As not only a digital learner, but a digital leader as well, I must be able to recognize innovations that have the power to positively impact education. Successfully effecting change in the educational system requires a two-step process. First, I have to stay current with the latest information and writings in the fields of education and technology. Only by being aware of the emerging innovations that have the potential to change education, can I be prepared to proactively embrace those innovations. Second, once I have recognized an educational transformation opportunity, I will use that innovation to enhance my organization and all the stakeholders in it.
One such example of a cutting-edge innovation that has the potential to transform education is the use of virtual reality in the Career and Technical Education classroom. Imagine being able to take your students down to the engine room of a ship, or fifty stories up to experience the construction site of a skyscraper. Just like traditional core subject teachers desire to bring their lessons to life, Career and Technical Education instructors are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to bring real-world experiences to students so that those students can see—first-hand—the work environments of the occupations that their career pathway courses will one day lead to. Historically, this is done by taking students on field trips where they have the opportunity to tour a place of work, such as a welding or fabrication shop, a laboratory, a factory, or an automotive facility. While there is no substitute for bringing students on location to a job site, technology exists that could augment student site visits and eliminate the logistical obstacles that often prevent students from visiting many work sites.
Now, more than ever a digital revolution is transforming the way we do education. We now have access to tools that can bring learning to life like never before. By bringing the revolutionary medium of virtual reality into the CTE classroom, we can prepare students for a world in which they will grow and start a career. The links below will provide a detailed picture of how I intend to embrace the innovation of virtual reality to improve learning for the CTE students of the Houston Independent School District.