American High School launches global virtual reality school with Qualcomm and VictoryXR
Plantation, Florida — Saying it was time to begin moving students back into class, American High School founder and CEO, Dana Williams, said her fully online school would be opening classes globally in virtual reality in a demonstration project with Qualcomm and curriculum developer, VictoryXR.
“We have been a global leader in online learning for more than a decade and the technology is finally letting us bring everyone together in the same classroom, even if it is a virtual reality classroom,” said Ms. Williams. “When I saw the movie, Ready Player One, it seemed far off. I had no idea we would be the ones making it a reality in our own campus metaverse.”
Students in three classes will begin attending instruction this month with teachers on the VictoryXR campus.
“This should not be confused with ‘virtual’ education, which is generally a 2D experience with students planted firmly in front of a passive screen,” said Steve Grubbs, CEO of VictoryXR. “What American High School is launching are classes where students and their teacher will gather together in the same VR classroom space and interact as if they were in a physical school building.”
Students will be able to handle human organs in biology class, construct molecules in chemistry class, and take field trips together for history class all while learning in immersive ways with 3D objects and interactive environments.
Qualcomm, the world’s leading maker of extended reality chips, is providing consultation and funding for the project through Educate & Elevate a local charity dedicated to providing deserving students with virtual learning opportunities. Most virtual reality headsets, like the Oculus Quest, Vive Focus and Pico Neo, use a Qualcomm XR chip to power the graphics processing.
“America’s best hope is that students in our High School – even though they are in different time zones – can experience the power of learning communally. And if the data is correct about significantly improved retention, then American High School students will have a better learning experience in a more social environment, and that’s a win-win for everyone.” said Franz Schmelkes, Director of Strategy and Business at Qualcomm.