MSU College of Education opens Virtual Reality Academy and Lab

Published Friday, November 15, 2019

Mississippi State leaders celebrated the opening of the College of Education’s new Virtual Reality Academy and Lab Thursday [Nov. 14]. Pictured (front, l-r) are College of Education Associate Dean Teresa Jayroe; Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw; MSU President Mark E. Keenum; College of Education Dean Richard Blackbourn; and T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability Director Kasee Stratton-Gadke; (back, l-r) Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations Head Daniel Ga
Mississippi State leaders celebrated the opening of the College of Education’s new Virtual Reality Academy and Lab Thursday [Nov. 14]. Pictured (front, l-r) are College of Education Associate Dean Teresa Jayroe; Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw; MSU President Mark E. Keenum; College of Education Dean Richard Blackbourn; and T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability Director Kasee Stratton-Gadke; (back, l-r) Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations Head Daniel Ga

Mississippi State’s College of Education has opened a new Virtual Reality Academy and Lab, which has state-of-the-art technology beneficial to all university students.

MSU leaders officially opened the lab with a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday [Nov. 14]. Located in the Industrial Education Building on Herbert Street, the lab provides 20 virtual reality stations for use by both students and faculty, as well as for professional development training.

“Technological advancements are constantly impacting our daily lives and also affecting the various fields where we place our students,” said Richard Blackbourn, College of Education dean. “The establishment of this Virtual Reality Academy and Lab is one way our college is preparing and training professionals in the use of cutting-edge technology. We owe this to our students and the constituents who employ them.”

MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw said the project is a good example of the many ways MSU gives students the opportunity to learn from and use the most current technologies.

“I think the best is yet to come as we watch what’s happening in not only this technology, but a lot of other computer-aided teaching technology efforts,” Shaw said.

Trey Martindale, Instructional Systems and Workforce Development department head, explained that the lab will help teachers learn to use VR experiences to excite children about learning.

“The limitations of using VR and education are really only limited by your imagination. This facility is going to be a place for teacher training, camps for kids and for building VR environments. This includes math, English, history and science applications,” Martindale said.

Daniel Gadke, head of the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations, said in addition to professional development for teachers, the lab creates direct training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in many different fields.

“This lab opens up a whole world of research opportunities, whether that’s instruction, classroom management, industry, psychology or mental health,” Gadke said.

Established in 1903, MSU’s College of Education is home to six academic departments, one research unit and numerous service units. For more about the college, visit www.educ.msstate.edu.