While it sounds a little futuristic, one former East Texas teacher is helping kids take trips to the moon and back.
Jamie Donally is streamlining ARVR, augmented reality virtual reality, learning in classrooms. She taught in Tyler ISD when she first discovered how neat and simple it was to teach kids an 'out of this world' lesson.
"Wait what, this is a game changer. This is going to change everything. This can be adapted to everything," Donally said, remembering the time she was at a conference where ARVR was being taught.
"I literally the next day started training teachers in the district," she said.
Then, she started using her smartphone with her eighth-graders, showing them fun new ways to learn.
"We can't bring them to the moon. So, getting them to go through virtual reality to the moon and giving them that experience is really important," she said.
Donally is making it her mission to give educators the tools to teach ARVR in the classroom with whatever resources they have, even if that's not a lot.
Oftentimes, it's free. All you need is a smartphone, which many teachers already have.
In April, she published a book, acting as a roadmap for teachers, complete with lesson plans.
"They needed to have it written down," she said. "I would go to conferences, and I'd go and present the concept. They were pumped, they were excited. Then, I'd come back the next year, and they were like, 'I didn't do anything. I don't even know where to begin.'"
T.J. Austin Middle School Media Technology Specialist, Stephanie Burns, was a mentor to Donally when she first joined TISD. Now, Burns said she's learning quite a bit from her.
Burns started using ARVR in her classroom six years ago.
"They were able to hover their app over the picture, and then they would see a 3D image. It was like magic to them," Burns said.
Kids love technology, which is why both Burns and Donally said this is a win for teachers, too.
"Anytime we can get students interested in something by using their personal interest is a good thing," Burns said.
Donally travels around East Texas, teaching educators how to use virtual reality in the classroom. She's been to Tyler, Van and Longview, to name a few.
She hopes ro write a second book in the upcoming year.