How virtual reality program is helping Miles students soar
WITH a new virtual reality program, Miles State High School is showing once again that country kids have the same opportunity’s as their city counterparts.
The sky is the limit as to what MSHS students can now achieve thanks to a helping hand by Endeavour Foundation in partnership with Arrow Energy, who provided virtual learning kits to the school.
Getting ready for work and life outside school can be daunting, and acting principal at Miles State High School Ashley Spain said the new technology would help prepare students for the real world.
“As we embark on the future of education new technologies become an integral part of learning in the classroom and our everyday life,” Mr Spain said.
“The virtual reality learning programs made available by Arrow Energy and the Endeavour Foundation will enhance the opportunities for all students to learn about industries and their environment prior to entering the workplace.
“As students explore career options through our detailed career pathways program, they will be able to have access to these simulated experiences.”
At the Virtual Reality Hub launch on Wednesday, September 7, 13-year-old MSHS student Kayden said the new hands-on way of learning helped him stay focused and retain more information.
“It was awesome, it’s much better to look at things to learn it, sometimes I get sidetracked and VR might help me focus longer,” he said.
“I think I learn better in a virtual world than the real world.”
Another 13-year-old student Kaleb, said said VR “will help (him) learn better”.
“You could make English into a puzzle game, you could learn science to make chemicals, and it would be easier because of colours and the periodic table could be on the screen, you could also learn hands on how to build stuff,” he said.
Arrow Energy vice president external relations and tenure management Leisa Elder said the VR kits were a “next step” advancement in education.
“As a company, we are constantly looking for the next advance in technology that improves what we do,” Ms Elder said.
“We are harnessing the power of virtual reality for external communications, and we’ll also be stepping into augmented reality for our engagement with landholders to show them the placement of infrastructure on their land.
“So, I am delighted to see our great community partner, Endeavour Foundation, bringing VR-supported training into schools in our areas of operation.”
Endeavour Foundation service design partner Chris Beaumont developed several of the state-of-the-art learning programs in conjunction with Queensland University of Technology.
“These programs are targeted at helping students with different learning disabilities practice skills in a safe environment before taking them out into the real world,” said Mr Beaumont.
“We originally developed these tools for our adult learning and lifestyle day services, however, they’re perfect for school students because it feels like you’re playing a game but you’re actually learning too.
“It means that when you’re ready to catch a train for the first time or even drive a car, the whole situation is familiar, and you feel more confident in real-life thanks to the virtual practice.”
Endeavour Foundation in partnership with Arrow Energy has provided Virtual Learning kits to five schools in the region, including Chinchilla, Moranbah, Dysart, Miles, and Dalby State High Schools.
- Schools receive a computer, VR hardware, software, and training to run VR learning programs.
- Programs available include travel safety, VR driving, warehouse and forklift safety, and employment skills - barista training.
- They are designed for people with intellectual disability and autism but can be used by anyone.