VR/AR Classroom Launches at Southern Utah University

Published: March 06, 2024 | Author: Clare-Estelle Perkins | Read Time: 2 minutes

Two students experiment using new VR HeadsetsSouthern Utah University is proud to announce the launch of its new Virtual Reality and Augmented Innovation Classroom. This facility offers students hands-on experience in virtual reality and augmented reality content, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including VR and AR headsets and high-end computers and software.

The VR/AR classroom was made possible through a nearly million dollar innovation grant awarded by Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) that was written collaboratively by Dr. James Brandt, Dr. Richard Cozzens, Dr. Jeffery Cowley, Aundrea Frahm, Benjamin Kirkby, and Dr. Brandon Wiggins. VR offers a highly immersive learning experience that engages students in ways traditional methods cannot. By simulating real-world environments and scenarios with low risk stakes, VR enables students to interact with content and explore concepts in a more profound and memorable manner whilst maintaining a safe environment the entire time. The classroom is equipped with 23 of the newest headsets from Meta, a monitor for every headset, and a computer dedicated to development. Over 15 classes are using the classroom in their curriculum. Students are using VR to learn human anatomy, build professional soft-skills, take virtual field trips, and create collaborative molecular design.

“SUU is interested in being on the leading edge of integrating emerging technologies into their higher education curricula," said VR/AR Director Aundrea Frahm.

Along with the classroom facility, SUU will host a large-scale virtual reality conference at the end of the month. The XR Southern Summit will take place on March 29 and March 30 in the Hunter Alumni Conference Center. This conference is aimed at exploring the latest advancements and opportunities in the fields of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in relation to education. It will bring together experts and enthusiasts from various industries and universities to share their knowledge and experiences. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced professional, the XR Southern Summit is an opportunity to gain knowledge, connect with others, and explore the exciting world of VR and AR.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Kevin Steed from KRS electric, a company leading the way in using VR in the construction industry, as well as plenary speaker Rob Nelson, who is a content creator and biologist. Attendees will be provided with a unique opportunity to learn about the latest developments and trends in VR and AR with presenters from University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Tech, Southern Utah University, Boise State University, University of Maryland, Harvard, and University of Nevada Reno and vendors from Transfr, SimX, KRS, Serl.io and more. To register or learn more about the conference, visit the conference website at https://www.suu.edu/xr/

SUU's Center for Teaching Innovation exists to support SUU’s learning community, providing expertise and resources for projects of all scopes–from answering technical questions and assisting with webinars or conferences to working to create innovative teaching solutions.

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