Virtual Reality Transcends the Classroom

Teach Live 1
Photo Credit: Aaron Allen

TeachLive is the new innovative program for college students to get hands on experience with real life situations that might take place in their workplace. This technology can easily be used for any major at the University of West Georgia; however, the Education department at UWG is currently the only department to utilize it. Teach Live is a virtual way for students to get practice before going into the workplace. This technology is gradually becoming popular among universities all across the United States. TeachLive is in 50 campuses across the nation. UWG students got to take advantage of this demonstration on Thursday, Nov. 6 in the TLC building. UWG is the first of two schools in the state of Georgia to have this innovative technology, along with Kennesaw State University.

According to the TeachLive website, TeachLive is currently the only Lab in the country using a mixed reality teaching environment to prepare or retrain pre-service and in-service teachers. The use of TeachLive Lab has been instrumental in developing transition skills for students with significant disabilities, providing immediate feedback for its users. With the use of a Kinect, and the TeachLive software one could potentially have this material at their fingertips.

A substantial amount of education majors participated in this demonstrations to see how the technology works. This is the second semester that UWG has had this virtual technology installed in the classrooms.

“TeachLive is a mix reality classroom where students can come to teach avatar students, and get the feel of how students act in different situations,” said Trevor Pace, student Assistant for TeachLive. “We can manipulate how the avatars act, the language that the students speak, and if a student requires more attention than the other students in the classroom,” said Pace.

“TeachLive is like a flight simulator for teachers and other majors,” said Steve Bronack, Chair of the Department of Educational Technology and Foundations. Any classroom can use this to get their students the ability to practice real life situations. “One could use this technology for training: they could use it in a hotel industry, customer service, or a coach to learn how to coach a team,” said Bronack.

There have been many success stories of how this technology has helped students to be prepared for the future in their career, and have allowed other students to become more comfortable in their field of study.

“There was a student who was autistic, he was very introverted and shy. He overcame his shyness and connected with one of the avatars on the TeachLive program, and now is communicating well with other students in his classes,” said Crill Head, a faculty member in the Department of Educational Technology and Foundations. “Former students have come back to me and stated how this technology gave them the experience they needed,” said Head.



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