Are you struggling with student engagement?
In this episode, Kasey chats with augmented and virtual reality expert Jaime Donally.
Jaime shares tips and ideas for engaging students using immersive learning experiences (AR, VR, and XR) and free lesson plans and resources from Verizon Innovative Learning HQ.
This amazing platform offers free immersive learning content, tailored lesson plans, and professional development for K-12 educators aligned to research-backed micro-credentials.
The end of the school year generally creates a crazy environment in the classroom.
Capturing the attention of students in these last few days can be incredibly difficult.
However, adding some fun and engaging learning experiences with augmented or virtual reality can have kids asking for more school.
Listen to this episode.
Engaging Students with Immersive Learning Experiences
This episode is sponsored by Verizon Innovative Learning HQ.
The AR, VR queen, Jamie Donally, is back to share some hidden secrets about how to use AR and VR in the classroom. Immersive technology is constantly changing and Jamie loves to keep educators updated on how they can best serve their students with it. Many educators hear AR and VR but then immediately consider the expense and practicality of it. Jamie is here to share free options without the major learning curve for teachers.
The Buzz on AR and VR in Schools
Now that the Expeditions app has been discontinued and the technology of individual headsets has evolved teachers are a little lost as to what’s next. The new tech for virtual reality may not be as practical for a classroom setting. There are a number of details to consider for using VR in a classroom, whereas, augmented reality allows for immediate access without many of the VR barriers.
With AR students can use their own mobile devices or classroom tablets. The available apps for AR have less of a learning curve for students and teachers. In fact, it would be easy enough for teachers to start engaging students with AR tomorrow.
Returning to the Classroom
During the height of the pandemic, teachers were thrust into teaching with technology whether they felt ready or not. It also meant students were forced to learn in ways they had not been exposed to, which has created gaps in their learning. Another issue many teachers face upon returning to school is a behavior gap.
One way to bridge those gaps is through immersive technology. Students have become more engaged with technology in the past few years of their education and continuing to provide that in a way that excites students can help with behaviors.
Jaime points out that using immersive technology can provide students with a more personalized learning experience. Many of the free resources she will share give students a chance to explore an area of curriculum at their own pace and down their own path. This experience allows students to be owners of their own learning, which allows teachers to step back and not need to be the expert.
Immersive Learning Resources: Verizon Innovative Learning HQ
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a next-gen K-12 education portal which launched in 2021, leverages Verizon’s 10 years of experience in this space (since 2012) of best practices with Verizon Innovative Learning, tapping into its proven approach to integrating technology into the classroom and enhancing the
learning experience in under-resourced schools.
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ:
- Bring tech lessons to your classroom for free! Verizon Innovative Learning HQ provides free immersive learning content, tailored lesson plans, and professional development for K-12 educators aligned to research-backed micro-credentials.Through Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, teachers can easily integrate technology into the classroom and enhance students’ learning experience.
- Expand your lesson plans & explore new ways of teaching. If you’re looking to introduce AR/VR in your classroom, this is the resource for you. Verizon Innovative Learning HQ will allow all students and educators to experience XR (extended reality including AR and VR) through curated XR experiences, and include standards-aligned lessons and credentialed professional development – all developed in partnership with cutting edge content creators.
- Verizon Innovative Learning HQ is an easy to use, tech-rich platform that allows teachers the opportunity to learn new skills (and earn micro-credentials!) in little to no time.
- Open students’ minds with emerging technology and immersive lessons. With immersive lesson plans, Verizon Innovative Learning HQ provides next-gen learning for all with featured lessons designed to ignite students’ curiosity.
Jamie explains that Verizon Innovative Learning HQ is a portal of free resources. Start by creating an account, it’s easy to log in with your Google, Microsoft, or Clever account. Most teachers will want to go directly to the Lessons and Apps menu choice to search for their specific topic. Of course, Jamie enjoys clicking directly into the AR/VR Apps option.
The other menu options include Professional Development courses for educators to equip them with micro-credentials for next-gen technology. Moving Forward with Hybrid Learning and Designing Synchronous and Asynchronous Instruction are only two of the options many teachers might find helpful.
Webinars are another great way that Verizon is giving back to teachers and providing free professional development. CoSpaces is the next major development in immersive learning and the topic of the latest webinar taking place on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00 PM ET. Not only will educators be given the tools for using CoSpaces, but Arizona State University is also providing an annual Pro license to those who attend. The Verizon portal does include lesson plans for using CoSpaces, a platform that allows students to create their own immersive experiences.
How to Start
Once teachers are inside the portal, the best place to start is to look for lesson plans or apps that align with the topics and standards you’re working with at this time of year. Each lesson or app provides teachers with all the information and resources they need to share with students. There are opportunities for teachers to experience what students will experience and how to get students where they need to be to complete the learning outcomes.
Every step of the process for using the apps is outlined and described for teachers to use without needing to figure it out on their own. Each of the resources provides clear and precise directions for educators so that even if this is completely new teachers can feel comfortable using these apps and lessons with their students.
Within the portal, Jamie created basic courses for teachers getting started with augmented and virtual reality. Her professional development walks teachers through initial steps to allow them to grow in confidence when using this next-gen technology. These courses are free through the Verizon Immersive Learning HQ platform.
Jamie also has two books on the topic available, Learning Transported and The Immersive Classroom. The first is a basic guide for AR and VR in the classroom, all of which aligns with the ISTE standards for technology. The second book allows teachers to level up their immersive learning game. Jamie’s blog, ARVR in EDU, is another great place to learn more on this topic.
About Jaime Donally
Bio: Jaime Donally is a passionate technology enthusiast. She began her career as a math teacher and later moved into Instructional Technology. Her desire to build relationships has brought about opportunities to collaborate with students and educators around the world. She provides staff development and training on immersive technology as an edtech consultant.
Her latest adventures include the launch of Global Maker Day and the #ARVRinEDU community, events, and presentations. She works as an author and speaker to provide the practical use of augmented and virtual reality in the classroom.
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