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Classrooms to Careers: Preparing Students (and Teachers) for Virtual Reality

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Listen and learn : Panel

Kwaku Aning  
Heather Haseley  
Melissa Oldrin  
Harvey Wright  

Virtual reality is disrupting industries from design to engineering. This panel considers how educators can prepare students for these changes. Discover where the opportunities for people with these skill sets will be, how modern classrooms should prepare and how we might design curriculum to foster the ideal learning environment.

Audience: Principals/head teachers, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Nothing else needed
Topic: Augmented, mixed & virtual reality
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Visionary Leadership
  • Advocate for policies, procedures, programs and funding strategies to support implementation of the shared vision represented in the school and district technology plans and guidelines.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Build on the shared vision by collaboratively creating a strategic plan that articulates how technology will be used to enhance learning.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this panel is to impart to educators in the audience the importance of teaching programming skills so that students can find success in the jobs of tomorrow. Virtual Reality is the specific technology being covered, as the technology is fundamentally changing a variety of industries. Audience members will also gain best practices for overcoming confidence barriers and skill barriers that teachers face as they take on teaching emerging technology or technology that they do not yet know.


(3 min) Introduction: Kwaku Aning - Panel Moderator, sets context for the discussion

Kwaku will set the scene by asking the audience “How many of you are using emerging tech in the classroom? How many are using some form of AR/VR in the classroom?” to get a feel for who is attending.

He will compare XR adoption in the classroom and compare it to XR in the workplace based on industry numbers

He will then begin questioning the panelists to reveal their experiences with this technology and illustrate how it is being used successfully - and lessons learned from early adoption.

Panel discussion (Kwaku proposes questions to Melissa Oldrin, Harvey Wright, Heather Haseley). Examples include:

1.  (12 min.) Tell me about your involvement in the XR space as it relates to education?
a.  The three panelists will give their backgrounds, share experiences, and lay the foundation for the rest of the panel.
2.  (10 min.) Why is it critical to teach programming skills, specifically for XR?
a.  Panelists will talk about their experience working with students/other educators and how they have learned that future jobs will demand an understanding of technology — and not just at a basic level.
3. (5 min.) Kwaku will again poll the audience in order to share factoids from the XQ Institute’s report, High School & the Future of Work, indicating that the biggest change between the workforce today and the workforce in 2030 will be the demand for advanced IT and programming skills.
He will also share insight into the XR market - will be worth $209B by 2023.
4.  (5 min.) What barriers have you faced in either teaching or getting distrit/board approval in teaching emerging technologies like XR?
a.  Each speaker will answer this, with a focus on Harvey as a curriculum specialist.
4.  (10 min.) How can teachers get started teaching augmented or virtual reality today, through the lens of the fact that many teachers don’t have the funds or resources to learn XR themselves?
a.  All panelists will give their opinions and recommendations
5.  (10 min.) How can educators make the argument for including XR into curriculum moving forward?
a.  All panelist will give their opinions and recommendations based on their own experiences
6.  (5 min.) Q&A

Supporting research

XQ Institute’s report, High School & the Future of Work

More [+]


Kwaku Aning, San Diego Jewish Academy
Heather Haseley, Arizona State University
Melissa Oldrin, Unity

Melissa leads secondary and post-secondary education programs at Unity Technologies. Her work focuses on increasing learners’ access to Unity technology and on removing barriers to learning and using Unity to create powerful immersive experiences. Melissa’s background is in non-profit education program management and technology education access. Melissa’s commitment to increasing the diversity of people who are creating with technology drives her to work closely with teachers and schools across the globe to improve student-technology outcomes.

Harvey Wright, Seattle Public Schools

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