The future is here: Virtual Reality

By Rhonda Gregory, Director of Distributed Education

Catching a Glimpse of VR

Last week, the Distributed Education team spent some time at the TBR Office of Mobilization and Emerging Technology with Dr. Robbie Melton. We not only heard about the future of education, we were able to experience it first hand.

The Distributed Ed team assembling their Google Cardboard VR glasses
The Distributed Ed team assembling their Google Cardboard VR glasses
Dr. Torrence with VR Goggles
Dr. Torrence experiencing virtual reality through the Samsung Gear VR 2015 Edition

Our experience led to innovative dialogue about the possibilities and implications of new ways of learning through virtual reality and augmented reality. Individually and as a team, we were inspired to think beyond our traditional notions of education. We hope you will consider these ideas and be inspired, too.

Dr. Michael Torrence: “I though that the session provided a glimpse into the future of educational collaboration with the use of VR & AR. Educators can seize a growing area of interest for youth and innovate the delivery of our instruction practices.


  • IoT  (the Internet of Things) continues to grow in its importance.
  • Smart “everything” will change lives.
  • We are only at the early stages of change.

Steven Bennett: “There’s so much potential in the HoloLens technology, in terms of accessibility and accommodation that it’s astounding. I had an idea…about using the HoloLens as an interpretation tool (for both foreign language and accessibility purposes).  You would essentially be taking a person’s spoken words and converting it to text or even ASL using an avatar.”

Andrea Scruggs: “The meeting really opened thoughts to how we can expand the role of virtual reality into the classroom. I’m thinking about our criminal justice program, as just one example. They could look at a crime scene and ask what different items mean, and they can can piece together what happened. Or in fire science, virtual reality could give students the ability to act out a fire in progress without having to actually be in a fire training lab. I can see VR being very useful in our tech certificates and programs.”

Rhonda Gregory: “My background is in business and in education (teacher training). Of course there is nothing else that can replace real-life, flesh-and-bone, face-to-face experiences where variables are out of a learner’s control. But, there is a lot of potential for VR as I think about simulations, case-studies, and field experiences. We can integrate virtual learning experiences into business and logistical programs, bringing corporate and factory experiences to students in a way that they may never be able to experience otherwise. Student teachers can experience role-play and classroom simulations long before stepping foot into a classroom field experience. These types of experiences can only benefit the way we learn by providing added layers of experience. The reflections and discussions that follow virtual world experiences would be richer and more meaningful.”

An Example of VR & Journalism

Nonny de la Peña: The future of news?

Come, Experience Virtual Reality for Yourself

Monday, November 30th, Dr. Melton will be at Vol State. Two sessions will be offered: 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Both sessions will be held in the Great Hall of Ramer. The first 30 faculty or staff members who attend will receive their own pair of Google cardboard.

Come, see, and learn about the latest in innovation and emerging technologies, the campus-wide internet of things, robotics, augmented reality, and virtual reality.