VALDOSTA, Georgia (WALB) – With a new era of learning, Valdosta State University is integrating virtual reality into the learning experience for students.
Bobbie Ticknor is the lab coordinator and teacher.
With a background in software development and a desire to have a positive impact on the criminal justice system, she has combined the two.
Take students on a digital learning experience that gives an intimate perspective that traditional learning cannot provide.
âI’ve seen students literally sit and walk out crying, some are angry, some are thinking,â Ticknor said.
When students in this class put on the headphones, they are teleported to a different time, place and experience.
The graphics are surreal.
âFor example, last week we did an experiment where they were in solitary confinement. I want them to experience it so that they can understand that it is something that we do every day in the prison system, âTicknor said.
Other experiences include seeing a wrongful conviction through the eyes of the individual or a child visiting a relative in prison.
After watching, the class thinks about it.
Ticknor says these virtual reality lessons help students learn, stay focused, engaged, and motivated.
âSome students emailed me after taking classes where I did this and said, actually yesterday, ‘I really wasn’t interested in the corrections, but I followed your course and we went through solitary confinement and I’ve seen some of those experiences and now I’m going because I want to be a prisoner rights lawyer, âTicknor said.
Skielor Jackson and Alkedria Lewis attended the course.
Both get degrees in criminal justice.
They say movies and books couldn’t have taught what virtual reality provided.
âIt takes a strong-minded person to go through something like this. You really have to have the stomach and the state of mind for that. It’s definitely not for the weak, âJackson said.
âThe VR experience has really put us in the shoes of individuals in the past. Whether you are an inmate in a penal institution or a real person during the civil rights movements, it helped us to invoke the emotions they would have and to understand in depth, âsaid Lewis.
VSU is one of the few universities to have this technology.
There is a range of technologies and helmets available, with different prices and uses.
Ticknor says the lab is used for other history, biology, chemistry, and fine arts classes. It is a versatile laboratory.
This may be the future of learning.
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