What do educators and Virtual Reality have in common? Not much — not yet at least. This is set to change if Enhance VR (EVR), a startup company located in downtown Binghamton’s Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, has any say. 

EVR is changing the way students interact with education by allowing an immersive experience a textbook or lecture simply can not provide. They do this by integrating virtual reality into the classroom experience, creating custom lessons which cater to student and educator input. 

Their recent ‘New Reality of Education’ meetup brought together educators from around the area. The aim of this meetup was to let the end users of this technology play an active role in its development. By working closely with teachers, Matt Gill, CEO of EVR, expects the technology to better align with the mission of educators. 

“Student’s personal tech is massively engaging, and it is hard for traditional teaching methods to compete,” explains Gill. “Teachers experience firsthand the implementation of personal tech in the classroom, with little control over it. The technologies used to teach have to catch up, and considering educator input is crucial for the development team at EVR.”

Gill was happy with the turnout to the meetup, with over 30 educators attending. 

“It really was an amazing thing, seeing all these individuals, who really are pillars of the community, interacting with one another and getting excited themselves over the benefits this technology can provide to education,” said Gill. 

Gill was able to collect some interesting findings. It was discovered that out of all the technologies currently used in the classroom – not one teacher was ever asked to provide feedback from the developer. Also, teachers pointed out that often they don’t use a new technology in the classroom either because it takes too long to make a lesson or they weren’t trained well enough to easily make a lesson. 

Gill and his team will use this input to build a better software tool and overall a better product for education. He plans to continue to learn from teachers and admins not just in the development process but also through the launch, use and updates to the product. 

-Cory Kimmell