MAGPI partners with Delaware Center for Educational Techology (DCET) on Innovative Virtual Reality Curriculum Program for DE Schools
MAGPI, in conjunction with Digital Tech Frontier, conducted a 7 hour hands-on training workshop on the Virtual Reality Development Lab (VRDL) suite for several State of Delaware School Districts and Educational Techology administrators and staff on February 24, 2010. The custom designed workshop allowed participants the opportunity to learn hands-on how to use the Virtual Reality Development Lab equipment and web portal in anticipation of their use of the equipment in several Delaware VoTechnical schools. Participating in the workshop were representatives from New Castle County VoTech School District, Cape Henlopen School District, Smyrna School District, Delaware's Department of Technology and Information (DTI), and Delaware Center for Educational Technology (DCET).
As part of this innovative pilot program, MAGPI is loaning VRDL equipment and a subscription to the web portal to the state of Delaware to pilot its use in educational settings. Loaner equipment was received in late March by New Castle County School District whose initial planned uses of the gear include a virtual tour of the New Castle County Votechnical school with virtual tours of several of its programs including horticulture, autobody and electrical. In addition to virtual tours of specialized vocational offerings within Delaware schools, the equipment will also be used in the curriculum by students to enhance their learning across subjects and to develop skills in use of virtual reality software and hardware. Students from four high schools within New Castle County School District (Hodson, St. Georges, Howard and DelCastle) will use the VRDL equipment to develop evacuation plans, including Delware coastline evacuation planning. By using the VRDL equipment first hand high school students will also participate in an authentic problem based learing experience while meeting state standards for use and understanding of maps. "If it's something they enjoy, they're more willing to use it and get something meaningful out of it" said Kelly Bench, Social Studies Teacher, New Castle County VoTech, "In addition to the exposure to the latest virtual techologies in the field, their knowledge and experience in using the technology will be good for their resumes as they enter the workforce." In Smyrna School District the equipment will be used with Social Studies High School students primarily within the special education curriculum.
The Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is pursuing funding to obtain permanent VRDL equipment for use after the pilot ends.