Updated May 03, 2019

Portals for Education

http://www.sharedstudios.com/

Alistair Kitchen

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A freely-accessible public infrastructure of immersive AV environments, designed such that when you enter one, you come face-to-face with someone in an identical space somewhere else in the world as though you were both in the same room.

Portals are immersive spaces equipped with audiovisual technology. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in a distant Portal live and full-body, as if in the same room. Because every Portal is staffed by a curator that connects the Portal to their local community, the global Portals network is a freely-accessible public resource. It allows every individual to use the P...
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Portals are immersive spaces equipped with audiovisual technology. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in a distant Portal live and full-body, as if in the same room. Because every Portal is staffed by a curator that connects the Portal to their local community, the global Portals network is a freely-accessible public resource. It allows every individual to use the Portal just like a library. An Iraqi hoping to learn about music recording can be connected with a producer in Germany. A dancer in Colombia can take lessons from a teacher in Rwanda.
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Stage 5: Scaling

40 Portals currently operate around the world. Every day, Portal Curators connect members of their community with communities elsewhere. Our ambition is to expand this public resource around the globe.
Registered in United Statesin United States

Focus Areas:

Education, Basic Education, Non-formal Education (OOS/ALP) and 4 MoreSEE ALL

Education, Basic Education, Non-formal Education (OOS/ALP), Humanitarian Assistance, Refugees, Conflict Response and TechnologySEE LESS

Implemented In:

United States, Iran, Afghanistan and 18 MoreSEE ALL

United States, Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, Palestinian Territories, Mexico, Iraq, Honduras, Myanmar, Greece, Germany, Australia, Rwanda, India, Qatar, Nigeria, Kenya, Jordan, Sweden, Pakistan and YemenSEE LESS

21
Countries Implemented In
50,000
Customers
9
Employees
$2,000,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Everywhere we look, tribalism and xenophobia are growing. Communities are turning inward, walls are being built, and the technologies that promised to unite us have left us atomized and alone. In education, our world has globalised but our classrooms have not. More than ever, students need global literacy, and they need to connect what they learn in their textbooks with real human beings. This is why early-adopters of classroom Portals have called them “the missing piece” in education.

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Solution

Portals burst bubbles by connecting people who would never otherwise meet. They bring people separated by distance and difference together in humanising encounters. These encounters are facilitated by a global network of curators who design connections that bring value to their local community. When a Portal is in a public space, the curator responds to requests from members of the public. In schools, the curator works with teachers to design Portal connections to match their curriculum.

Target Beneficiaries

Communities and students in every corner of the world. Every Portal site has something to give to, and so much to learn from, the rest of the world.

Mission and Vision

In three years we have expanded to nearly 40 sites. By 2020, we hope to have at least 100 Portals around the world. Eventually, we intend on installing thousands of Portals across the globe, connecting the world in a single, multivocal, inclusive conversation. When this happens, schoolchildren and teachers will have global access to local knowledge.

Competitive Advantage

Nothing like Portals exists. Its closest point of comparison, Skype, differs from Portals in two ways: Technology: Where traditional video conferencing is restricted to a computer screen and makes every participant a floating head, Portals are immersive, full-body depictions that allow participants to make eye-contact and feel as those they are sharing the same physical space. That technological leap is vital to our mission of bringing people together. Human Curation: The second aspect is the curation. Every encounter is facilitated by a real human being - a curator who translates, prompts, and guides the conversation, and every dialogue is themed or planned to suit the participants. Every curator acts as a community organiser for the Portal and creates connections that are of the greatest benefit to their community. The result of this global network is an infrastructure that stitches communities together and makes us all less alone.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Since we began installing Portals in schools, we found that this global network has the potential to transform education. The early adopters who first brought Portals to K-12 schools now report to us that Portals have a crucial role to play in the classroom. To quote one, “this is the most important tool we have right now in education,”. Our ambition is therefore to expand this a freely-accessible public resource around the globe, and, in doing so, to develop a curriculum for the 21st century.
Funding Goal100,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted100,000
New Implemented CountriesChina, Haiti, Peru, Morocco, India, Hungary, Ukraine, Venezuela

The Team Behind the Innovation

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Dec 2018
New Country Implemented In
Qatar, Nigeria, Kenya, Jordan, Sweden, Pakistan and Yemen
Dec 2017
New Country Implemented In
Greece, Germany, Australia, Rwanda and India
Dec 2014
New Country Implemented In
United States and Iran
Date Unknown
Created
Dec 2014
Created

Supporting Materials

Overview-Deck-Portals-in-the-Classroom.pdf