The summer of 2023 started with a blast for Beyond Virtual. Here are our highlights for the last weeks, which included a personal presentation to the minister of education, winning a lucrative EdTech competition, and getting validation for a fascinating use case.
Ministerial Treatment: Beyond Virtual is presented to the Israeli Government
When the Ministry of Education’s R&D department wanted to showcase the best in AI-based innovation to the minister of education, Mr. Yoav Kisch, and the ministry’s CEO, Mr. Asaf Zalel – Beyond Virtual came to the forefront. We met both of them in Modi’in, showed them a demo, and discussed our successful pilots with junior highs in Israel’s social and geographical periphery.
Two weeks later, during the 100k challenge – a brainstorming event with high-ranked officials from the Israeli education, hi-tech, and entrepreneurship industries, about enabling teachers to use AI-based tools – our product was submitted to the minister as a tool for improving spoken English skills.
Israeli Minister of Education Yoav Kisch, and Ministry CEO Asaf Zalel, visit Beyond Virtual’s stand at the AI in education conference in June 2023
Steppin’ up: A finals spot in a lucrative competition generates huge buzz
Beyond Virtual was announced as one of 3 finalists in the lucrative Step-In challenge – conducted by Levinsky-Wingate Academic Center, and the 8200 alumni association. Led by CEO Gil Admoni and CMO Eran Soroka, we’ve overcome more than 40 competitors and won the vote of approval from a board of top-notch judges. During the project, we’ll deploy our virtual humans as virtual teaching assistants in academic courses over the next academic year, getting validation along the way through academic research and being accompanied by techno-pedagogical experts.
Our achievement was also featured in Tech12, one of the biggest tech-related media outlets in Israel.
Eran Soroka presents Beyond Virtual in the Step-In challenge introduction in Levinsky Wingate Academic Center
SRL Mentor: How can virtual humans help students study how to study?
Last week, we saw our product’s value in another use case: Self-Regulated Learning. In a research conducted by Dr. Danny Glick from UC-Irvine and Oranim College’s Edge Innovation Center, we’ve teamed up with Temasek Polytechnic (“Singapore’s MIT”) to create a virtual human that functions as an SRL mentor.
“Danny” the virtual human talked with about 20 STEM students, helping them gain essential learning skills. In the qualitative results, presented at the Oranim Conference, students who talked with the virtual human claimed that it “really helped me stay on task”, “gave us useful tips”, and more. Dr. Glick reflected on his work with us in a LinkedIn post.
Dr Danny Glick presents his work with Beyond Virtual in the Oranim Conference
Room for improvement: Learning in context in an immersive environment
One of our best collaborations over the last school year was with Athena Fund, and Darca Netivot, a girls’ school in one of the country’s least developed areas. During the year we’ve helped students improve their English skills by learning in context. Inside Athena Fund’s immersive room, we created scenarios of a coffee shop waitress and a market guide, helping students have a conversation about familiar use cases. Last month we visited there and heard about the teacher’s experience. We hope to expand this collaboration going forward.
Teacher Bracha Vaaknin tests the Darca Market virtual guide, in Darca Netivot school
We’ve already secured 4 purchase offers from companies and institutions in the education and fintech industries, and are building 4 other PoCs – in education and healthcare.