Studies consistently reveal the importance of career and technical education (CTE) programs as a method to reduce dropout rates and to keep students focused on high school graduation. Across Pasco County Schools, where we educate 75,000 students, the vision for our CTE program is to provide broad exposure to CTE experiential learning opportunities while equipping students to be life-long learners.

To accomplish that goal, it is critical that we enable our CTE students to embrace advanced technologies that will be commonplace in the jobs and careers of the future. As the workforce demands that even entry-level employees have the skills and training needed to take on new challenges, our perspective is that by creating opportunities for students to engage with and learn from advanced technologies in the classroom, it will put students on an immediate career path following graduation.

Related: 5 ways to use VR and AR in the classroom

Interactive CTE programs with VR and AR

This year, our CTE department integrated augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) laptops from zSpace into our Health Sciences career cluster and Agriculture / Veterinary Assisting Program curriculum.

About the Author:

Mike Macchiarola is the Program Coordinator for Career and Technical Education at Pasco County Schools in Tampa. He has been an educator for 23 years, with experiences in classroom teaching, coaching, mentoring and leading school and district offices toward making a positive impact on student learning.