Applied Virtual Reality in the Schools, 2017- 2018 Study

Foundry10 is currently in the process of recruiting educators and schools for our 2017-2018 virtual reality study. This will be our third in-school study and we are excited to move ahead and learn more from students and teachers about technology in the classroom.

Our first study, in the 2015-2016 school year focused on the implementation and management of various types of VR hardware in the classroom and included seven schools in the United States and Canada. Our findings, data and suggestions from that study can all be found on our website under Virtual Reality in both the programs and research tabs.

This school year, 2016-2017 we are gathering the final round of student data at this time. This study involved 19 schools in the U.S. and Canada and the focus was on immersion, perspective, and the general value that VR creates in an educational setting both for content consumers of VR and content creators. Data from this study will be available mid-summer.

For the upcoming, 2017-2018 school year our research questions are informed by the student responses and comments from the second year of the study. We will be focusing both on VR and technology use more generally. We will examine student interest in technology, the access routes they utilize to engage with technology, their use of VR as an emerging technology and we will focus on subject-specific areas of VR integration (art, foreign language, social studies/language arts, tech classes and science/math). The questions this coming year are more refined and again based on the perceived value of an emerging technology to both students and teachers in the classroom. As always, we do not dictate the hardware selected by the teacher, but we will provide VR hardware to new schools joining the study as well as a stipend for content. Returning schools will receive an additional content stipend. Teachers select all of their own content to ensure that it is a good match for their curriculum and course objectives.

Our study design will remain nearly consistent to the previous iterations. Students in schools will complete a pre/post survey online for the course in which they use virtual reality. Teachers will complete three interviews, pre/mid/post about their use of the technology. A new element that we hope to add is a group, informal discussion with students during our visit to the school (we try to visit each school one time during the school year) to chat about some of the findings and to hear students’ voices with regard to virtual reality in their classrooms. As always, all data will be available to the school and teacher. And, as in previous iterations, foundry10 will work to assist teachers as they get VR up and running and will provide curricular support/suggestions if needed.

The recruitment process will run through May and our goal this year is to really expand our demographic groups to have a more representative sample as well as to provide a new technology to schools that might otherwise not have access to it. If a school does not have a computer capable of running an advanced headset we will work with the school to provide the computer as well.

We are excited to move ahead with the third year of the study! If you have additional questions, would like information on being a study school or are interested in learning more about partnering with foundry10 for VR, please email us at: info@foundry10.org, or visit our contact us page.