Open Up Accessibility for Students with Virtual Reality

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” 

As a school leader on an island off the West Coast of Scotland myself, I know first-hand the limited experiences and lack of accessibility our students had outside of the 2 islands the school covered.  

A great example of this is while teaching systems programming, I asked the young class about the sequence of traffic lights. Blank looks all round. I then realised that traffic lights were not part of their everyday lives or experiences. There were no permanent traffic lights on the island, some temporary ones, but not pedestrian crossings that they would use. 

We all have limits to our world, so it’s important that all students have the accessibility to experience life beyond their geographicalfinancial, or cultural limits – understanding the wider world from a range of contexts. But what can be done? 

The ideal solution would be to take students to different places and let them see the world for themselves, however the practicalities of this are enormous. Luckily an increase in technology adoption and access can help. 

Ian Stuart

Ian Stuart
Head of Education

Technology = Accessibility

Technology allows students to not only see different parts of the world, but also speak with people from elsewhere too. Now imagine being able to opeup access to the wider world for students in an immersive environment like virtual reality, and experience things and places as if they were there! 

Experience the whole world (and beyond!) with ClassVR

The need for these experiences has been mentioned a few times as I have spoken with educators from around the world, with two great examples from St Joseph’s Cathedral School in Swansea, Wales to Trenton Public Schools in Trenton, New Jersey, USA.  

St Joseph’s Cathedral School, a School of Sanctuary, support young people seeking refuge and actively work with families and the local community to foster support and welcome them in. An important element of this is providing an understanding of the world they have come to, as well as supporting the local community to help understand where these families have come from.  

Thanks to ClassVR, 360 images were used to tell some of the stories and immerse the viewer into the shoes of the other person. I know as an educator I have used phrases like, “Imagine yourself in this position…” or “How would you feel in this place?” but of course seeing a different world helps you understand it. With these immersive experiences, St Joseph’s Cathedral School have brought a new level of accessibility and understanding to their sanctuary students and local community. 

On the other hand, Trenton Public Schools are using ClassVR to support opening up learners’ worlds beyond their personal world and into different contexts.  

When speaking with Jim McAloon of Trenton Schools last week, he raised that “using ClassVR to allow the students to see different parts of the world is key part of allowing them to see that their world can be different.” 

ClassVR includes 1000s of VR & AR resources to help your student experience different parts of the world, but also includes access to our Community Library. Here users worldwide use 360-degree cameras to share their content & context – showing how diverse the world is, but also how connected we can be.  

Open up accessibility for your school

With so many opportunities to open up accessibility for schools, where would your students explore? What new perspective do you think they would benefit from?  

To learn more about ClassVR and how you can open up accessibility for your students and take them beyond the limits of their world, book a demonstration here. 

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