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February 21, 2017 AT 5:00 am

Can virtual reality in the classroom help teach empathy? #MakerEducation

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Great piece from Slate on Virtual Reality and its potential as an educational tool.

In November 2015, middle school students from Westchester County, New York, found themselves on a windswept field in South Sudan mingling with a crowd of refugees fleeing civil war. Suddenly, they heard the deafening roar of low-flying military cargo planes overhead, followed by large bags of grain thudding to the ground all around them.

“The kids were jumping back from those bags dropping at their feet,” recalled Cayne Letizia, the teacher who used immersive virtual reality to transport his class into this emergency food drop featured in the New York Times’ 360-degree video series about refugees. Count Letizia among VR’s burgeoning fan base in education, where the spread of high-quality content and more affordable hardware (especially Google’s $15 Cardboard viewer) give students myriad ways to briefly inhabit what they’re learning—from wandering the streets of ancient Rome to touring the International Space Station.

Read more.


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