Nearpod Launches Nearpod VR, the First-Ever Virtual Reality-Based Curriculum for K-12 Schools
Initiative kicks off as company joins forces with Knight Foundation, Marc Benioff, Krillion Ventures and to offer complimentary Nearpod VR sets and VR lesson plans in San Francisco Unified School District, Polk County Public Schools in Florida and beyond
Nearpod, the company that helps teachers quickly create digital learning experiences to engage students in class, announces the launch of Nearpod VR, an initiative that harnesses virtual reality and brings pedagogically-sound lesson plans to classrooms.
Through early support from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff and Krillion Ventures, Nearpod will give select schools in the U.S full sets of VR cardboards, complimentary access to more than 25 VR-based lesson plans, as well as professional development and dedicated one-on-one support to schools and teachers. This initiative will kick off with selected schools in San Francisco Unified School District and Polk County Public Schools in Florida, with plans to launch in more districts.
“We believe that technology is key to deep learning in the classroom, and we’re grateful for our community partners, who like us, believe in the importance of enhancing the learning experiences for millions of students,” says Guido Kovalskys, CEO and co-founder of Nearpod. “By exploring the world around them using Nearpod VR, students’ skills are improving and engagement levels are raising in ways we never thought imaginable, and we’re thrilled to be reshaping the future of K-12 education.”
Nearpod’s virtual reality-based curriculum makes meaningful learning tools available for any class to use. With interactive panoramic images from 360 Cities, Nearpod VR works on any device, eliminating the need for special hardware to experience virtual reality. Furthermore, the lessons give teachers an easy way to provide real-time feedback to students via polls, quizzes, open-ended questions and more, which recent research published in Human Neuroscience shows is the most efficient way of helping students learn.
“Nearpod is bringing best practices from consumer mobile media to the classroom,” said Ben Wirz, Knight Foundation director for venture investments. “It is helping to engage teachers and students who can, in turn, contribute to building stronger, more informed communities"
Classrooms using Nearpod VR can choose from over 25 virtual field trip lessons that will transport students to the ancient pyramids of Egypt, caves in the Easter Islands, the marine biomes of the Great Barrier Reef and much more. For a full list of Nearpod VR experiences, go to http://nearpod.com/nearpod-vr
According to a 2015 VR Consumer Report by Touchstone Research, 79 percent of US students ages 10 to 17 expressed they are most likely to embrace virtual reality when it becomes readily available. When asked what they most want to do in virtual reality, 37 percent of those surveyed said they would be interested in travel and exploration activities. With Nearpod VR, now it is possible.
Nearpod VR follows on the heels of other notable news for the company. It recently launched an iOS app enabling teachers to control lessons from their iPhone, and integrated with Google Classroom, allowing teachers to assign easily and share lessons with students using Google Apps For Education. In addition, Nearpod recently teamed up with Common Sense Media to bring award-winning digital literacy and citizenship curriculum to the K-12 classroom so students could learn to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in their digital lives.
For more info and school applications, go to nearpod.com/nearpod-vr
Nearpod is an award-winning education technology company focused on developing digital learning tools, virtual reality and interactive content across mobile devices that provides teachers an easy and efficient way to leverage technology in the classroom.
Nearpod was developed by a team of experienced entrepreneurs from Mckinsey & Co, Red Hat and Accenture and is backed by notable investors like Reach Capital, Rothenberg Ventures, Storm Ventures, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Krillion Ventures, Stanford-StartX Fund, Deborah Quazzo (from GSV Capital) and Zynga.org.
For more information visit nearpod.com
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