Ohio Leads Nation in VR Education

Prisms VR celebrated Ohio’s leadership in virtual reality (VR) education, at its first Prisms of Reality Conference in Marysville, Ohio. Leading the nation in scaling experiential learning, Ohio launched Prisms’ VR new world math learning design in fall 2021 to over 50+ school districts + 15,000 students; it’s the first state to drive VR adoption to help raise math engagement and scores for all its students.

Learning math through relevant problems, experienced in the first person, is the best way for students to understand the “why” and utility of math education, a question left unanswered for many students. Built for 8th to 11th grade math students, tutors and teachers, Prisms VR provides standards-aligned VR content and multiplayer collaborative learning environments that target bottleneck topics in secondary math. In 2021, Ohio schools introduced Prisms VR technology into math classrooms, empowering students to engage with complex math concepts at the root of failure, in an immersive and interactive way. The application creates virtual environments that simulate real-life scenarios, allowing students to connect to compelling problems through physical situations before abstracting up to symbolic notations, conventions and procedures.

The home of the first large-scale efficacy studies of the impact of VR on math learning outcomes, early studies across the state have shown double-digit growth outcomes on standards-aligned proficiencies, deeper conceptual understanding and confidence. The use of VR technology has also increased student motivation and purpose in math, making it a stimulating and rewarding subject to learn. “This is the first time that I’ve ever enjoyed going to math class,” one student said.

“We are hearing students who’ve taken two years of Algebra say that they understand exponential functions for the first time, because they could clearly ‘see where they came from’ and could apply them to problems they care about,” said Anurupa Ganguly, founder and chief executive officer at Prisms. “VR finally allows us to scale how we’ve always wanted to teach — using problems that mean something, plus movement and tactile visualizations that elucidate structure and great stories. It’s not a new technology fad; it’s the best shot we have at scaling humane teaching practices that don’t treat students as computer algorithms, but rather as rich sense-making beings. Using VR, we can take our students beyond the classroom walls and transport them to places and situations that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate otherwise. Using this approach can engage and inspire learners, and it’s my mission to make learning more accessible and scalable than it ever has before.”

Superintendent of Montgomery County ESC, Shannon Cox, said, “The immersion of students in virtual reality-enhanced lessons in schools or at home allows for the application of real-world learning to finally answer the question, ‘When will I ever use this?’. With Prisms VR, students connect their physical understanding to 3D simulations outside of their body. This new learning model, where students and children are active agents solving problems in the real world, is making our students love learning and helping teachers love teaching again.”

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