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Seneca Valley to add virtual, augmented reality education programs

JACKSON TWP — An agreement with technology education company XR Terra at Seneca Valley School District could bring virtual and augmented reality programs to students beginning next school year.

The $20,000 agreement was approved at a school board meeting Monday, April 15. According to the district, Seneca Valley Academy of Choice would coordinate the education programs for staff and students across different grade levels.

Faculty would be trained in the technology to teach it to students, assistant superintendent of elementary education Sean McCarty said after the meeting.

“We hope to get the training beginning this year, so the students would be able to access (the programs) beginning next school year,” McCarty said after the meeting.

Students in varying grade levels will then have an opportunity to interact with the technology and learn about virtual reality in different capacities, he said.

“This technology agreement is allowing our teachers and our kids to explore virtual reality,” McCarty said.

Students at the intermediate high school also will be able to take a course incorporating virtual reality next fall, he said. Going forward, McCarty said, the district hopes to “further expand” educational opportunities about virtual and augmented reality to other schools in the district.

Educational programs will be available to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“You know, when we talk about jobs that haven’t even been created yet, this prepares students for the future,” McCarty said. “This exactly fits that mold and allows children to experience virtual reality from the beginning, utilizing experts to help support that.”

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m., April 16 to reflect that the coordinating school for the education programs is the Seneca Valley Academy of Choice. A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to it as the Seneca Valley School of Choice.

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