#SXSWedu – Learning through Virtual Reality Experiences

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Session Description

This workshop explores the impact of virtual reality on education. Participants will experience VR devices to analyze how this immersive wearable technology reshapes the teaching-learning environment and institutional culture. New forms of experiential learning will draw upon visually rich virtual and augmented reality experiences. VR is raising fundamental questions about the shape of future media, narrative and storytelling. Technology is rapidly moving from information access to personal experience, where deeply compelling learning environments are immediately available before our eyes, requiring profound innovation in pedagogy, learning space design and institutional culture.


  • Google Cardboard – 5 million card boards are out, 500,000 are part of the expeditions program. 1.1 million for the New York Times. Benefit is that they are highly mobile.
  • Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – Powerful but often can’t run on the computer as they require a powerful PC. They are also tethered.
  • Disney’s Augmented Reality Coloring Book
  • ZSpace 3D – A 3D monitor for visualization and interaction.
  • Microsoft HoloLens – Portable augmented reality.
  • Meta 2 AR Glasses (large screen projection) – Similar to Microsoft HoloLens (complete unit untethered).
  • Magic Leap – Lightfield displays.
  • Samsung Gear VR – $99 similar to Google Cardboard but more “sturdy”
  • Google VR Headset – Possibly coming before IO event.
  • Project Tango by Google – Tango is a mobile mapping project.
  • There is a cinema in Amsterdam that is one of the first VR theaters.
  • Virtual Reality as a New Medium – You are part of the content using your hands and even turning your head.

Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself. – John Dewey

  • Virtual Reality – Presence, Empathy, Experience, Action
  • Virtual Reality – Ivan Sutherland, 1965 “… A room within which the computer can control the existence of matter.
  • Learning Possibilites – Create new learning resources and go where you couldn’t before with VR.
  • Alchemy Learning offers analytics and data gathering about the virtual reality experiences.
  • Chris Milk …Virtual Reality as the “Final Medium”
  • Storytelling is a benefit of VR. Nonny de la Pena: Social Advocacy and Documentary Work.
  • Sundance’s New Frontier Exhibit – Real Virtuality: Immersive Explorers
  • Filmmaking and the Martian VR Experience
  • Holo-Cinema by Lucas Film Studio is a 1:1 experience that offers engaging full body interaction.
  • Creating a virtual reality playspace and “THE VOID” is an example.

Access Session Resources

Looking to the future how will we answer these questions through the lens of VR?

  1. What are the implications for learning as virtual reality blurs the line between reality and illusion?
  2. How will virtual and augmented reality accelerate personalized learning?
  3. How will virtual reality reinvent the concept of experiential learning?

3 thoughts on “#SXSWedu – Learning through Virtual Reality Experiences

  1. Pingback: eLearning and Emerging Technologies @GVSU

  2. Pingback: #SXSWedu Fostering Innovation in Teaching and Learning via #EdTech | eLearning and Emerging Technologies @GVSU

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