My Meandering Thoughts on Curriculum for Digital Technologies 2018 – Part 1

As 2017 begins to wind up, I am begin to plan 2018. I am looking forward to 2018, I have a new curriculum project; Year 8 IT under the Victorian Curriculum. This just seems completely and utterly ordinary, until you take into the consideration that this course is for a group of year 8 that spent half of last year learning to coding.  I know, I know…………. Still not really something to be excited about. But I am!

The 2018 Year 8s will be the first cohort of students I have worked with that already have done a significant amount of coding and are not necessarily starting at a zero knowledge starting point. The downside, is I am writing an entirely new course from the ground up, but that is not new to me. I have energy around this piece of curriculum development.

As an aside, I also am reworking my year 9 Game Development Course, my Year 10 Visualisation and Web Design course, and my Year 10 Software Development Course, but these are more tweaks and will retain much of their cores.

But at the moment,  I am thinking about Year 8 and playing with a few ideas !

I am lucky enough to be at a school who is a member of the catchment for the first Victorian Tech School Centre to open, taking my classes to complete many design challenges over at YRTS (Yarra Ranges Tech School). I have been involved in the development of their programs and have worked closely with their team from a teaching and learning perspective. I’m a member of their Educational Consultation Committee. The programs they are running and developing are great, and have influenced my perspective on how we can engage students in Computing.

In the past week, I have revisited the aims of the Digital Technologies Victorian Curriculum

The Digital Technologies curriculum aims to ensure that students can:

  • design, create, manage and evaluate sustainable and innovative digital solutions to meet and redefine current and future needs
  • use computational thinking and the key concepts of abstraction; data collection, representation and interpretation; specification, algorithms and development to create digital solutions
  • apply systems thinking to monitor, analyse, predict and shape the interactions within and between information systems and the impact of these systems on individuals, societies, economies and environments
  • confidently use digital systems to efficiently and effectively automate the transformation of data into information and to creatively communicate ideas in a range of settings
  • apply protocols and legal practices that support safe, ethical and respectful communications and collaboration with known and unknown audiences.


This revisit adjusted my perspective and thinking it seems. New terms become more prominent; my interpretations have been tweaked or changed. I think I have been too focused on the technical aspects from the scope and sequence, and not enough on the aims.

This adjustment has changed the contextual curriculum focus. To me, Digital Technologies is no longer just a technical subject, but a subject that is about application of the technical in order to do something tangible with it. I know that sounds like the same thing, but it really is not, at least in the meandering thought process that I am currently exploring. I will attempt to explain.


Digital Technology needs to be about designing solutions to problems; taking the technical tools of coding and applying them to a problem to create a solution. It’s about creating digital solutions while at the same time expanding a student digital tool box to allow them to develop their solutions. It’s the old chicken vs egg argument; which came first? We need to develop skills to solve problems by looking at the problems that need skills for solutions. We need to both develop the solution and learn the tools needed at the same time.

My thinking so far has taken me down the road into the realm of incorporating a range of robots into the year 8 course. Consumer lever robots, like the sphero, mbot or ringo2, allow you to access coding at a level that is very basic, but can be extended to a very complex level, while the whole way providing a platform that has tangible results at regular intervals. I’m thinking of making the course (or at least a part of it) a team challenge exercise – they have to research and design a solution to the challenge.

I think robots, can potentially provide the platform that bridges the digital to physical classroom gap. It can take coding to a place where it becomes “real” in a way that is difficult to achieve.

I shall have to think, and write more on this at it develops. What out for Part 2 and beyond!


Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks


(or why the Head of [ insert faculty] is going to my hit me in the back of the head)

I have been prepping recently for my first every presentation at a conference. I have been lucky enough or maybe crazy enough to be giving a presentation at Digicon 2017 (  It seemed like a good idea at the time (still does, just with a lot more trepidation and anxiousness), but I thought it would be fun to share with my colleagues, what I am doing with ICT at my school. Thus I came up with this (caution, self-promotion in hyperlink below);


At Mooroolbark College, when the new Victorian Curriculum in Digital Technologies, was introduced we realized that there were two major hurdles to overcome. Firstly, a knowledge gap in terms of coding/programming; the 7-10 curriculum is based on students having completed the F-6 curriculum, which won’t happen for the next 3-5 years effectively. Secondly, where are we going to get ICT teachers from, that can teach this curriculum? This presentation is about one school’s solution to this dilemma; how we are training teachers to code so they can teach year 7s and 8s confidently and effectively, so they are curriculum ready by year 9.  This is my and Mooroolbark College’s story about this so far, and hopefully a forum to share our experiences with others.

I wanted to call my presentation “Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks” but was told that, despite being funny, it is not professional to ever refer to colleagues, even metaphorically or as an idiom, as “Old Dogs”, even if I love dogs. Despite this, the name still lives in my head, and now due to this blog, on the internet. LOL.

A week of holidays has passed, and I will admit that I am nowhere near ready yet. I have put in a few hours of work and thought on this, but I am struggling finding the words. My principal recently told me that sometimes, when it comes to ICT, be it pedagogy or teacher practise, people have trouble getting their heads around the concepts or ideas that I am trying to explain.

She advised me, that it is not that I speak to fast or use too technical language, it is that they (those who I explaining too) often don’t have the ICT knowledge or experience to put things into a context where the ideas make sense. The whole “context” thing is a new challenge for me. I guess being at the bottom of the change pile not the agent of change that I have become (not my words, but I will steal them Rach!) has given me a tendency to forget that not everyone has the same context when it comes to ICT in education. This contextual difference, is what has me stuck at the moment.

The idea of context is why I think, that metaphorically speaking, another Faculty Head is going to hit me in the back of the head. In all honesty, I work with a great team of Faculty Heads and I respect them all. They are fantastic people and great educators, without exception. But change is something that most teachers seemed to be a little bit hesitant with, especially when it comes to technology in the classroom. As I wrote this last sentence, I gained some clarity on the idea of context!

My context, is quite different to most of the people I work with. I am into Computers and Technology. They have always been something I have enjoyed, something that I have dabbled in. I am a geek and proud of it. I also find computers and software something extremely easy to learn and incorporate into everything I do; I look for digital solutions as a first stop to problems. I happily will spend hours “playing” with a piece of software or hardware. I haven’t read a physical book in a really long time, unless I was given it as a paperback. Every book I have bought for myself since the first Kobo reader came out, has been digital. Outside of ABC kids TV (I have a 4 year old son) and the occasional News, I stream about 95% of my media consumption. Coding is not mystical or magical, it just part of technology. My phone is used more for emails, messaging, forums and social media, than it is for phone calls. I have a relationship with technology, that has integrated it into almost every aspect of my life. In writing, this I have realized that I don’t differentiate technology from the analog; it is all a tool that I use with ease.

And it is not this way for many of the people I work with.

I guess I have some thinking to do now.

My Internet Addiction

A few months ago now, I had a lot of problems with my home internet connections, which is thankfully was resolved after a week. My phone was also being repaired, so I didn’t have it either. To compound the problem, or make it even more interesting, we also had been having ongoing issues with my school’s connection, but this was not as annoying as my home problems. For me, these issues have really highlighted how integrated the internet, and more specifically access to it has become in my life.

I use it for so much of my communication, work and entertainment that when it is not working, even if I don’t in fact need it to do what I am doing, I feel that something is “off” in my personal world, when it is not working.  I have been reflecting on this experience and these feelings as of late, in an attempt to understand why that is.

Lots of people have written on this subject, and I have read reasonably widely of them. There are lots of theories and different explanations of this phenomenon, which range widely and differ significantly. In my own head, I have amalgamated them into my own explanation; it my opinion and is what makes sense to me. I think it is due to the integrated nature of the internet into my life. It is something, like my phone or my watch, that I take for granted. I assume that it works and that I have it with me. I think about internet access in the same way.

Let me digress, and use an example involving my watch, to explain. I wear a watch every day. I have for years and years. I don’t wear it when I sleep for some odd reason. I always take it off when I get into bed for the night. It is just what I do. Somedays, rarely, I end up not putting it on and heading off to work. (Yes, I forget it. I am not a morning person and even with coffee I don’t operate on all cylinders first thing.) When I first realize that I forgot it, a cycle of looking at my blank wrist begins. It drives me nuts all day, especially when I am not on a computer with a clock starting at me constantly. When I don’t have it, I notice; when I do I am not even aware of it being there. And the internet has become the same.

I have known for a while, that my phone is not primarily a phone anymore; phone calls and text messages are my primary communication channels. Email, instant messenger programs and Skype are my primary means of communication at work and at home. Pretty much the only one who text messages me is my wife and occasionally other family members; my communication with friends is via the other mentioned services, which are internet dependent. When the network goes down, I feel a profound sense of disconnection to the world.

The internet in the last few years (if 10 counts as a few…) has become so integrated into my (and probably everyone else’s) lives that I must actively think about what is connected via the web and what is not. So many of my daily services are interactions need that global connection. At school our learning management system is not hosted on site; neither is our email; many of our regularly used services require internet access. I am a Dropbox user; every file I create for work or personally, lives in my Dropbox, which syncs them between my various computers. I don’t think I have used an USB to transfer files between my devices for about 2 years now. My system backups are also on a server somewhere, sitting in a data center located who knows where on earth. I read the news on websites instead of physical papers. Hell, I even stream the news nowadays as it means I can watch it when I am free to and want to, not when it is being broadcast.

In writing this, I have realized that I am in reliant on the internet, maybe even addicted to it. The brief week I had no internet at home and intermittent internet at work was stressful. I was unwillingly unplugged, and it really bugged me. It was beyond a mild annoyance or frustration, and almost seemed to be like a mild withdrawal. Admittedly, I have no idea what withdrawal is like. I don’t think the days when I miss my morning coffees count.

I think I can say I am addicted to the internet; not a site or activity, but the connectivity of the thing. It is a web (pun intended) that binds me to the world and connects the world to me. I am an internet addict and I am happy with that.

Makerspaces and Me


I’m currently working on a grant proposal, specifically related to the Technology and Engineering parts of STEM. I am endeavouring to take the idea of a makerspace to the next level; I want to explore how it could be setup and utilised to enrich and support secondary learning. One of my issues with maker spaces, is they always seem so primary focused; they seem to be more about the primary educational mentality and focus. It might just be perspective bias on my part, but I always get the impression whenever I read about them or see them, they are intended for younger students. I have always found that makerspaces are really about the “explore” of the tools and materials that are present. Don’t get the wrong impression at this point, I in fact love makerspaces; I think they are fantastic and want them to become more widespread. What I want to do thought, is move makerspaces to a level that correlates and engages secondary students; especially those in Years 8, 9 and 10.

I really like Samantha Roslund’s definition from her book “Makerspaces”. It reads

“Makerspaces is a general term for a place where people get together to make things. Makerspaces might focus on electronics, robotics, woodworking, sewing laser cutting, programming or some combination of these skills.”

Her words provide a great definition, but at the same time are not specific enough for my purpose. My goal is to support STEM specifically the Technology and Engineering parts. I know it is splitting hairs, but I have always defined a maker space in the following manner myself;

A makerspace is a location set aside and resourced to allow students to work on projects, build, and most of expand their understanding; it is a place where students can create, invent, tinker, and discover using a variety of tools and materials. It is a place where students can be creative and build connections across the curriculum in ways that are meaningful to them.

My definition is even less specific then Samantha’s, as it focuses more on the why of the makerspace, then what it is being done with or in it. I think the only solution is to combine the two!

So here is my attempt at a unified definition;

A Makerspace is a place where people can come together and make things. It is a place that focuses on allowing people to work on projects, build, and most of expand their understanding; it is a place where people can create, invent, tinker, and discover using a variety of tools and materials. It combines skills across fields; it can involve robotics, electronics, craft, sewing, laser cutting, 3D printing, wood cutting and computers. It is not limited to a single filed, but is a place to be creative and make whatever you can come up with.

I think writing this today has helped take my thinking in the right direction. I feel that the scope may still be too large, but some of the “why” we should be doing this is now there. I think I’m going to leave this one here for now.


ICT Literacy: An Attempted Definition

If your reading this, you are most likely considered literate in the English language in the form of written literacy; you can read and probably write in the English language (If you are using a translator, or text to speech software, hat’s off to you, because that is awesome!). Furthermore, this is the characteristically used definition of the word “literacy”; the ability to read and write in your chosen language. It is in fact, the primary definition of the word in the dictionaries that I took a look at. This definition also applies in other languages too, but I’m writing in English, so I going to try and keep it simple and only talk about it in that context. Literacy also has a secondary definition, which often reads: knowledge or competence in a specific topic or content area.

This is where things get confusing in teaching; how do you differentiate about what definition of literacy your using, when you say literacy? Unlike some other words there is no case sensitive versions that differentiate between the two definitions (example Aboriginal vs aboriginal); using the term literacy often requires a lot of context. In an educational context we like to talk about literacy as literacy and other literacies, with the term other literacies refereeing to areas like computer literacy, media literacy, visual literacy and so on. Confused yet? Hopefully not.

In this context, I am going to be talking about information/computer technology literacy, which I will just call ICT literacy for the sake of ease of typing. I have been thing about ICT literacy a lot recently, as at my school we have been looking at classic literacy across the whole school recently, as a PD focus. English is also one of my teaching methods, though I am not teaching it at the moment, so my brain has been in “expert” mode during these sessions and this has really got the metaphorical wheels turning. ICT literacy and literacy are very connected; they are not the same thing, but have an interesting relationship.

I have begun to examine the necessity of basic literacy skills to even access a computer. I realized that computers are built around the assumption of a user having a basic level of literacy; the ability to read (at a really basic level) is an essential skill for computer use. Computer interfaces are built around text and the ability to respond to that text. Think about the first thing you have to do after the thing is turned on; enter a password. We think of computer interfaces as being completely graphical, but they in fact are not. Text (and words) are integrated into the graphics to such an extent that we no longer realize they are actively present and being interacted with. Think about your desktop for a second. Every icon has a name. We use the visual cues provided by the icons to be efficient, but we typically read the name when we focus on one. And this is just on a surface level; think about what you do on a computer. Email, social media and browsing the web, are all text based interactions; we communicate with written language when using most computer technology. ICT literacy is built upon a foundation of literacy.

At this stage, I will concede that people can rote learn to use a computer, if illiterate, but find it very difficult to do anything beyond simple tasks. There are also alternative interfaces to assist the blind, but this is not the same as being illiterate, as to use them you need a different form of literacy that is far more complex and nuanced. But with this said, it does not take away from what has been presented so far.

This leads me on to a more complex question; what then is ICT literacy?

Within my education paradigm, many define it as the ability to use a computer and associated programs effectively. I think this definition is quite limited. For me, ICT literacy is more complex than that. I tend to expand the definition. For me ICT literacy is “the ability to use computer technology in an effective manner in order to communicate and express oneself. It is the ability to learn new software and adapt to the ever changing face of computer technology. It is about thinking critically and imaginatively about information. It is about meaningful communications using technology. ICT literacy is an extension of literacy into the multimodal world of information technology”.

I’m the first to admit it, but I am still not happy with this definition. It still seems too small, for such a big concept, but I will keep working on it. Some same ICT Literacy is one the “most important 21st century skills”. I tend to agree, but have begun to think of it as more of an extension of classic literacy than a entire field of its own.

Some Thoughts on STEM in Aus

I was reading this post by EdTech and the first line really jumped out at me.

“Many high-demand occupations require a solid grounding in science, technology, engineering and math.”  EdTech

Despite this article being about America, I believe that their statement applies to education here in Australia. We are living in a technological society, and our education system is struggling to catch up with it. After years of funding cuts, we have become very disconnected from “Industry Standards”. Education has been about literacy, numeracy, and developing thinking skils for the last half century or so (give or take).

We really wanted people to be able to read and think, giving them the skills to be productive members of society and chase their dreams. This is as true today as it ever was. It is a fundamental purpose of education and that should never change. BUT society has changed. We need new additional skills and ways of thinking. Technology has experience exponential grow in the last 30 years and the way we interact with information has changed. We are quickly moving away from an industrial society, transitioning into a knowledge based economy, where what we know how to do and how we know how we think are becoming more important than our physical capabilities. This social /economic shift is already happening, and our education system is trying to adapt and grow with it, providing students with new skills and knowledge to empower them in the future.

STEM is the hot topic in education at the moment, but we are playing catch up to the needs of industry. We need students to understand the concepts and thinking skills the STEM disciplines need. In all honesty though it, might be too late for many of them; some students don’t have enough time left in their secondary education for this shift to have more than a small impact on their skills. They are not a lost cause or anything like that, but they might not have the same opportunities that will be presented to the secondary school generation that follows them.

I love how STEM, and with it Computer Technology, has become a driving idea of education. There is lots of talk, but from what I have seen and heard, very little action. The government has been talking big about STEM; promising to allocate millions to education. So far this money has not eventuated, with vast sums going to “development initiatives” which seem to exclude actual schools. I hope they will deliver, but odds are it will be too little too late and complicated by the usual bureaucracy which will waste the majority of funds.

On a plus, the action around STEM seems to be happening at the school and teacher level; teachers are doing what they; making use of what limited resources they have to shoot for the best learning outcomes they can conceive. It is what we do (imagine that I have inserted a winky smiley face here). I love the energy that the push of STEM has caused; the recognition that science, technology, engineering and math are key areas for the future, has breathed energy into the subjects. If the chips fall right, the funding materializes, there is a potential of a paradigm shift in education; one that will align our educational goals with what is needed in our technological society.

Revisiting The Digital Divide

Someone I follow on twitter, re-tweeted a post by @LeungAsh which brought up this topic the other day and got me thinking about it again. Back in 2009 while studying to be a teacher, I ran across the idea of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants (Prensky 2001). This then lead me to Dave White’s (@daveowhite) concept of Digital Visitors and  Digital Residents (University of Oxford 2009).

In 2009, he presented his ideas in a video on the Tall Blog for Oxford University. In 2011 when I stumbled upon Dave White’s ideas, I had already drunk the metaphorical cool-aide and wore my badge as a Digital Native, despite being born in 1979 (I was an IT teacher, damn it!). I proudly adopted adopted the badge of Digital Resident and continued on my way, thinking (and probably writing ) about it. I about to graduate from being student teacher to teacher and was intent on teaching Information Technology and changing the world (well a little tiny section of it, as my wife had already been a teacher for the last 4 years, and I knew what the reality of it was, or so I thought).

Then life got in the way; I jumped into the trenches of teaching, which was the followed by having a child. I became focused on developing my teaching in a hands on, why are they not listening to me way. I finally got a handle on that (on good days) when parenthood shook up my universe. 5 years on in 2016, I find myself once again exploring the education theory landscape. Ash Leung’s twitter post (@leungAsh) yesterday really got me asking myself “how has this idea evolved in the last 5 years?”

So as any resident or visitor would do, I did a google search. Dave White seemed to of answered my question;

In 2015 Aaron Davis  wrote a great piece called Mapping the Divide: Visitors and Residents on the Web. I found the above video there. He (Aaron Davis) summed up movement from the idea of Natives and Immigrant to Resident and Visitors elegantly.

I did notice something though, much of the information and discussion on this topic seems to have changed little in the last few years. I actually don’t feel like I have missed the last 5 years of this idea evolving and growing. I think that, my growth as a teacher and digital resident has kept me in the loop somehow.

Our technology has evolved and has become more integrated than ever before, but as people there actually hasn’t been much change in how we engage with the web. Yes social media is everywhere, but it it does not feel anymore prevalent now than it did five years ago, there is just more variety.

And this got me thinking. In fact it has triggered a whole lot of thinking. For me thinking leads to googling, which leads to reading, which leads again to thinking and so on, until I decide to write some of thoughts on this blog. I want to know how this idea fits into my school and how others approach integration of technology into the classroom. For me, it is seamless and without thought; I choose what will engage my students and achieve my desired learning outcomes. For others, it is a burden and makes things more work than before. The idea of Residents and Visitors, is very applicable to teachers; we quite literally can fall into these categories; there are those who use it when they have to and those who use it as an extension of what they are doing. 




Whiteboards, Projectors and TVs in the Classroom

I was reading this article about replacing white boards with TVs, and it got me thinking. I really don’t like the idea of it. I’m not a constant white board user, as an IT teacher, but do use it on occasion. I use my laptop, projector and OneNote instead, as I am lucky enough to have a touch screen and a digital pen. I get to distribute my scribbling to my captive audience, and they can focus on the discussion instead of trying to copy my notes.

But that is me. Not everyone has the resources or inclination to adopt this approach. Not everyone wants to. Yes HD is nice, 4K more so. Yes TVs are easy to use and work much better than projectors in a bright space. But I would still rather have a projector any day.  Until TV are the size of a whiteboard, a projector will trump them. I’ll finish with a question “What would you do if the power goes out, and you had no whiteboard?”

BYOD: Yes or No

I was recently asked for my thoughts on BYOD programs. If you do a quick google, you will find heaps of discussion, debates and arguments about BYOD. There are people on both sides of the issues. After reading a number of these articles and discussions, it became clear to me that there is no answer that will not be contentious. What it really comes down to is personal opinion. So here I go……….

For me, BYOD is reality (if not a necessity) within the current education funding model. Here in Australia, like many other countries, we do not receive the funding we need to do things like 1 to 1 computers. The reality of information and computer technology is that it is;

  1. Expensive to buy in the first place
  2. Expensive to maintain
  3. Becomes outdate quickly

In the corporate world, funding for computer technology is linked directly to financial outcomes and benefits. For example; we will be more productive with the current version of software; our computers are too slow, so it is time to upgrade. By spending money, they often generate money. I know this is a simplistic view, but I cannot be bother going into more detail in regards to corporate economics and mentalities.

In schools, we make do with what we are given. Funding is limited and constantly being cut. It is a reality of our education system. In Victoria we blew something around $200 million dollars on the failed ultranet project (I’m not going to go into why, I prefer not to remind myself of that debacle.). Coming back to BYOD programs, school like them because it puts technology in the hands of our students, that we don’t have the funding for. It is as simple as that. As educators, we know students need school computer skills, more now than ever before in history. BYOD allows devices to get into student’s hands, making them more likely to become digital residents.

I guess it the geek in me, but our current students are growing up in a world where the use of technology is embedded in everything around us. Technology is not going away, and skills with it will be essential in the workplace of the future. When I say the future, I mean tomorrow, not some distant place years and years down the track. BYOD programs help us educate kids, and not just in the use of technology itself. By having a device worth hundreds of dollars which is the student’s personal property, we instill thing like “taking responsibility for your belongings” and “the value of money”.

I know BYOD sounds expensive, but in reality there not that bad. A reasonable laptop computer sits around $500 to 600 Australian. It seems like a lot. But ask yourself, how much did you spend on that shiny smart phone? Or your kids PlayStation or Xbox? Or iPad /tablet? We routinely spend money on electronics that’s entire purpose is entertainment. I do. You probably do.

The second we (royal we, in this case a given school) tell our student body the “you need to buy a computer device for school”, we get push back and a thousand questions (yes that is a cliché and hyperbole, but you know what I mean). This is fair. We pay taxes and expect schools to provide everything. A long time ago schools did. Once there was a time, now lost in history, when schools had money to invest in their facilities and tools. We could access money to build and buy resources, by justifying the why. Now we cannot; this is the reality of education at the moment. Funding limitations dominate, over shadowing the resource needs to achieve our mandated outcomes.  BYOD has come out of this environment; it is a child of a social change (the rise of computer technology in everything) and a decline in funding. Ask yourself “what I could do with half a million dollars in my school, if they said here, use this to improve your technology”.

Personally I like BYOD programs, because I don’t see the funding model changing. I would love to hand students a new laptop every 2 to 3 years. I lie to myself about this occasionally, but know that in truth, it is not going to happen; I am a realist.  BYOD is our solution at present. I think of BYOD as chance to help prepare students for the future. Make them responsible for something that they need to have and will find it really frustrating not to have. Give them a tool that will let them research and develop the skills they will need in the world.

I’m a yes for BYOD, until there is a better solution.

Defining VR for Education

In teaching, we love our technological toys. Well, in truth, we love the idea of technology, and wish we had the budgets to indulge our ideas and play with the toys available to the corporate world. Our reality is that we are limited by funding constraints and do not generally have access to newest and best tech toys. So why am I talking about VR and education you may ask? I believe that VR is going to change the face of education. Not now, but in a future that is not too distant. VR comes in a variety of forms, many of which are accessible to schools and teachers within are constraints. So onto defining VR.

The best place to start when discussing VR is to first define what VR is. VR is an acronym for virtual reality, but beyond that the definition becomes very convoluted. Some define VR as “the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds.”  Dr Brian Jackson on What is Virtual Reality? [Definition and Examples]. Others, like the Virtual Reality Society define it as something that “entails presenting our senses with a computer generated virtual environment that we can explore in some fashion”.  These are but two examples of definitions for VR that are out there, as many different versions are available across the web.

A few commonalities come out of the collective maelstrom though;

  1. VR uses computer technology
  2. VR immerses users in an artificial environment
  3. VR allows for users to interact with the environment

These three characteristics, in my humble opinion, are the essentials of what is virtual reality is. It is a computer generated environment that allows user to interact with it. This definition strips away many of the complexities in the debate around “what is VR”, creating a simple definition that feels more workable, especially in an educational context.