This weekend I had the pleasure of presenting “Mixed Reality Resources for Education” to two groups of high school students. The kids and their chaperones all traveled to Cedar City, Utah to attend the “Talent Ready CyberCorps Camp” at Southern Utah University. Put on by the Southwest Educational Development Center, students had the opportunity to attend break out sessions about coding with micro:bits, cyber security, Makerspace tools, and more.
Working with students this weekend rejuvenated my internal motivation to educate. As a professional development specialist it’s easy to lose that connection to what really drives education – the enjoyment that comes from learning. All of the students I worked with has experiences, talents, opinions, and tons of questions. More importantly, they all had very optimistic ideas for the future.
During our three hour sessions students got to experience a Google Expedition and then lead their own VR Trip, explore AR/VR apps for their phones, test out several interactives with “Merge Cubes“, dive into a world full of dinosaurs with the Microsoft HoloLens, and even participate in a NearPod Lesson with VR features.
At the completion of each session I was most amazed at the brainstorming and connections students made to future applications. From preparing for jobs to reimagining the entertainment industry, each of the kids had a unique and optimistic view of how technology would make their lives better.
And the best thing I heard over the two days? A young man said “I don’t use social media. It takes up too much of my time and makes you feel cruddy.” Then he went back to solving my Rubik’s cube. It took him less than a minute. I’d been working on it for weeks.