Using ESSER Funding to Improve Outcomes with Virtual Reality
In light of COVID and the negative implications it has had on education, back in March, Congress announced the $13.2billion Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund (ESSER) to allow state educational agencies to address the continued impact of COVID in elementary and secondary schools.
With this ESSER funding, school districts can allocate spending on any use authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA Reauthorization), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. This includes:
- Addressing learning loss and accelerated learning, allows the school to better meet the needs of students.
- Improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.
- Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
With the summer in full force, many school administrators are working hard to determine where and what they can allocate any ESSER funding on – one option being ClassVR to implement virtual reality.
Addressing Learning Loss and Building Back Better
Every US school and district and millions of students have missed out on months of learning directly from the classroom, placing overcoming any potential learning loss occurred during this period as a priority for many. One way to do this is for teachers to create lessons that are engaging so subjects and topics become connected in students’ long-term memory, not just working memory. (Willingham, 2009). How do we do that? Here’s a few ways to make learning stick.
Focus on activities, learning and then reflection, it’s a good idea for teachers to start and repeat learning outcomes throughout a lesson. When it comes to activities, lessons should encourage collaboration, engagement and creating thinking such as debates, quizzes, leaflets or even experiences.
Did you know we retain 10% of what we read and 75% of what we experience? (Dale, 1960)
Learning through experience is one of the most powerful ways to learn and many experiences can be brought into the classroom with virtual reality. Go to the moon, take a walk with the dinosaurs or hold a strand of DNA in your hand – with ClassVR schools and districts can make impossible things and impossible places a (virtual) reality!
As students experience their lessons they remember and retain subject information more effectively helping to address learning loss.
Improve Academic Achievement
Maximizing the time students are engaged in the lesson content is essential to improve academic achievement and to do this teachers need the right tools to deliver the right lessons and create the right culture.
With virtual reality, teachers can create truly immersive learning environments directly in the classroom to breathe life into all topics and subjects.
Over recent years there’s been lots of research into the impact of virtual reality on learning, which found that virtual reality performed significantly better in terms of student engagement (Allcoat et al., 2021) and students obtained significantly higher academic achievement and engagement scores (cognitive, behavioral, emotional and social) (Liu et al., 2020) compared to traditional teaching methods and learning approaches.
The research speaks for itself, virtual reality improves student engagement and in turn improves academic achievement.
ESSER Funding for ClassVR
ClassVR offers a great way for you to engage your students using our VR driven solutions. Whether it is a small group or an entire classroom, or if you are looking for ways to enhance your existing curriculum using VR or wish to engage students in a new paradigm of instruction or BOTH, ClassVR has the ability for you to maximize your ESSER funds to help meet the needs of today’s students and instruction.
Outlined below are potential purchases or payments ESSER funding may support:
- ClassVR – Virtual Reality Designed For the Small Group (4-pack), Shared instrution (8-pack) or Full Classroom settings (30-pack)
- Avanti’s World – The World’s First Educational Virtual Reality Themepark bundled with the ClassVR Portal for an unparalleled learning environment
Note: Avanti’s World and ClassVR Portal access are available as a 1-year or a new 3-year subscription to allow you to maximize your current ESSER funding without the needs for annual costs for the next 3 years.
Both solutions are aligned to the authorized uses highlighted at the beginning of the blog and help to create fully immersive learning environments to improve student engagement and knowledge retention.
For full pricing details, please request a quote here.