The “XR Festival,” presented by Bethany Lutheran College’s (BLC) Christ in Media Institute, will be held on the BLC campus April 1–2, 2022. XR = extended reality, which includes Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR ).
In preparation for the campus event, Lutheran High Schools nationwide have been invited to participate in the Festival in either of two ways. The first option involves students and teachers attending the XR Festival activities on April 1–2, and secondly, these same schools are also invited to participate in the “XR Project” during the current school year, that is, form a team of students who will explore “extended reality” and (perhaps) come up with ways to use VR and AR technology in meaningful education situations or in the effort of Gospel outreach. Those schools accepting the assignment will send their student teams and their advisors to the Festival to present a “show and tell” of their best ideas.
Online registration for the Festival began in January 2022 and continues through March. Five high schools have already registered and are participating in the research/idea gathering during this school year:
- California Lutheran High School
- Fox Valley Lutheran High School
- Luther High School, Onalaska
- Northland Lutheran High School
- St. Croix Lutheran Academy
The XR Festival’s main keynote speaker is Christine Lion-Bailey. Lion-Bailey is the Chief Strategy Officer of Ready Learner One, LLC, an innovative solutions provider for learning and training. She is an instructional design expert with a clear vision for how technologies of all types can enhance the overall learning experience. She is the co-author of Reality Bytes: Innovative Learning Using Augmented and Virtual Reality and The Esports Education as well as numerous articles and publications surrounding innovative learning and leadership. She also serves as the Director of Technology & Innovation and Elementary Principal in the Morris Plains School District in New Jersey, and is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey where she teaches instructional technology to undergraduate students.
Lion-Bailey’s presentation will be thought-provoking for all educators interested in incorporating virtual reality into their curriculum including home school educators.
While the focus of the XR Festival at Bethany is on educational uses, the event is open to anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating and useful technology, including exciting applications of extended reality in medicine, various kinds of therapies, care facilities, real estate , and other sales and marketing, training programs, and law enforcement.