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Interactive virtual classroom - Augmented / Virtual Reality

As classes and instruction go virtual, why not tailor the content to be AR/VR enabled to immerse students in the content wherever they are.

Photo of Stan Kwong
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I am a.....

  • Parent/Caregiver

Tell us about your idea

Why can't a science, history, even math lesson be done in AR/VR?  

Imagine studying the planets and zooming in on Saturn's rings..."seeing" the views from the 7 world wonders...or fractions visualized....imagine watching a space shuttle launch from inside your home.   In the digital world, we can make content come alive, not just words in a book or a lesson but an interactive rendition of core curriculum.  

Kids have access to digital more than ever before and are familiar with consuming digital content, using devices and need to be immersed in an expanded world and having content displayed in a richer world will only help them understand the curriculum better.  

Content could be fixed or portable (mobile device) and hosted such that the content can be walked through, including tips highlighting what's important to note, and consumed anywhere....the result would a rich experience that literally would take a student out of the classroom.  

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Wouldn't replace virtual with in class instruction but think that AR/VR could help administer it.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I'm a parent and have been looking at VR systems for home entertainment and wondered why there isn't educational content like a combination of Leapfrog and Khan's Academy.  It would be a fun and memorable way to share the content (across all sites, not just site-specific)

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

New Haven Unified School District, Union City, CA

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Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

Hi Stan Kwong really exciting to read through your idea. Thanks for sharing the steps you have taken in going deeper into idea by researching on VR systems. Could you share your thoughts around what support environment might be needed to enable such systems to be set up in most homes?

I'm also curious your input Naman Mandhan 

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Photo of Naman Mandhan
Team

Thanks for including me in this conversation, Isaac Jumba !

Stan Kwong I appreciate your idea! VR and AR technologies are progressing at rates that could help them be feasible in educational settings in the future, and there are already some emerging examples of how AR/VR technologies can be used to supplement teaching - https://zspace.com/

In addition to Isaac and Karen's questions, I am curious to hear your thoughts around partnerships that may need to fall in place for the content to be tied to learning outcomes and expectations within schools. How might educators be able to work together with content creators for a more tailored approach to learning?

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Photo of Stan Kwong
Team

being a parent, I might not be the best source of feedback but here goes.
I think AR is immediately more feasible in most schools simply because of the penetration of handheld devices at upper and lower grades. The link that Karen posted is a great example of that so here the partnerships are really between the school district and the app....where the app supplies curriculum enriching content. My guess is that the Sciences would be awesome for a medium that needs content to come alive. Geology, Biology, Earth/Water, etc. many have gotten initial tastes of this from games like Pokemon Go. Openly, I think a lot of the classroom curriculum is more dictated by individual teachers in preparing lesson plans and utilizing tools to help their students. As long as I've observed teachers, they get things done but also don't do things uniformly in using the same apps, videos, lesson plans, etc. Here I think that it makes partnerships more local than holistic.

For VR, I think the immediate barrier is going to be more on cost to implement. VR has come down a lot in price for a single unit but it is still pretty pricey. Here I think a corporate sponsorship eg Facebook/Occulus or a Google / Google glasses kind of partnership is needed. At present, neither of these companies are focused solely on curriculum content but Google is close with things like Google Earth, virtual tours, etc. Also Google is pretty ubiquitously used in many school districts. It's used in ours from middle to high school. Everything is stored in Google Classroom, assignments, delivered content, etc. So on the base line, I think a partnership is needed to offset the cost at school sites.

The second area for VR partnership is a company or group that specializes in curriculum content. I'm thinking a Houghton Mifflin kind of org. Their core competency is putting content onto printed textbooks so they might not be ideal but someone in the content curation department - who understands technology - will be needed to implement. Note: for this, it might even be a group that understands the technology and can simply give life to content. It could be a company like Leapfrog. They make great stuff that is both fun and entertaining....this would primarily be relevant at the grade school level but hopefully you get the point re: content partnerships. Companies like these also have relationships and distribution with school sites. These companies may offer AR/VR content as an enticement bundle with hard copy product. Also note, that sites will never really get away from core curriculum because of equity for all students so a likely partnership might be with a company that already edu content.

Lastly, I think the content has to be easily packaged and consumed. Many teachers are curriculum and delivery experts but not technology. Shopping for content has to be as easy as shopping on Amazon. It has to have a connection to curriculum and accessed in a single click, potentially centrally driven with 1 click.

In my ideal world, every student would have a connected device...the teacher would load up the virtual lesson/activity, hit a button and everyone would be dropped into a virtual world that the teacher could control the elements and teach the lesson while students would passively watch, interact and get lost in the virtual world.

As a parent, that's all I got for the moment. Will post additional replies if my brain continues to spring ideas.

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Photo of Karen Sorensen
Team

Hi Stan--I love AR and VR for education. Have you heard of Equally? They many be the solution you need. A,so, there are many mobile apps that do offer this type of instruction, especially in biology.

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Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

Hi Karen Sorensen , love your feedback. Any chance you could share the link for Equally?

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Photo of Karen Sorensen
Team

Hi @IssacJumba the link is https://davinciclubar.com/ there first product is the Da Vinci Club AR. Best--K

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Photo of Stan Kwong
Team

@Karen Sorensen. I have not seen Equally and have some but not deep curriculum knowledge....but it makes sense. There is so much content available that works on a flat page but there are others that clearly would benefit from going virtual. It is relevant to today's pandemic in that it can be done from home but to me it expands the footprint of spreading engaging content to more members of the world. There are GREAT educators out there and if we can increase their toolbox in supplying more interactive content, that benefits all students.