AR & VR
Partnership to Bring VR and 5G STEM Education to Underserved Students
- By Kate Lucariello
VR (Prisms of Reality) and nationwide carrier T-Mobile
have partnered to give more K–12 students in the U.S., especially
those in rural areas, access to the 5G network in order to close the
gap in interactive math and science learning via VR headsets.
Technologies like VR need fast, reliable internet access, which is
not typically available to students in outlying areas.
VR and T-Mobile launched a new math education pilot program in 2022
in Michigan’s Lenawee Intermediary School District (LISD). It
provides Prisms VR's learning programs on Meta Quest 2 VR headsets
connected to T-Mobile 5G across 11 school districts in rural
headsets have been distributed to 20 schools so far, made possible by
$425,000 in funding through T-Mobile’s Accelerator program, with
headsets shared and transferred among schools. VR Prisms is also
active in 28 states across the nation in partnering with T-Mobile to
provide 5G access, the company said.
headsets allow students to learn and develop core math and science
concepts by studying and solving real-world problems. According to a
release, “LISD has reported improved lesson engagement and
retention, with 80% of students who participated in the program
saying they better understood the concepts and received higher
schools can also benefit from 5G, as VR headsets can be used
immediately upon connecting, faster than a WiFi system, the release
major roadblock our teachers have in implementing new technologies
like Prisms VR is often due to unreliable network connections,"
said Ann Smart, educational technology consultant for LISD. "Prisms
VR came to us with the recommendation to use T-Mobile 5G paired with
their learning programs, which we've been able to easily adopt at
over 15 schools in rural Michigan, with outstanding responses from
students and teachers."
VR can also be used at home. For more information on STEM learning
opportunities and how the system works, visit the Experience
also launched Project 10 Million, to connect millions of eligible
students in underserved areas across the country by offering free
wireless hotspots and connectivity. To learn more about that program
and eligibility, visit the Project
10 Million page.
to T-Mobile’s Education
page for more information about the latest in ed tech
connectivity and devices.
Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.