Is Extended Reality (XR) the Next Big Thing?

Many believe that Extended Reality (XR) is the next big thing that’s about to take the world by storm. AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and MR (mixed reality) may have been around for a while, but they’re about to come into their own and become part of our every day experiences. From business to education to gaming and tourism to shopping, these immersive technologies are already disrupting industries and will change the way we experience everyday life.

Natick Public Schools is excited to partner with XR TERRA to offer an XR Foundations Academy course that will prepare students, in grades 8-12, with skills to begin creating meaningful virtual reality and augmented reality experiences for themselves and their communities in the Unity platform.

This two week, in-person, immersive course (Flyer) teaches the core concepts of AR development and is a hands-on, scalable solution to gain real experience in virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) development and design.  

At the end of the course, students will:

  • have an understanding of XR
  • be able to explain careers in Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
  • have created and presented a working AR experience created in Unity and Vuforia to share with family and friends!
  • be able to discuss the process of taking an XR application from idea to demonstration
  • develop a foundation for further study in XR development

A summer course is only the beginning.  We plan to work with XR TERRA next school year to develop a semester computer science course elective at our high school to add to our computer science pathways program.  Computer science courses at Natick High School are growing and the students taking them are more diverse than ever before!  We are excited to be able to offer students the opportunity to explore new career pathways for their future.  An XR Design & Development Certification program is also on the horizon.

If you are interested in learning more about our progress, please follow me and/or reach out at any time!


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  1. Grace- There are no surprises… You’ve been doing great work helping your districts stay ahead of the curve for as long as I’ve known you!

    What have some of the conversations been like in district around AR/VR? Anything to share with other educators about getting this conversations started???

      1. I’d be happy to have someone from XR Terra meet with any districts to answer questions about the technologies. It’s not just about teaching students how to create for AR/VR, but also showing school leaders how it can be used to enhance instruction at all levels.

    1. Thanks for asking! We have been teaching students how to code AR and VR environments at the Middle school level grades 5-8 for a couple of years now with great results using CoSpaces and ClassVR headsets and Merge Cubes. My next post will be about what we have done and the outcomes we have seen in our Middle School.