In a bid to help teachers engage with students more effectively, Aurora Public Schools are set to employ a unique virtual reality program.
The initiative comes as a result of a partnership with Mursion, a virtual reality simulation for teacher development. This makes it the first in Colorado to enable the teachers to interact with a group of “digital” students who are being controlled by a human simulation support person.
“Students constantly need to be engaged and you need to be asking them the right questions and giving them the right answers to keep interest levels up,” said Andrew Salzillo, a science teacher at Mrachek Middle School.
A demonstration helped Salzillo shift gears when students became distracted through the realistic responses from the digital students.
Jennifer Sheldon, the APS Director of Professional Learning, stated the district’s plan is to employ the Mursion simulation primarily for newer teachers in their first five years at the schools. It will also eventually facilitate discussions about educational equity, social justice, and restorative justice through several scenarios.
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