Pic: Claudia Baxter
Pic: Claudia Baxter

Virtual reality program helping Dalby students soar

DALBY State High School has received a state-of-the-art VR learning program, broadening the horizon of students, and showing once again that country kids have the same opportunity’s as their city counterparts.

Thanks to the Endeavour Foundation and Arrow Energy, who provided virtual learning kits to the school - the sky is the limit as to what students can now achieve.

Dalby State High School deputy principal Kayte Gillinder, said the list of leering opportunities for students is now endless.

“There are many opportunities for these VR applications in our school, (such as) low risk exposure to high risk activities – embedding workplace health and safety practices on our school farm,” she said.

“Continued access to new environments and processes such as accessing public transport, (like) city trains, that students can’t otherwise access in rural locations such as Dalby.

Ms Gillinder also said, that “future development of programming will support students transitioning to high school, whether it be from primary school or another high school.”

The hands on, real life, design of VR makes it easy for school students to learn new things quickly.

DSHS year 12 student Lucas Cain said, the program makes learning fun.

“I thought it [VR] was a great experience because it is interactive, I hope to learn and have fun on it, (and) I hope I will learn how to work safely in a workshop by using this technology,” he said.

DSHS year 11 student Jacob Edwards said, the VR program will help him greatly in navigating busy city transport systems.

“I thought it was a good thing to learn how it works in a game (format), I hope I will learn how to get better using public transport in the city with this technology,” he said.

Endeavour Foundation Service Design Partner Chris Beaumont developed several of the state-of-the-art learning programs in conjunction with Queensland University of Technology.

“These programs are targeted at helping students with different learning disabilities practice skills in a safe environment before taking them out into the real world,” said Mr Beaumont.

“We originally developed these tools for our adult Learning and Lifestyle day services, however, they’re perfect for school students because it feels like you’re playing a game but you’re actually learning too.”

Arrow Energy Vice President External Relations and Tenure Management Leisa Elder said the VR kits were a “next step” advancement in education.

“As a company, we are constantly looking for the next advance in technology that improves what we do,” Ms Elder said.

“We are harnessing the power of virtual reality for external communications, and we’ll also be stepping into augmented reality for our engagement with landholders to show them the placement of infrastructure on their land.”

Since 2012, the Endeavour Foundation-Arrow partnership has improved access to disability services in regional Queensland providing more than 1000 hours of respite care, eight weeks work experience to job seekers, and two employment and training scholarships.

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