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These stories look at how virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being used in state and local government to train employees like firefighters, EMTs and social workers. Includes coverage of VR and AR use in K-12 and higher education, as well as VR and AR startups building platforms geared toward government.

A private, health-care-focused university in Dallas has partnered with VictoryXR to build a 3D “digital twin” replica campus where students can use VR headsets to participate in virtual courses and lab activities.
The movement to create online virtual campuses, or “metaversities,” continues even as slowly dropping costs have yet to make it widely accessible. The professional development required is another hurdle.
Virtual-reality labs opened this year at three charter-school campuses in Southern Nevada, with headsets, augmented-reality apps and 3D printers to teach students about immersive technology and digital product innovation.
Lakeside High School in Ohio is using virtual-reality technology to simulate hands-on experiences in various subjects and allow students to explore topics, places and content without leaving campus.
Virtual reality has had a mixed reception in higher education, but few applications have caught on more than in nursing and health-care fields, where the technology is giving students practice with high-risk scenarios.
Panelists at the recent AR/VR Policy Conference said AR/VR tools have a unique ability to broaden participation and engagement in STEM courses, provided the tools are created and adopted with accessibility in mind.
Following the success of biology courses aided by technology from Dreamscape Immersive, Arizona State University is hoping to make more use of virtual reality for other course subjects moving forward.
In a study of 514 students across the state, conducted by the nonprofit WestEd, those who used a VR tool from the ed-tech company Prisms outperformed their peers who covered the same material in a more traditional way.
Artificial intelligence helps create user formats for some virtual-reality education programs such as those created by VictoryXR, which allow teachers to safely transport students beyond the walls of their classrooms.
Universities are gradually making more use of AR/VR headsets in an effort to establish “metaversities,” or digital twin campuses, but to date their use remains limited to a handful of courses at some schools.