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ESSER funding meets VR EdTech in high schools

The ESSER funding drive presents a unique opportunity for our nation's high schools. With teachers and policy-makers now empowered to embrace innovation, new methodologies and technologies are being integrated into US high schools, not only enhancing learning outcomes but also helping to mitigate the lingering effects of the pandemic.

ClassVR is one of the key technologies enhancing its footprint and making a mark through ESSER. Already adopted in more than 100,000 classrooms worldwide, ClassVR offers user-friendly headsets that grant quick access to a vast library of VR and AR content. High-school educators also have the flexibility to upload their own content, such as panoramic images, or 3D models created by students using CAD software.

The adoption and implementation of ClassVR offers several benefits for high-school students and faculty members alike: 

Table of contents

Addressing learning loss

ClassVR provides immersive, interactive learning experiences designed to bridge the learning gaps exacerbated by pandemic disruptions. In line with ESSER funding goals, ClassVR engages students and enhances comprehension, significantly improving knowledge retention to effectively combat learning loss.

Boosting technology infrastructure

ESSER funding encourages investments in high-school technology infrastructure. By ensuring that all students have access to AR/VR devices and content – and teachers have world-class edtech at their disposal – ClassVR  elevates and future-proofs the school's educational technology capabilities.

Promoting innovation in education

ESSER emphasizes innovative, technology-driven approaches to education. ClassVR dovetails with this ethos, offering purpose-designed, state-of-the-art educational technology that prepares high-school students for the digital age while supporting, accelerating, and enhancing their learning experiences.

Equity and inclusivity

ESSER places a strong emphasis on advancing equity in education. The introduction of ClassVR promotes equity by ensuring that all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background or digital-divide challenges, have access to immersive learning opportunities that offer them the best educational experience.

Enhancing student engagement

ClassVR's immersive, interactive content is purpose-designed to foster student engagement. As all high-school educators know, engaged students are more likely to stay focused on their academic journey. This makes ClassVR a powerful tool for addressing the pandemic's enduring impact on student motivation and participation.

Supporting student wellbeing

Recognizing the emotional fallout from the pandemic, the ESSER program prioritizes student wellbeing. ClassVR contributes to the wellbeing of high-school students – including those with challenges relating to anxiety, autism, or ADHD – by offering therapeutic and calming VR experiences, thereby addressing their emotional needs and nurturing holistic development.

High school case study: Coral-diving with ClassVR 

Megan Hendrickson and Dr Amanda Waite used ClassVR to create immersive content for Florida’s ANGARI Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating the public on marine and environmental science. Megan and Amanda’s content was designed to engage high-school children with the topic.

“Using ClassVR and 360-degree film, students were introduced to corals and reef ecosystems in preparation for a field trip to the Florida Keys,” explains Megan. “This served as important pre-learning and pre-exposure to these concepts, as it was the majority of students’ first exposure to the topic. 

“The content helped students understand what to expect in the field; provided a solid foundation for deeper learning; and served as a springboard for discussions around the subject.

“The students were engaged, asked thoughtful questions, and readily drew connections to other topics that they’d covered in their courses. Their lab-notebook pages demonstrated a strong attention to detail and accurate application of the introduced coral vocabulary. 

“The VR expedition helped the students understand and anticipate what they’d see and experience underwater on the reef. This alleviated student apprehension about entering the water, and resulted in a cohort of students eager to get into the field and apply what they’d learned. Once in the field, the students were immediately engaged, and were able to make coral identifications while snorkeling in an unfamiliar environment.”

High school case study: Exploring La Mancha with ClassVR

Marisol Padilla teachers 15- to 18-year-olds at New Braunfels High School, Texas. “In my Advanced Placement Spanish Literature and Culture course, students are required to tackle a large quantity of required readings in the target language. This includes chapters from Miguel de Cervantes’ ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’. 

“It’s a daunting task for teenagers to read and interpret literary works in archaic Spanish. As such, being able to incorporate VR experiences, such as those available in the ClassVR Library, combined with outside sources that I uploaded into the portal, allows me to customize my anticipatory set to really bring to life the world that inspired Cervantes’ great masterpiece.

“We began by immersing ourselves in the surroundings of authentic 360-degree photos of Spanish cities. We were also able to view a 360-degree 3D video narrated in beautiful Castilian Spanish, shot inside the prison cell where Cervantes created his work! I then took my class amongst the windmills of La Mancha – another amazing VR experience – which truly enabled them to feel, see, and appreciate the landscape.

“To be able to take my students to the sites that inspired Cervantes truly piqued their interest in the subject, and allowed them to more effectively internalize the challenging work of ‘El Quijote’. This type of experience is beyond my wildest dreams of what I thought possible when teaching a unit on 17th century Peninsular literature! The breadth of descriptive vocabulary in the target language increased across students’ content discussions and essays.”

High school case study: Touring the globe with ClassVR

Sr. Karl Mary Winkelmann is the President of Trinity Catholic High School, Missouri. “One of the things that has impressed us with the ClassVR system is not only its direct impact on courses such as science and social studies, but the potential for how it can be used in other aspects of our students’ coursework.

“Using the media included in the libraries of the system is a great way for our teachers to get quick impact with the students. With so many choices of content, there is something for everyone. Our science classes really enjoy the AR content and our social studies, religion, and foreign language classes appreciate the content from other parts of the world to help make the learning more meaningful for the students, such as taking virtual field trips to explore ancient Greece, Asia, the Middle East, and sites within the United States.

“One of the things we think is most exciting for our students and teachers is that we’re not limited to the content provided in the ClassVR library. The ease of finding and bringing in additional content from other websites, services, and even images and videos we have created, opens the door for unlimited use of ClassVR for all teachers in all courses, as well as the school body as a whole. We are already looking at how our English, Drama, and Art classes will be able to expand on the types of content and the ways in which the system can be used.

“Our technology department is also very excited to explore the integration with CoSpaces. While we’re working with students on programming and digital design, the thought of other students creating their own virtual 3D worlds as part of their coursework is incredibly exciting, and we plan on exploring this more in the coming semester.”

Want to see ClassVR in action? Book a free, no-obligation, one-hour demo.  

For a detailed overview of what ClassVR can offer high school teachers and students, visit the ‘ClassVR content by subject’ page 

Request your FREE ClassVR Demo Today!

Interested in introducing virtual reality to your school?

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What would you like to see next in our ClassVR content and resources repository?

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