Aurora Public Schools partners with new program to bring virtual reality to teacher development

Mursion_Aurora Public Schools virtual teaching
Posted at 7:25 AM, Feb 02, 2021

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora Public Schools is using a unique virtual reality program to help teachers engage with students.

The district is the first in Colorado to partner with Mursion, a virtual reality simulation for teacher development. The program allows teachers to interact with a group of “digital” students, controlled by a human simulation support person.

“Students constantly need to be engaged and you need to be asking them the right questions and giving them the right answers to keep interest levels up,” said Andrew Salzillo, a science teacher at Mrachek Middle School.

In a demonstration of the software, it was clear the realistic responses from the digital students helped Salzillo shift gears when students became distracted.

APS Director of Professional Learning Jennifer Sheldon said the district plans to use the Mursion simulation primarily for newer teachers in their first five years. The district also plans to create different scenarios to practice serious discussions about educational equity, social justice and restorative justice.