A VIRTUAL reality centre in Bournemouth is looking to team up with schools across the area to offer a new learning experience.

Centre VR, located in the Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre on Old Christchurch Road, held teachers’ nights to give them a chance to experience VR.

Managing director Colin Parnell said: “I think many schools like the idea of using VR for educational purposes, but they worry about the running costs and the maintenance.

“That is where we come in.

“We have a unique facility here, the only one outside of Dubai to have more than 30 headsets in one area.”

The centre, which also has sites in the BH2 Leisure Complex, invited 50 representatives from primary and secondary schools across the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area, as well as from Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth.

Centre VR are prepared to offer discounted prices for their VR experience to schools.

Colin added: “We want to be a shared resource for all schools. We have the ability to simulate scenarios and experiences that can help facilitate what students are being taught in the classroom.

“Some schools haven’t replied to our invitations because they just don’t know enough about VR and the potential benefits of it, which is understandable.

“Not everyone took to the computer when it was first available, this is a similar situation.”

Dr Sarah Hodge, a lecturer and researcher in cyberpsychology at Bournemouth University, said: “

It gives people the opportunity to experience things they may not otherwise be able to.

“Through simulation, students, especially at primary school age, are able to learn and experience things in a safe environment where there is no danger of them getting hurt or injured.

“I have experienced the Titanic simulation, which is very emotional, especially when you watch the ship just disappear.

“If students watch that, it will really give them a sense of what it was like at that moment in time.

“I would actively encourage other schools to do this, to come along and experience teaching with VR.”