How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud – and Embed Them in Their Learning

Michelle Furtado


McMahon, W. (2018). How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud-and Embed Them in Their Learning. EdSurge, 28.

This article discusses a teacher’s experience using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) hardware and software to teach English lessons in a College class. The teacher purchased forty AR headsets and used them to create lessons in which students could experience literature in innovative ways. As an example, for a study of poetry and lyrics he had them visit a U2 site which demonstrated interaction with a worldwide community in song creation and performance. Students were then asked to share their experiences and reflect on them. Students reported a higher level of emotional engagement in their learning than they had without the technology. After the lessons, the students were challenged to create products that would be useful using the software and hardware. They had to write up their proposals and present them to a panel of venture capitalists.

The article is a useful one, given the movement toward AR and VR technology. Students are already interacting with the world through technology with such games as Minecraft and Fortnite. This article discusses the value of incorporating immersive technology into teaching. The problematic portion is, of course, the current cost of such technology. While this may not be a viable option today in most k-12 public schools, the cost will probably come down in the years to come. AR and VR will no doubt allow more lessons to achieve the Redefinition level of SAMR technology integration.

Zepnick, Jaclyn
Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (2017).  Do Try This At Home! Retrieved from
This is a “fun” link I found while browsing the web for ideas in creating a Virtual Makerspace for the library I work at. Via the Smithsonian’s “Fun Stuff for Kids Online,” the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation has an entirely different approach to fun stuff for kids not online. 

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While I could not incorporate any of these activities into my Virtual Makerspace (that would defeat the purpose of being “virtual”), I thought teachers and teacher librarians could get ideas about activities that students can physically do in class, the library, or at home. Make sure to click on the Spark!Lab and Encouraging Innovative Thinking tabs too. 

Jolene Nechiporenko


Buerkett, R. (2014). Where to start: Creating virtual library spaces. Knowledge Quest, 
        42(4), E23-E27.

Buerlett does a wonderful job of explaining what virtual library spaces are.  In reference to these spaces, he comments on the why, how, and who.

According to the author, these spaces are important in today’s world of online learning and technology.  “Beyond allowing students 24/7 access to authoritative research materials, a virtual presence allow school librarians to promote the library program!”  In regards to online learning, the author states, ” If authoritative sources are not easily accessible through the school library’s website, students ill resort to the first result on their Google searches, often Wikipedia or

Buerlett’s steps to creating a virtual space include choosing a virtual platform, deciding on resources, assessment, and constant tweaking.

The author encourages creators to take into consideration that some students maybe using a mobile device or tablet, therefore the site should be made available on multiple platforms.
The author’s last bit of advice, “When ever possible, get students involved in the creation, testing, and upkeep of the site.  Students who curate information on their school library’s site not only learn more, they feel ownership and are more likely to use the site.