What is VIRLI?

The Virtual Reality Learning Initiative (VIRLI) is a collaborative effort of Great Lakes Reality Labs, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), and the Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) with the goal to provide quality, immersive education and training that utilizes the latest technologies in virtual and augmented reality.

By bringing together Intermediate School Districts, private sector labor and management, as well as State resources, VIRLI aims to:

  • Supplement existing curriculum with immersive tools for classroom education,
  • Foster the learning of life skills in safe, controlled environments,
  • Inspire individuals to explore career opportunities they have overlooked, and
  • Provide employers with engaging tools for training employees.

VIRLI will also create a talent development track that starts at the ISD level, runs through community colleges, universities, and vocational education programs, and then finishes with potential Michigan-based private and public sector opportunities.

What are VIRLI’s Current Focuses?

VIRLI will initially focus on the following areas:

  • Career Exploration (e.g., Skilled Trades, Healthcare, Law Enforcement, etc.)
  • Classroom Education (e.g., STEM, Social Studies, Fine Arts, etc.)
  • Life Skills (e.g., Social Skills, Special Needs, Functional Self-Help, etc.)

Why Virtual Reality in Education?

Virtual Reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Unlike other, more traditional forms of multimedia (e.g. images and video), VR completely encapsulates most of the student’s senses and allows them to interact fi rst-hand with the lesson.

Even compared to non-VR games, the use of a headset and controllers provides students direct agency in their own educational experience.