ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix school launching immersive classroom program with virtual reality technology

Apr 1, 2024, 10:35 AM

Students wear virtual reality headsets in the Dreamscape Learn pod at ASU Prep Pilgrim Rest Element...

ASU Prep Pilgrim Rest Elementary & Middle School in Phoenix is launching an immersive classroom program that utilizes virtual reality technology. (ASU Prep Photo)

(ASU Prep Photo)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix school is launching an innovative immersive classroom program that utilizes virtual reality technology.

ASU Prep Pilgrim Rest Elementary & Middle School, a tuition-free public charter school, will be the nation’s first elementary school to offer coursework through the Dreamscape Learn platform.

The school for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade is inside the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church at Jefferson and 15th streets.

“Dreamscape’s immersive classroom gives students access to knowledge and experiences they may not otherwise encounter, whether that’s a trip to a world-class art museum or a tour of the surface of the moon,” Richard Yarbough, president of the church’s philanthropic arm, said in a press release.

How was Dreamscape Learn virtual reality platform developed?

The immersive classroom platform was developed through a partnership between tech company Dreamscape Learn and Arizona State University. The program can be personalized to meet the needs of individual students.

ASU Prep Pilgrim Rest, which is part of the ASU Preparatory Academy network, plans to implement the platform this spring. Use of the virtual reality program will evolve through summer school and into the 2024-25 school year.

“When lessons leap off the page and into the real world, kids not only engage more deeply with their schoolwork, but they also see the value and relevance of their education in their everyday lives,” Principal Marissa Schneckloth said in the release. “ASU Prep Pilgrim Rest was founded with the goal of creating educational opportunities for underserved students, and thanks to Dreamscape, they can experience the power and joy of learning in an entirely new way.”

ASU Prep Pilgrim Rest has a specially designed area called the Dreamscape Learn Pod where students can use the technology, which includes VR headsets, joysticks and other controllers.

“We want to enable students to become explorers and scientists. Our technology can turn schools into departure hubs from which students journey right to the middle of the subject they’re learning,” Josh Reibel, CEO of Dreamscape Learn, said in the release.

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Phoenix school launching immersive classroom program with virtual reality technology