An education program based on virtual reality gaming has been launched to help young people overcome barriers to learning.
Developed and implemented by AdVal Learning Solutions (ALS) for (HTI) Heads, Teachers and Industry, What-Next? is an e-learning program for use in classroom and as an off-site resource for KS3/4 students.
HTI is a national social enterprise that works in partnership with education, business and government to enhance school leadership and develop the enterprise and employability capabilities of young people.
The HTI Trust, which originally commissioned the program, identifies and researches school leadership and employability issues and develops practical solutions to address them.
‘What-Next?’ is based on the findings of an HTI study investigating the provision for young people with barriers to learning as they embarked on the transition from school to the world of work.
The study found that 25% of people with barriers to learning are unemployed in comparison with *15 % of people with disabilities to their limbs; 14% of people with hearing problems and 13% of people with visual impairment. (Editor Note: *DfEE statistics 1996/7)
The What-Next? program is interactive, visually stimulating and with the minimum of written text.
Learners meet and are guided by a young mentor, street-wise Sam, through situations that they themselves may have experienced, such as dealing with an awkward customer during work experience.
Program content draws on HTI's work in the field of ‘emotional intelligence’, the capacity to manage emotions and relationships with others effectively.
The program covers five emotion areas: anger, happiness, fear/anxiety, sadness/grief, and emotion in the workplace. These contain 32 storylines in which the learner explores what triggers the emotion in themselves and others, and how to deal with that emotion.
Extensive teacher notes, activity sheets, certificates, printable reports, and ideas for further work are included to support the program.
What-Next? is being marketed in CD-Rom format with complementary teacher’s manual primarily to organisations involved in preventing youngsters from disengaging from further education, training and work.
Response to ‘What-Next?’ has been highly favourable with orders for the program from local authorities and schools throughout the UK.
William Atkinson, Head Teacher at Phoenix High School, London, summed up:
"Proof of educational software is whether it is relevant and meets children’s learning needs in a way that they can relate to. ‘What-Next?’ certainly meets both requirements."
Further information on ‘What-Next?’ from HTI; tel 024 7641 0104 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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