In classrooms across Australia, the tools being used to teach our children differs significantly from the methods of decades ago.
Long gone are chalkboards and, in many cases, hefty text books, instead replaced by smart whiteboards and e-books on tablets.
There is no denying that technology, in all its forms and platforms, is the key tool being used in our classrooms to spark the imaginations of our children and give them the propulsion they need to succeed in life.
Cotton Australia is determined to provide engaging, informative and cutting-edge digital education resources to ensure teachers and students have the latest information about Australian cotton available at their fingertips
With this vision in mind, we are very excited to begin rolling out our immersive virtual reality video and accompanying 360-degree version of the film (for viewing on the internet) at events, and from the comfort of your own home.
This new resource has been months in the making and stars Emerald-based grower, and Cotton Australia deputy chair, Nigel Burnett and his family. We thank them for their involvement in this exciting project.
Through the power of 360-degree cameras and drones, the video takes you onto a cotton farm to explore fields and crops and discover key information about our industry - all without leaving your chair.
The film is now on Cotton Australia's YouTube Channel, with viewers simply needing to click and drag the video player to take in the 360-degree sights.
While watching the video on YouTube is fantastic, viewing the film through VR goggles is a more immersive experience. Cotton Australia will, once appropriate and COVID-safe, hit the road with our collection of VR goggles and appear at community shows, events and schools in city and rural areas to ensure as many people as possible can safely discover life on a cotton farm through VR.
The video is beautifully filmed, and I believe it will be a hit with students, teachers and the community alike.
Amid a noisy world of multimedia and visual stimuli, why has Cotton Australia invested in such a resource?
We are an industry that always looks to innovative and be at the cutting-edge of tech developments, in order to improve.
Our leading education team knows first-hand what makes teachers and students tick, and with that experience and knowledge, we know that our resources and approach to education needs to keep up with the times. We need to be where teachers and students are. We need to provide them with the materials they need and want on the platforms they use.
Most cotton farms are several hours and hundreds of kilometres away from humming metropolitan areas - which is often where many vocal critics of our industry reside
It is also incredibly important Cotton Australia does all it can to bring the country to the city. Most cotton farms are several hours and hundreds of kilometres away from humming metropolitan areas - which is often where many vocal critics of our industry reside. For us to boost our industry's transparency and to correct misconceptions about cotton, we need to find new ways to engage with people who, through the tyranny of distance, simply cannot easily travel from the city to a cotton farm to experience first-hand what our growers do. We have high hopes that this VR and 360-degree video will go some way towards paving that path of knowledge.
I encourage you all to head to YouTube and watch this amazing 360-degree video for yourselves.
VR is an exciting space for us to now have a strong presence in, and one that we hope will expand knowledge about the significant, positive contribution the Australian cotton industry makes to our nation.