This St. Lucia based Ed-tech company is using virtual reality to enhance learning
News > The Caribbean
Cherish Kyeyune | Posted on May 7, 2020
JOIE Innovative Learning Solutions, an educational technology (Ed-tech) company is enhancing how students learn in St. Lucia by making learning engaging and fun using virtual reality (VR).
The company officially opened its doors in September last year. In 2015, it began as a non-profit organisation called JUMP, which centered around the growth and development of students.
Since its conversion to JOIE Innovative Learning Solutions, the company won the first-place prize of the TEECA Caribbean Entrepreneurship Challenge, a regional competition held in Martinique in June last year. The first-place prize was 10,000 euros.
The inspiration behind the company’s establishment was to bring a new kind of enthusiasm for education in the classroom by utilising tools that create realistic experiences.
“As a teacher for over 10 years I realized that there was a gap between how we teach and how students learn. The company was established to provide engaging, dynamic opportunities for today’s digital natives to learn,” Ms. Bernice Lewis, Director of JOIE Innovative Learning Solutions, stated.
“With opportunities like these, we hope to see a transformation of how we approach teaching and learning in general,” she added.
The company’s primary goal is to enhance the education sector by incorporating virtual reality into the education system to add a new level of excellence and achievement to learning.
“At JOIE our sole purpose is to provide educational, fun learning experiences for our clients. Virtual reality or VR is the immersion into a 3D environment. It provides a very real simulation of an experience,” Ms. Lewis expressed.
One of the long-term goals of the company is to provide VR content across the Caribbean region, aligning the lessons with the curriculum taught in schools. Another long-term goal is to venture into gamification, a medium that could help bring excitement into the classroom.
The company also hopes to participate in more regional and local pitch competitions.
In February this year at the OECS Ministerial Meeting focused on education, the Ed-tech company made a compelling case to include VR and other learning-centred approaches in the education system.
With innovative technology being implemented, students can immerse themselves in subjects, such as mathematics or any challenging topic, in the VR Learning Hub. This process makes difficult topics enjoyable and easier to grasp.
In the video below, provided by JOIE, students describe their experiences using VR to learn.
“It’s a much more fun experience than writing down all your notes and studying,” one student expressed.
JOIE offers preparation classes for standardised exams such as the CSEC and common entrance exams. Students can also participate in after-school programs and special programs during the Easter, summer, and Christmas breaks.
The company’s learning center is located on John Compton Highway behind the Island Tile Style and Bath store on the floor above Dr. Scotland’s Veterinary Clinic. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Teachers are encouraged to call on behalf of students to book virtual reality tours on their desired topics. Families can register children in the after school program by calling: + 1 (758) 485-564 or +1 (758) 728-8248.
Cherish is a 19-year old writer based in Gros Islet, St. Lucia. In 2018 she graduated from Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, then took a break from school and rekindled her love for writing and art. During this time, she volunteered at a veterinary lab and interned at The Voice Publishing Co., where she wrote and proofread articles for the weekly newspaper and website. As a life-long resident of the Caribbean, she loves the beach and the ocean, and one day hopes to sail the world. She thinks STEM is intriguing because it teaches us how entities around the world work.