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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.

Some Army units will soon offer troops suicide prevention training on virtual reality headsets that transport the soldier inside the home of a peer in crisis with an officer coaching them through the scenario.
The Apex Officer Virtual Reality system at the police science program at Hawkeye Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was first used as a firearm training tool but evolved to be a key piece of training for local cadets.
For Earth Day, the educational VR company is offering schools one week of free access to online lessons about deforestation, pollution, the harm that plastics have on marine life, and the importance of recycling.
The technology is beginning to impact how patients receive care, from the use of virtual reality to deploying facial recognition for check-in. These were among the use cases on view at the recent eMerge Americas conference.
The online medical certification company MedCerts is combining AI with augmented reality to simulate training scenarios for nursing and medical students to practice diagnosing and interacting with patients.
The York County School Division is working with Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center to build virtual-reality modules for students to practice languages in real-world scenarios.
While VR hardware costs remain a major adoption barrier for K-12, experts say the technologies could provide an outlet for students with autism or social anxiety to practice social and emotional skills.
With help from a community foundation grant, a middle school in Wisconsin purchased 30 pairs of virtual reality goggles to take students on virtual field trips to faraway places and times in history.
A private Catholic college in Albany opened a new facility that houses cutting-edge XR equipment including 20 computer stations, more than 30 headsets loaded with VR applications, mobile VR labs and drone technology.
If the recent past is any indication, higher education this year is likely to see financial stress, online learning, a crisis of faith in leadership, emerging tech such as AI and VR, cybersecurity threats, and a desperate need for skilled IT staff.