Virtual Field Trips with Give.my

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A crowdfunding platform as well as a sister company to Tandemic, Give.my is a crowdfunding platform that allows the public to contribute to various projects hosted by teachers and educators across Malaysia. We sat down with the guys over at Give.my after their unveiling as one of the projects backed by webe to pick their brain about how effective virtual reality field trips will be across rural areas in Malaysia.

PC.com: So tell me all about Give.my and all it has done so far?
We started out in August 2015 and through our observations in Malaysia, we’ve realised there is a lot of initiative by educators these days to create a more engaging classroom for students these days. The problem we’re trying to address is two-pronged: one from the teacher’s point of view and one from the student’s point of view. From the teacher’s side, we noticed that at least 40% of the teachers’ workload comes from admin work, which can be very demotivating for them in the long run. From the student’s point of view, how do we keep students continually engaged? Especially when it comes to students in rural areas, we observed there being a high drop-out rate after high school. At Give.MY, we want to be able to provide the resources and funding to the teachers while simultaneously empowering the teachers to contribute back to the community.

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PC.com: Can you elaborate more about Give.my’s partnership with Girls For Good?
Our partnership with Girls For Good is to create content for virtual reality workshops and what we’ve been doing with them is visit rural and refugee schools. The last place we visited was this workshop in UTC Sentul; for me, it was an eye-opening experience. We were there a few weeks ago and there were these girls who all had this glimmer in their eyes; they’re focused and you see a lot of it with under-privileged kids where they have this drive to prove and chase for something greater.

PC.com: How did the idea for a virtual reality field trip come about?:
Basically, we had teachers come up to us saying “If I don’t bring these kids out of the village, they’ll never see the world.” We also realized that it is not feasible to fund field trips in the long run.  So we came up with an idea to create virtual reality content to bring these places to the kids, leveraging on gadgets like the Google Cardboard.

PC.com: Will Give.my be providing the smartphones as well as the Google Cardboards for the field trips?
At the moment, we have 30 Google Cardboards that have been provided to us by Google. We have also received donations from Samsung and Xiaomi, which make up about 30 smartphones as well. However, we are also actively seeking out donations for smartphones on our website so if has a spare smartphone, they can always donate.

PC.com: During the process of planning for the virtual field trips, were there any major issues along the way?
Well, a major part of it would definitely be trying to get funding for the project. The other thing is creating content that is engaging to the children. One of the aspects we want to get right with this project is with the help of the content; the kids will be able to aspire more. Mostly, we’re going around asking feedback from teachers and educators about their thoughts on issues we can tackle together to make kids dream bigger.

PC.com: With funding being listed as one of the main problems, how did webe help with this process?
Webe has this goal about championing social project that has impact; the funding would definitely be good for us because we want to pilot VR content and it also helps us to get our message across to the public as well as gaining a wider audience for support.Just being a part of the webe campaign, we’re exposed to so many from other social projects.

PC.com: Has the support from webe given Give.my a wider audience as compared to before?
It was a little bit slow at the start but we have been noticing a bit more traction these days. Webe has helped us a lot by constantly changing and improving from their end; they have also extended the dateline to facilitate the project. We may also see room for collaborations in the future.

PC.com: How did that process go through? Did webe approach you guys?
The communication happened with Tiu who was the previous project manager and we have been in touch with webe very closely. They are constantly coming up with ways to help some of the projects that haven’t fully taken off. With webe’s help, we have been able to connect more with the public as well as the media while also having a strong relationship with bloggers and YouTubers.

PC.com: How else can the public help out Give.my, aside from donating smartphones? Are there other ways they can fund the project?
Yes. We have a page set up on Give.MY for virtual reality projects and people could make a pledge or a donation through the website, regardless of the amount to help us facilitate the project.

PC.com: Aside from the virtual reality field trips, are there any other projects Give.my will be or are currently working on?
The focus for us at the moment is to be financially stable, which is an important step for us as we will be able to get more resources to do more of our future projects. I also think creating VR content is very interesting for us to explore.

 

Written by : Teh Wi-liam

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