One of the most common complaints from pre-service teachers is that they haven’t spent enough time in the classroom. For researchers at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, virtual reality is the solution to this familiar problem.
“We have this interactive, true, authentic classroom environment that allows teachers to practice their teaching” explains Richard Lamb, a researcher on the team leading the training project and an associate professor and director of the Neurocognition Science Laboratory.
Launched this past June with funding from the SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant program, VR-Teach simulates difficult student behaviors in the classroom — giving pre-service (and even in-service) teachers opportunities to learn how to deal with problematic situations.
Using a VR headset and 360-degree videos, created with help from Crosswater Digital Media, teachers enter a virtual classroom and face one of a range of classroom challenges, such as students yelling or playing on their cell phones.
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