Why VR Matters, Especially in Rural Schools

Children from low-income families are now able to take advantage of new experiences with VR.

By Jennifer Carolan

All children benefit from new experiences which expand their mental map of the world, but the need is especially acute for children from low-income families.

While they may have rich life experiences in their own communities, Harvard professor Robert Putnam in an NPR interview distilled his copious research: “The bottom line of all of the statistics […] is that poor kids are increasingly isolated.”

One of the most promising applications of technology in our public schools is the use of technology to transcend the physical classroom and combat this growing isolation.

Contrary to popular belief, most edtech is not foisted upon our schools from above as it was in decades past, but rather, classroom teachers are pulling it in — especially by those whose students are increasingly left behind by a global economy that favors the connected, the computer literate and the experienced.

The word experience is derived from the latin “experientia” meaning to try, to test. Watch a toddler for five minutes to see that childhood is about trying and testing the world around us. It starts in the home as children explore their kitchen cabinets, testing which pots and pans make the loudest noise.

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