While Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming widely implemented across government and enterprise institutions, education is where we’re seeing the most remarkable adoption and results. As showcased in one of our previous blog posts, when VR is introduced in the classroom, it has the power to improve performance levels and increase knowledge retention, while providing immersive and engaging learning experiences for students. VR can be a very impactful and cost-effective solution, especially for Title I Schools.
What is a Title I school?
While private and charter schools – and even some public schools – are heavily funded and teachers have more access to resources for their students, other schools struggle to provide students with the tools required to teach them key areas of knowledge to prepare them for their future careers, such as STEM subjects.
These educational institutions, where the student base comes from at least 40% of low-income families, are designated as Title I schools. Title I is a federally funded program designed to ensure that all children have a fair and equal opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.
By using part of their Title I funding, schools within this program can implement Virtual Reality to provide students a positive and impactful learning experience, within a cost-effective solution. In traditional learning environments, teachers must ensure that their allocated resources allow them to obtain learning tools, including books and lab equipment. Additionally, when teachers want to take students on a field trip, they have to consider the cost of transportation, and other related costs. All of these hard costs are eliminated with a VR-enabled classroom, where a single headset can provide students access to chemistry labs, science labs and even travel on virtual field trips to places around the world, and even outer space.
Approximately how much does VR cost?
According to a Department of Education survey, 94% of public school teachers in the U.S. paid for student supplies without reimbursement during the 2014/2015 school year. Some even reported spending more than $1,000. These supplies, such as worksheets and lab equipment, are only used one time or need replacement every year.
One-time-use activities such as a Fetal Pig Dissection, can cost schools up to $15,000 (for a senior class of 500 students or more) on a yearly basis. Imagine being able to have students perform this activity and have access to a full set of dissections for a small fraction of what the physical labs cost. With Xennial Digital’s VR Learning Portal, which offers solutions starting at $99/month*, Title I schools can make the most of their budgets, while enabling classrooms with STEM VR learning activities that can be used time and time again, reducing all the physical costs as a result.
* $99/month during a 3-year period per VR station. Includes all hardware and software needed, including service and support. After the 3 year period, the cost for the license to the XDVR Learning Portal is $349/year.
Can I use my Title I funds to implement a VR Lab in my school?
According to the two provisions in a 2017 Title I tech funds memo, Title I Coordinators can invest up to 15% of funds provided under ESEA section 4109(a) to procure software and devices that will help increase access to STEM courses. Additionally, Address Readiness Shortfalls Districts may use Title IV, Part A to fund technology that will help students working at or below grade level in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science.
By implementing a STEM-based VR Lab into the classroom, Title I school students are able to learn by doing and experimenting, which enhances their performance and helps them be better prepared for the future. Introducing VR into the classroom does not have to be costly. Contact us to see how Xennial Digital can help you implement a VR Lab at your Title I school.