Students collaborate using VR technology in the classroom

Marshalltown, Iowa – Colo-NESCO high school recently started adding virtual reality (VR) in their curriculum as a new way to engage their students. Their technology & TAG educator, Hazel Purtell, was the driving force behind the push for VR in the classroom and brought this idea to life through successful efforts to build a VR lab with help from Mechdyne. Students at Colo-NESCO are engaged now more than ever and are able to utilize two high-powered computer systems that each connects to an Oculus VR headset, to work on collaborative projects with their classmates.

“It’s totally humbling that an international corporation like Mechdyne has expressed interest in our small rural school district, “said Purtell, “giving a tour to our students of their Technical Center and the volunteer time that the Mechdyne employees are willing to do. We may be small but we are going to be mighty.”

Purtell teaches basic technology classes at Colo-NESCO. In order to do this most effectively, she wanted to incorporate VR into the curriculum with the addition of a VR lab. The VR lab has had a significant impact not only on the students but the school district as a whole. Today, students have the ability to:

  • Learn 21st century skills, problems solving, team collaboration, and time management
  • Become engaged and excited about their classes
  • Gain new experiences, outside of their small community in Colo, Iowa. This includes taking a field trip to Mechdyne’s Technical Center, Iowa State University to see their VR technology, and plans to attend a VREP conference in the near future

Purtell plans to continue incorporating VR technology into different subjects at Colo-NESCO High School. She wants students to research and finds different VR applications for all subjects, allowing for this new way of learning to be utilized by everyone in the school district.

About Colo-NESCO

Colo-NESCO Community School District is committed to guiding and nurturing the academic, emotional, physical, and social development of all students, while promoting lifelong learning and citizenship in today’s world. At the junior and senior high school level, over 80 academic classes and over 20 extra-curricular activities are offered.


About Mechdyne

Mechdyne Corporation is a broad-based technology partner specializing in audiovisual and information technologies (AV/IT), visualization and software solutions, immersive virtual reality technologies, and technical support services. We address complex projects where an in-depth understanding of user requirements leads to the development of customized solutions involving elements of display, graphics computing, software, and professional services. Headquartered in Marshalltown, Iowa, Mechdyne serves a global client base that includes leading government laboratories, university and research centers, energy, aerospace, manufacturing, and medical organizations, as well as any other user of advanced technology.

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