Teen Makes Push to Use VR in Special Ed Classes
India-West Staff Reporter
FREMONT, CA – Vidhi Chellani, a rising senior at American High School and California Chapter leader of Ott VR Academy, has utilized Virtual Reality to help educate special needs students in the Fremont Unified School District.
Although when she first began to volunteer with the severe and moderate level special-ed students, she had no real intention of using virtual reality for instruction, she quickly noticed the lack of interest, conceptual understanding, and communication skills these children had within the classroom setting. Pondering on how to correct the situation, she hit on the idea of Virtual Reality apps such as VR chat and Horizon Workroom as a means to get attention and retention.
Beginning with the severe class, she took the students to a virtual zoo to explore animal characteristics and habitats, placing the Oculus headset upon each child for them to observe animals ranging from kangaroos, lions, giraffes, and zebras. Students who would initially run away at the sight of a pen and paper were now in awe within the virtual zoo and were able to describe what they were seeing.
She taught another lesson to moderate-level children where she took the students to outer space and allowed them to compare planet sizes and also jump at different heights according to the gravity of each planet.
Chellani says she really wants the message to get out that these new methods of education have to be urgently adopted to truly reveal the incredible potential of these children.