40 virtual reality headsets with haptic handsets for them to manipulate in the VR/AR space, and I connected them to content from New York Times VR and WITHIN. The content placed students in settings such as on the ground in a refugee crisis or in the midst of the Millions March in New York City.
At the beginning of every class, they would go into this virtual space and engage with the content instead of just reading it. They’d respond to me about what it was like to be immersed in the experience.
The content from the WITHIN app provided one of the more visceral experiences for students.
At the end of the course, for example, students met with a shark tank-type group—investors from the community, business, and industry folks—and pitched them business ideas that would utilize VR to provide a solution to problems that were local, regional, national or even global in scope.
Were you able to measure this success?
The way that I measured it was completion. How many of my students actually got through my class successfully? It was over 85%. My research from the two classes where I used VR and this approach shows students were engaged, and ultimately more successful in my classes.
Thirty students registered for Arizona State University Online’s general biology course are using ASU-supplied virtual reality (VR) headsets for a variety of required lab exercises
The VR equipment, which costs ASU $399 per student, allows learners to complete lab assignments in virtual space using goggles and a controller to maneuver around a simulated lab. Content for the online course was developed and assessed by ASU biology professors and was evaluated this summer. Students also can use their own VR headsets and access the content on their laptops, as 370 other students are doing.
A university official told Campus Technology the initiative will help online students have the experiences provided in brick-and-mortar labs as well as new ones that were impossible previously. The effort also will ease a problem on campus with limited lab space.
About half of colleges have space dedicated to VR, with adoption expected to increase as technology costs go down, according to a recent survey by nonprofit consortium Internet2. The survey found that 18% of institutions have “fully deployed” VR and are increasingly making it available to online students, while half are testing or have not yet deployed the technology.
Colleges are using VR for a variety of purposes, from classroom instruction to admissions recruiting to career training.
In addition, because the use of VR is growing in K–12 education, students will expect to use it in college.
Art museums throughout the world offer virtual tours sorted by collection, artist or decade.
After one of these rich experiences, students can use free resources, such as Skype in the Classroom, to connect with experts to engage in scholarly dialogue to make their experience more meaningful and academically relevant or to interact with learners in other parts of the world.
Kiwi enhances learning experiences by encouraging active participation with AR and social media. A student can use their smartphone or tablet to scan physical textbooks and unlock learning assistance tools, like highlighting, note creation and sharing, videos and AR guides—all features that encourage peer-to-peer learning. (my note, as reported at the discussion at the QQLM conference in Crete about Zois Koukopoulos, Dimitrios Koukopoulos Augmented Reality Dissemination and Exploitation Services for Libraries: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2018/05/21/measuring-learning-outcomes-of-new-library-initiatives/
Street Smarts VR is a startup that is working to provide solutions for a major issue facing America’s communities: conflicts between police officers and citizens.
NYC Media Lab recently collaborated with Bloomberg and the augmented reality startup Lampix on a fellowship program to envision the future of learning in the workplace. Lampix technology looks like it sounds: a lamp-like hardware that projects AR capabilities, turning any flat surface into one that can visualize data and present collaborative workflows.
Calling Thunder: The Unsung History of Manhattan
Calling Thunder: The Unsung History of Manhattan, a project that came out of a recent fellowship program with A+E Networks, re-imagines a time before industrialization, when the City we know now was lush with forests, freshwater ponds, and wildlife.
In his book, “Experience on Demand,” Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, writes, “No medium, of course can fully capture the subjective experience of another person, but by richly evoking a real-seeming, first-person experience, virtual reality does seem to promise to offer new, empathy-enhancing qualities.” Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries. Those latter activities, he writes, require “a lot of imaginative work,” whereas virtual reality can “convey the feeling” of, say, a refugee camp’s environment, and the “smallness of the living quarters, the size of the camp.”
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty. But within a minute or two, the students became quiet, absorbed in what they were seeing; they realized the “reality of the horror of what was in front of them.” Questions ensued.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives. However, he thinks no one tool or experience will bring results unless it is “nested in a broader framework of a vision and goals and relationships.”
Berger says virtual reality experiences have to be accompanied by work beforehand and follow-up afterwards. Kids, he says, need to be reflective and think critically.
immersion experiences like virtual reality should be “embedded in positive” adult and peer relationships. He adds that ideally, there’s also a resulting action where kids do something productive with the information they’ve learned, to help their own growth and to help others. He mentions an example where students interviewed local immigrants and refugees, then wrote the stories they heard. They published the stories in a book, and the profits went to legal fees for local refugees.
saving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
The Brain Science Is In: Students’ Emotional Needs Matter
What the neuro-, cognitive, and behavioral research says about social-emotional learning
• Malleability: Genes are not destiny. Our developing brains are largely shaped by our environments and relationships—a process that continues into adulthood.
• Context: Family, relationships, and lived experiences shape the physiological structure of our brains over time. Healthy amounts of challenge and adversity promote growth, but toxic stress takes a toll on the connections between the hemispheres of our brain.
• Continuum: While we’ve become familiar with the exponential development of the brain for young children, it continues throughout life. The explosion of brain growth into adolescence and early adulthood, in particular, requires putting serious work into much more intentional approaches to supporting that development than is common today.