District pioneers virtual reality curriculum
At North Penn School District, a group of 40 juniors and seniors will be among the first high schools on the continent to take a spatial computing program using virtual and augmented reality devices to create their own digital applications and environments. According to an article in the Courier Times, the district worked with virtual reality training studio Notiontheory to develop the educational component and software company Unity for the development platform. The project is funded by North Penn School District Educational Foundation. Students graduating from the course will be able to take a Unity certification exam — a professional credential that measures workforce preparedness.
As part of the program’s implementation 15 North Penn teachers completed a three-day training session, learning about virtual reality software and devices and the practical uses for this technology in the workforce. Computer science teacher Ryan Kolb will be teaching the two spatial computing classes this fall. “It’s really a professional-level environment that (students) have the opportunity to work in, so that they can develop as complex a platform as they want,” Kolb said in the article, “but it also is foundational enough that someone without the background can step in and start from scratch.”