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Virtual and augmented reality

Though not yet used widely in special education, virtual and augmented reality have the potential to be game-changers.

Dan Phillips, director of the Technology Resource Center at the Marin County Office of Education in California, has given VR headsets to children in wheelchairs, allowing them to walk and move virtually as they work on a 3D digital science curriculum.


Link to main story: Edtech equalizers in special education 


“We began to see kids moving their bodies in ways they never moved their bodies before, showing increased range of motion and increased muscle flexibility,” Phillips says.

Wearable augmented reality systems have also helped students with autism develop social skills. One product that works with Google Glass provides wearers with cues that help them interpret facial expressions.

“Think of the Terminator looking around the room—how it analyzes targets and then a message comes up that says, ‘it’s safe,’” says Kevin Custer, founding partner of Arc Capital Development, a edtech investment firm.