virtual reality

5 AR & VR tools for social skills

As interest in augmented and virtual reality grows, so, too, do the technologies' potential to help students with special needs.

Virtual and augmented reality, once far-off on the classroom horizon, have moved with relative speed into the realm of possible classroom technologies.

In fact, recent data indicates that while few teachers are using augmented and virtual reality, it does show some promise. Speak Up Survey data shows that 5 percent of teachers say they are using virtual or augmented reality in their classroom. Higher percentages of high school computer science and technology teachers (11 percent) and science teachers (9 percent) are using augmented or virtual reality.

Twenty-five percent of district administrators in small districts would like to see augmented reality apps in their schools, and 43 percent want virtual reality experiences and hardware in their schools.

Twenty percent of district administrators said augmented and virtual reality professional development is a priority this year.

Beyond the technologies’ cool factor, however, lie a handful of promising uses, including uses in social and emotional learning and with students who have special needs.

Teachers report that life and academic success and college preparation are heightened by solid social competencies, but teachers also say they feel their ability to teach these competencies is limited, said Dr. Amber Rowland and Dr. Sean Smith, both of the University of Kansas, during an ISTE 2017 presentation.

(Next page: 5 augmented and virtual reality resources)

Laura Ascione

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