consequently better retained.
Animates is completely web based, with a control panel which can be logged into from any browser, whether in school or elsewhere. The character is shown on the classroom display screen. A webcam is used to relay a video stream of the class back to the control panel. The teacher is able to interact with the pupils and respond to their questions as well as picking up on pupil reactions which they can see through the webcam. This gives the impression that the character is
really able to see them.
How could it be used?
In one project, a school used 3D models of King Henry VIII and his six wives.
Pupils and teachers were able to prepare speeches for each character, by researching historical content, creating storyboards and writing scripts, which were later applied to the Animates. The above approach proved successful for information communication and long-term retention as well as learner involvement .
In a second project with the Dubai police, an avatar was produced to manage safeguarding and facilitate interviewing vulnerable children who had been involved in crimes. So successful is this system that other police forces are reviewing its use. This application resulted from the initial development of the resource with one of our special school partners in North Wales, where the friendly rabbit was used to engage reluctant communicators.
To talk to a member of the Gaia Primary team please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01248 675 800