Abbotsford – Abbotsford Virtual School has made the leap and gone truly virtual. AVS, which provides online and onsite classes from kindergarten to grade 12, is now home to a virtual reality system. Principal Brad Hutchinson says virtual reality can provide learning opportunities that are literally out of this world. Students strap on a headset and have two controllers that allow them to interact with a computer-generated world that looks, sounds, and feels real. Students can visit anywhere in the world they have ever wanted to go. They can travel inside the human body to watch white blood cells fight off a virus or they can get up close and personal to see how huge the sun is. Other exciting learning opportunities range from visiting famous museums and art galleries to creating 3D models in a world of their making.
Hutchinson says it is extremely satisfying to see the gains made in technology over the years and to have virtual reality become a reality for AVS. He says it is part of a bigger change in education to provide more hands-on experiences for students that reflect the ever-changing world we live in. With that, Abbotsford Virtual School has started a new blended middle school program called Fusion where students will also be able to collaborate and create with other means of technology as well, such as littleBits, Lego robotics and 3D printers.
Fusion kicks off in September 2017, and is a fulltime program where students from grade 6 to 8 will engage in a blend of online and in-school courses. To find out more about Fusion, Abbotsford Virtual School is holding an open house from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on May 15 th , 2017. Parents and students can come down and meet the teachers, check out the classrooms, and try out technology like virtual reality. Hutchinson says the Fusion program will offer smaller class sizes and reflect the changes in the new BC curriculum. Entrance into Fusion requires an interview process.
Hutchinson says anyone interested in learning about AVS can come out for the open house. Teachers from kindergarten to grade 12 will also be available to tour you through both the in- house and online classes the school offers.