Get ready for ISTELive 21! Launch the site now.
Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Supporting the Student Shift From Consumers to Constructors of AR/MR/VR!

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Tuesday, December 1, 1:00–1:50 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Rosalind Abreu  
Ellen Gianakis  

Learn to empower students as creative constructors of AR, MR and VR learning experiences in your classroom. Get hands-on exposure to FlipgridAR, Thinglink 360, CoSpaces and more! Come away with knowledge of best practices as well as practical strategies and resources to aid your implementation.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: To best participate in this session, participants should bring a device such as a laptop, cell phone, or tablet.

Please download the following apps on your phone: CoSpaces, Metaverse, Flipgrid, and Overly App.

Helpful Sites:
Overly App:

Topic: Augmented, mixed & virtual reality
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Creative Communicator
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this interactive session is to connect attendees with the tools, knowledge, and strategies necessary to support students through the AR/MR/VR design process. Participants will be able to engage in immersive learning experiences curated by students across a wide range of subject areas including, but not limited to, ELA, mathematics, history, science, world languages, and engineering. The session will include an introduction to Augmented, Mixed, and Virtual Reality, and discuss the benefits of empowering students to create authentic, interactive AR/MR/VR experiences to communicate complex ideas with others. By participating in this session, the attendee will:
-Discuss the impact of AR/MR/VR on future student learning and its significance in fostering life skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving
-Learn how to teach students to curate AR/MR/VR experiences using applications such as FlipgridAR, CoSpaces, Merge, Metaverse, Thinglink, Overly App, and many more to transform students from content consumers to AR/MR/VR content creators
-Gather project ideas through exposure to student-created examples such as interactive pre-reading escape rooms, collaboratively curated AR study guides, and augmented reality poster presentations.
-Explore and participated in guided-exploration of platforms such as the CoSpaces Gallery, Metaverse, and ThingLink that students can use to publish and share their creations with a global community
-Gain access to resources and tutorials for each tool and application referenced within the presentation that they can utilize to turnkey this experience within their schools

Evidence of success will be determined and measured as the participants share their AR/MR/VR collaborative creations with their fellow attendees and global communities.


The presentation will include the following components:

1. Rationale for Student Creation of AR/MR/VR in the Classroom (5 minutes): We will review the differences between augmented, mixed, and virtual realities and then share our experiences of promoting student creation of AR/MR/VR in the classroom as well as the impact that it has had on our students’ personal, academic, and social development. We will then offer a brief discussion of current theories of AR/MR/VR pedagogy in order to provide a theoretical framework to inform practices within the classroom and inspire teachers to transform students from content consumers to creators. Further, we will review research such as Tillan & Smith’s (2018) work on the development of classroom-based AR and supports for successfully incorporating it into classroom instruction. We will digitally distribute an extensive annotated bibliography of AR/MR/VR resources and platforms that we use within our classrooms.

2. Virtual Gallery Walk and Station Preview (10 minutes): During this portion of the presentation, attendees will use their devices to engage in an interactive 360 virtual reality gallery walk where they will explore student-designed artifacts from a wide range of subject areas. In addition, they will gain an understanding of students’ experiences in immersive learning environments and how students can embed various hotspots, custom images, videos, and more for users to engage with on their mobile apps or VR headsets. Further, participants will gather project ideas through their exposure to the provided student creations. During the virtual gallery walk, attendees will be able to preview the creation stations that they will be using later in the session.

3. Station Rotation: Interactive Attendee Design of AR/MR/VR Experiences (30 minutes): Attendees will have the opportunity to roam through breakout virtual sessions to experience and engage in the creation of AR/MR/VR experiences that fit their curriculum and diverse student needs and interests. This will immerse participants in interactive, hands-on learning experiences that parallel those of their students. As attendees explore the stations, the presenters will be available to assist participants in their design processes. Stations will provide tutorials on how to construct AR/MR/VR experiences using platforms such as Thinglink, CoSpaces, Metaverse, FlipgridVR, and Overly App. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore their own interests and become innovative designers with the support and coaching of the presenters.

4. Virtual Sharing and Exploration of Learning Artifacts (10 minutes): After designing the AR/MR/VR experience of their choosing, each participant will generate a TinyURL to share out their learning artifact. Session participants will have an opportunity to explore one another’s final products and network with one another.

5. Roundtable Question and Answer (5 minutes): We will provide time at the end of our presentation for a roundtable question and answer session where participants can engage in peer-to-peer interaction to discuss how they can encourage students to be content creators of AR/MR/VR in their unique classroom, and use the principles and pedagogy discussed in a manner that suits their curriculum as well as students’ interests and needs. During this time, attendees will receive digital resources that include student project descriptions and timelines that they can adapt for use within their schools.

Supporting research

Brown, A. & Green, T. (2016). Virtual Reality: Low-cost tools and resources for the classroom. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning. Retrieved from:

Burns, M. (2018). Virtual Reality without a headset? Real classroom strategies for VR. Retrieved from:

Southgate, E., Smith, S., Cividino, C., Saxby, S., Kilham, J., Eather, G., Scevak, J., Summerville, D., Buchanan, R., & Bergin, C. (2019). Embedding immersive virtual reality in classrooms: Ethical, organisational and educational lessons in bridging research and practice. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction. Retrieved from:

Merchant, Z., Goetz, E., Cifuentes, L., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., & Davis, T. (2014). Effectiveness of virtual reality-based instruction on students’ learning outcomes in K-12 and higher education: A meta-analysis. Computers & Education. Retrieved from:

More [+]


Rosalind Abreu, Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy
Ellen Gianakis, Colts Neck High School

Ellen Gianakis currently teaches AP Language and Composition at Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Montclair State University, a Master of Arts in English Education from Columbia University, and an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University. She previously served as Grover Cleveland Middle School’s Teacher Research Group coordinator and spearheaded research projects centered on elevating student achievement and engagement. Ellen has presented at several national and state conferences and is passionate about connecting her students with authentic learning experiences that transcend the four walls of the classroom.

People also viewed

Integrate STEAM and Literacy Into Your Virtual Instruction
TPACK Leadership Diagnostic Tool: Guidance for Teacher Education Toward Technology Infusion
Travel Through A Story Using Google's Tour Creator