Virtual and Augmented Reality

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality (VR) is a 3D simulated environment created by a computer with the user usually wearing a headset. This emerging technology is fully immersive, allowing the person wearing the headset to feel transported to another place and time. A person in VR is able to move around, explore, and even interact with their simulated environment.

Where is the Impact?

Transformation in Practice

Virtual reality is a tool that amplifies learning and design. Education becomes less about passive retention and more about actively experiencing and exploring. For example, in chemistry or biology, labs that might be dangerous, expensive, or logistically challenging can be safely simulated. Students can travel virtually to almost any place in the world and draw and sculpt in 3D. Math can go from abstract concepts to mind-blowing visualizations.

Technology with design is also a game changer. How might we inspire a new generation of creators, designers, and impact players? Students can use immersive technology to impact everything from generating empathy to using virtual environments and design thinking to create museums, combat phobias, and assist the elderly in increasing cognition and memory.

Perhaps the greatest impact of VR on education is its ability to immerse students in worlds that may have been previously inaccessible to them. A student learning about Egyptian culture can experience the thrill of “visiting” Cairo in 3D. Virtual reality makes education come alive as young learners explore different locations, gaining an appreciation for the wider world and sharing their experiences with their peers. VR encourages students to remain engaged and while fostering their skills as creative thinkers.

MV Case Study

Real-World Work

Students took their creative energy to the pages of ChildArt Magazine, an international publication dedicated to encouraging and showcasing the work of innovative young artists. Mount Vernon’s ninth grade VR students proved worthy of the challenge, serving as guest editors for their featured issue on VR and deep learning. Marie Graham, an esteemed Humanities teacher and Director of Visual & Augmented Reality at Mount Vernon, remembers the experience fondly: “ I reveled in the sight of [the students’] eyes growing larger and the energy building in the room. This is real-world work at its absolute finest. The students researched to find the best experts on our topic, learned to network using LinkedIn and other social media to make contact and engage the people they found, wrote professional emails, conducted thoughtful interviews, and wrote and edited their articles. The final product is something we are all proud of.”

External Case Study


Upper School students partnered with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to create a more pleasant experience for patients in physical therapy. The program developed by the students, The Island, serves as a distraction from pain and encourages patients to use their bodies better during physical therapy sessions by bending, stretching, squatting and moving throughout the virtual island. While working with the program in real-time, the physical therapists shared that the patients using Virtual Reality moved and completed much more in their PT session than they did on a normal day, without the program. This partnership showcases the power of VR as a potential tool for improving the lives of others, a facet of the technology our students are eager to continue unlocking.


Want more information on Virtual Reality?  Let us know where you are on your journey.  Transformation needs a guide.  We can help. 

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