When virtual reality comes to elementary school, students can complete assignments such as dissecting a human heart, bringing animated characters to life, or charting velocity in a science lab.
In Macomb Township, Tyler Anderson pointed his stylus at the computer screen, intent on pulling apart different sections of the brain. With 3-D glasses, the brain came off the screen as a 3-D image and was in front of his face.
At Utica Community Schools, virtual reality labs are in four elementary schools. These are the first schools in Michigan to use zSpace virtual reality labs. “If I want to become a doctor, now I can do all these things on a computer so I can be a really good doctor when I grow up,” said 10 year old Tyler.
“This digital content is really what sets the standards the state is asking us to learn,” said Superintendent Christine Johns said. “Instead of traditional learning, students are being engaged and able to interact and run various tests and trials as they experiment. This is the future of learning and the future of jobs.”
According to zSpace’s chief executive officer Paul Kellenberger, the program has been on the market for three years and is in 250 schools. “We’re taking virtual reality and tying it to the classroom,” he said. “Virtual reality is viewed as the next big wave in terms of human interaction in computing.”