Pine Belt school utilizing virtual reality in the classroom

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SUMRALL, Miss (WJTV) – A school in the Pinebelt is using a unique tool to help further it’s student’s education.

Maybe you want to visit the age of the dinosaurs. Or look at the effects of global warming first hand in the Artic.

With the use of virtual reality at the Benedict school in Sumrall, you can do all of those things, which makes for a more hands on education.

“We’re really founded on this idea of concept based instruction,” said Adam Mangana, the head of school at Benedict Day School. “Our kids call it ‘Conceptual’.  And it’s about going through the experiences. So, you know, virtual reality is a great tool to make learning real. Our kids actually get to go through an experience as opposed to just reading about it in two dimensions.”

Students use these goggles and hand-held controllers while in the VR-simulators so they can interact with their surroundings. 

And so far, the student’s at the Benedict School have been reacting positively to this new way to learn. 

“It has all of the cool things around you and how you can learn about different things,” said third grader Bennett Paige.

“Well I think it was interesting to get to see what it was like being a sanitation worker in 1968 and like what home life was like, and you could protest in it,” said Res Ishee, a rising 7th grader.

But why use virtual reality? Well, Mangana says it’s all about how much easier it makes learning. 

“One of the things we found is when kids actually go through the experience and they actually have that tactile experience, that kinestetic learning, it makes the learning more relevant, and it makes the learning richer,” Mangana. “And so we see VR as a really important tool to to make the learning richer for our students.”

Now this is only the first year of this program’s existence at the Benedict Day School, but Mangana says he wants to continue to expand this program, eventually partnering with groups in the area to help create and curate Virtual Reality Content.

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