Texas’ San Isidro Independent School District is using funding from the Federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant program to bring virtual reality technology into its middle and high school classrooms.

The school district used the grant funding to purchase Avantis Systems’ ClassVR VR/AR headsets. ClassVR includes thousands of pieces of VR and AR content to support all subject areas.

“The GEAR UP program has been great for bringing technology and training to our district,” said Cristobal Vela, GEAR UP facilitator for San Isidro ISD. “ClassVR provides an excellent opportunity to have students experience places that they otherwise would never be able to visit.”

The GEAR UP grant program is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing services for high-poverty middle and high schools. A press release noted that San Isidro ISD serves a rural community in southern Texas where 95 percent of students are Hispanic/Latino and 100 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

“Utilizing grant funding for ClassVR is really a great way to support equity in schools because it gives students access to cutting-edge technology, and allows those who might not have had opportunities to travel, to experience different places through the power of virtual reality,” said Avantis Education’s Chief Executive Officer Huw Williams. “GEAR UP grants offer a great opportunity to bring technologies like ClassVR into schools to help enhance lessons and support academic success in secondary school and beyond.”

The technology is an all-in-one VR/AR headset designed specifically for K-12 schools. To facilitate ease of deployment for school districts, the ClassVR solution includes all hardware, software, tools, training, support, and implementation services needed for teachers to deploy AR/VR in their classrooms. The content hub, Eduverse, gives teachers access to thousands of VR and AR resources and content.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs