Barboursville Middle School introduces virtual reality math class

Virtual reality is commonly known for video games, and now teachers are using it to teach core subjects including math.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 3:56 PM EDT
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BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Technology is advancing by the second, and as it progresses, a lot of it is put to use in our schools.

Virtual reality is commonly known for video games, and now teachers are using it to teach core subjects.

Cabell County is the first in the Mountain State to implement a new program that uses virtual reality head sets for math class.

A new class at Barboursville Middle School lets students learn math through virtual reality head sets.

“This is a project that is brand new in the state of West Virginia,” said Barboursville Middle School math teacher Doug Force. “Cabell County is the first county in the state to do this.”

Force offers this class as an algebra equivalent.

“This is a real world adapted program, so what you are seeing today, they are doing a air traffic controller trying to not crash the planes and the probability of getting in and crashing the plane,” he said.

The program offers scenarios where you would need math skills in the work force.

“If you really don’t understand, it’s kind of like a real life situation how you would adapt to your job during the day if you’ve never done this before,” Force said.

Ellie Withrow is a seventh-grader who takes the class.

“It’s fun because you’re experiencing real world math problems,” Withrow said. “It’s easier because you can ask for hints without having to ask the teacher, so it’s really fun. I really enjoy it.”

“I think they’re really learning. This is probably the best thing you can come up with,” Force said. “If you put them in front of a book and tell them to do a graph, they’re probably going to go ‘Ugh.’”

While students are getting a break from traditional learning, they’re also learning how to adapt to new technology as it progresses.

“We still have the books, we still have online technology we use, but this is so future,” Force said.

So far the focus is math, but program organizers hope to offer other subjects soon.