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JVS providing virtual features, enhancements to learning

BLOOMINGDALE — Students’ education will become even more enhanced with the addition of a state-of-the-art program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

The site will provide eight zSpace AIO computers that include a Windows-based, all-in-one system to allow students to participate in an augmented and virtual reality learning experience.

Assistant Principal Andy Long said the system is designed to run performance-heavy applications, making it ideal for designers, developers and particularly career-technical schools. Long said the systems, which cost $38,000 and were funded through grant money from the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, should hopefully arrive this summer with staff training eyed at the start of the next school year.

“zSpace all-in-one machines will be utilized in academic classes and our vocational labs,” Long commented. “The applications engage students in standards-based learning experiences that align with the curriculum. Students construct knowledge and understanding of concepts across multiple curriculum areas with a strong focus on STEM subjects.”

He continued that it uses familiar movements and interactions that people commonly perform, plus operators have the ability to look around virtual objects as if they are real, giving students a natural experience.

Some examples of the high-tech tools include Criminal Justice by Certify-Ed, which would help criminal justice students to process a crime scene; Canine Anatomy VR Trainer by GTAFE, which could be used by the small animal science program for practical learning on the respiratory, skeletal and other bodily systems; VR Automotive Diagnostics by GTAFE, which would aid automotive service tech students by simulating the entire process of automotive failure diagnosis; VIVED Construction to construct the core elements of a residential home; and Newton’s Park by zSpace which promotes allows users to build simulations, change gravity and stop and reverse time in the study of physics.

Long said the virtual learning programs remove the roadblocks of cost, danger and impracticability and made it a major benefit for the school.

“Learning through virtual reality provides a powerful opportunity for students to engage in potentially hazardous training situations with no repercussions to live specimens, patients or the user,” he added.

“Students can dissect, analyze and explore hundreds of objects, creating experiences that might only be possible through virtual reality. zSpace provides students with opportunities to experience and recover from controlled failure, which helps them build confidence and skills without fear of accidental harm.”

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