Teaching and learning have changed dramatically over the last few years and the College of Education, Health, and Human Studies has been proactive by incorporating emerging technology into classrooms and the curriculum.
The mission of the College of Education is to stay on the cutting edge when it comes to academic technology. It meets this goal by offering the EDvolution Center, a state-of-the-art technology lab, home to many different types of emerging technologies. Users at the Center have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, green screen technology, programmable robots, and, newly added, Virtual and Augmented reality.
Virtual Reality (VR) offers students and faculty experiences that can’t feasibly be duplicated. For example, users can experience micro adventures of the human body, take trips to exotic locations, relive important moments throughout history, participate in field experiences allowing them to interact with a classroom of virtual students, and even create their own virtual reality experiences. This technology provides a more hands on experience, replacing a lecture that simply describes an experience.
A few years ago, an investment in Google Cardboard Virtual Reality goggles was made. Interest in how Virtual Reality technology could enhance the learning experience soared. With this response, as well as the benefits, a greater investment was made with the purchase of HTC Vive headsets that provide a complete VR immersion experience. Instead of cardboard goggles, students and faculty have access to much more powerful and robust hardware. The HTC Vive headsets are powered by computers that are in backpack form, providing an untethered experience for the user. This model allows users to freely walk around the room and obtain a truly hands-on experience, as if they were actually present and participating.
Author: Heath Hase, Coordinator of EDvolution, College of Education, Health, and Human Studies
Image Credit Freepik <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/tree”>Tree photo created by kjpargeter – www.freepik.com</a>