What is Immersive Remote Learning?

Immersive Remote Learning (IRL) is a toolbox of strategies that allow teachers and students to create shared educational environments that do not rely on being co-located. These strategies can be used as a substitute for the traditional classroom experience or as a supplement to traditional classrooms to offer unique learning opportunities.

Live Lectures

Live lectures are where students and teachers can come together in a shared environment. Similar to platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts, live lectures allow for teachers and students to come together at the same time. The added benefit of using remote immersive learning tools provides a more personal connection where participants feel like they are actually in the same room together and share the same resources.

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Lecture Library

In collaboration with institutions like Michigan District Schools and Michigan State University College of Education, VIRLI is developing a library of recorded lectures available for all teachers to use as part of their curriculum. These lectures will be on a variety of subject matters, given by passionate teachers and industry professionals.

This library will also be a great resource for teachers to get oriented and comfortable with the IRL strategies before they are ready to host lectures themselves. VIRLI will also be offering resources to assist teachers in designing and facilitating their own lectures.

Training Sessions

For teachers interested in starting to use the IRL strategies, VIRLI will be offering group orientations and training sessions. VIRLI can also host individual consultations to help teachers design a lesson plan that works well for their specific needs.

Platforms

The following platforms are ones that the VIRLI team have tested and recommend as good options for teachers and students.

EngageVR

EngageVR is an exciting virtual learning tool available for use as an alternative or enhancement to traditional classroom teaching. EngageVR is available to use on your desktop, laptop or using a VR headset. However, a VR headset is not required. Users can control a virtual avatar and interact with others in a simulated world using only a mouse and keyboard. Teachers can engage their students and groups can come together for meetings or lectures, You can even go on a field trip to Mars!

EngageVR has other functionality that works well in a virtual classroom setting. Users can create customized animations with the existing library of 3D content, as well as specifically-timed presentations with accompanying 3D visual aids. Another helpful feature is the ability for teachers to control movement and audio of students in order to avoid distractions. There is also an option to switch between multiple environments and interactive experiences in one sitting.

To learn more about EngageVR, please visit their website at https://engagevr.io.

AltspaceVR

AltspaceVR is the premier place to attend live shows, meetups, cool classes, and more with friendly people from  around the world. Alt Space pairs with Slides.com to allow for live virtual presentations. Using simple Avatars, you can interact with other users in a number of colorful and friendly virtual environments.

AltSpaceVR Includes avatar customization, presentations, screen-sharing, as well as an “InfoZone” virtual world full of instructions for students and teachers alike. AltSpace allows for artistic education in virtual environments with a virtual painting/drawing tool and a 3D sculpting tool. There are also a number of virtual environments with enhanced functions such as game rooms, art rooms, presentation spaces and more.

To learn more about AltspaceVR, please visit their website at https://altvr.com.

Mozilla Hubs

Hubs is a social VR platform that runs right in your browser. With Hubs you can create your own virtual space with a single click and invite others to join using a URL. No installation process or app store downloads required. Watch videos with your class, give presentations, or meet with colleagues remotely. Hubs makes it easy to connect with others and share images, videos, 3D models, and more.

Hubs works across platforms. Got a VR headset? Awesome! If not, you can use your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

To learn more about Mozilla Hubs, please visit their website at https://hubs.mozilla.com.