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Introducing K12 Teachers to Emerging Technologies within an Online Graduate Course that Used an Immersive Virtual Reality Environment
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, Empire State College / SUNY, United States ; , Empire State College, United States

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Las Vegas, NV, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-35-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA

Abstract

Within a 100% online graduate teacher-education course that prepared new teachers for effective use of educational media and technologies, a series of synchronous class meetings were held within a virtual-reality (VR) environment. The intention was to have these students “experience” and not simply read and report about the type of avatar-based environments that many K12 students already use recreationally. Meetings were structured to: allow these teachers to form a community, to have shared problem solving activities (dressing the avatars; getting basic virtual building skills), and to provide an experience of immersion and telepresence. After some initial glitches, the students formed helpful relationships, enjoyed the experience, and reflected on ways to bring these worlds to their classrooms. The teachers reflected on uses of and issues within immersive experiences for themselves and for their students, including: identity concerns; K12 application areas such as in literature, social studies, STEM, and physical education; appropriate K12 student behaviors; homework help; parent meetings; and, professional development. This paper considers the way the VR aspects of the course were structured, the elements that supported an effective environment and areas that needed improvement, and applications envisioned by these teachers after their VR immersion.

Citation

Oconnor, E. & Worman, T. (2018). Introducing K12 Teachers to Emerging Technologies within an Online Graduate Course that Used an Immersive Virtual Reality Environment. In Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 594-604). Las Vegas, NV, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 21, 2019 from .

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