Randall Sadler and Tricia Thrasher: Meta grant to bring VR to underserved schools


Dr. Randall Sadler, Associate Professor of Linguistics, and Dr. Tricia Thrasher, who recently graduated with her PhD in French, are the recipients of a gift valued at $300,000 via Meta Platform Technologies (formerly known as Facebook) and Immerse (a company that has created a VR platform for teaching languages).  Their project, Immersive technologies for language learning in underserved public schools in Illinois, California, and Texas: Guiding K-12 teachers in the implementation of VR-enhanced pedagogy, will provide a total of 500 Meta Quest II headsets to 9 schools located in Illinois, Texas, and California and training for teachers at those schools in the use of VR. This will be done via coordinated synchronous workshops across those three States that will allow educators to network with their colleagues as they explore the technology.  Their project will also develop a website providing guidelines and support for the use of VR in education, including reviews of a number of currently existing apps, video tutorials, lesson plans for their implementation, theoretical background, and a summary of current research in the area.