Discovering the Practical Use of AR and VR in Education with Jamie Donally

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Jethro Jones: Welcome to a
Vision for Learning, a proud

member of the Be Podcast Network.

I'm your host, Jethro Jones.

You can find me on all the
socials at Jethro Jones today.

I'm excited to have Jamie
Donally on the program.

She is a passionate
technology enthusiast.

She began her career as a math teacher and
later moved into instructional technology.

Her desire to build relationships has
created opportunities to collaborate with

students and educators around the world.

She provides staff development and
training on immersive technology

and as an ed tech consultant.

And our latest adventures include
the launch of Global Maker Day

and the ar vr and EDU community.

She's also an author and speaker on
the practical use of augmented reality

and virtual reality in the classroom.

So I'm excited to have her as a
part of a vision for learning.

Jamie, welcome to the show.

Thanks for being here.

Jaime Donally: Thank you so much.

I love it.

Thank you.

Jethro Jones: Yeah, and so what,
from our conversation today is most

valuable you think, for our audience?

Jaime Donally: I think the most
exciting thing that we talked about is

really looking at how this technology
is gonna affect the classrooms, how

to better prepare for it, while also
looking through that practical lens

of what is purposeful, how do you set
up, good implementation and how to

collaborate across different departments.

Jethro Jones: Lots of good stuff.

Talked about a ton.

It is great.

For me, the valuable thing was hearing
you talk about the idea of looking at

what your objectives and goals are First.

Then deciding how to implement
the technology after the fact.

So rather than saying, here's this
shiny tool, what can we do with it?

Say, what do we wanna do?

And which tool best meets the
needs of our kids and our teachers?

I think that's a great way to do it.

so we'll have my interview with
Jamie here in just a moment.

Jamie, you're wearing the meta glasses.

you gotta tell me about that.

Are you seeing displays in front of me
or can you I haven't even used those.

So tell me about those.

Jaime Donally: So actually they had.

Ar built in initially in
this particular model.

they retracted there at the
end, so it was pulled out.

but it was supposed to
and it did not have it.

And I was bummed about that when
I first found out because I was

like, oh, I still wanna get 'em.

But that's a bummer for certainly
in this iteration, it does

not have augmented reality.

But then I thought, oh, it'd be fun.

But now I'm like, I use them.

For my exercises, I use
them for, communication.

So anytime I wanna talk to somebody,
it just comes in right here.

it's very private people.

If they hear anything, it's like they
know something that they hear, but

they can't hear anything specific.

I can listen to music
really crystal clear.

I hear conversations, they hear me clear
than being on any other type of headset.

and I think that just the flexibility
it has, my music connected to Apple,

my Apple Music and has all the
connections that I would want, I can

actually livestream 'cause you have two
cameras here, to be able to capture.

So I could say, Hey, meta, take a photo.

There you go.

I got a picture of you right

Jethro Jones: Cool.

text it to me afterward

Jaime Donally: I will, I'll,

Jethro Jones: 'cause I

Jaime Donally: then I can capture a video.

I actually have access to meta
ai, so everything that I would

wanna know, I could just ask on
the fly and speak to them, and

then ask them to text me with it.

Or ask meta AI to then
text it to somebody else.

And even right now, there's actually a
vision aspect of it, or it can capture

a photo and then you're asking for
information based upon that photo.

what can I wear today?

if I'm looking through a
mirror, things like that.

So the flexibility and the technology
is actually super seamless.

It's super, I wanna say non-disruptive.

So I think that, the, I'm using it.

All the time.

It's hard to go without it, actually.

So first I was like, eh, I
got it back in October, and I

was like, yeah, this is fun.

But the more that they've been
releasing and the more that I'm getting

familiar with it, the more I just,
I prefer it more than anything else.

Jethro Jones: it's really interesting and
like the, The Vision Pro is definitely

not as small or lightweight and it's
like the best thing that I've seen from

it is this idea of locking in and like
when I put it on, I go into work mode.

And that for me has been really nice.

And over the past few weeks that
I've had the Vision Pro that's been.

That's how I know I'm working
because I'm wearing this thing.

And and I do believe that Apple is
eventually gonna come out with something

like what you're wearing, And you've been,

Jaime Donally: we're all excited about.

that's where it should have
been to from the get go.


You'd think after this time in so many
years of them working on this project,

that's where they would've went.

I think that there was just, there's
major issues with batteries and

the requirement of how it fits you.

They got to see the proof of
concepts done by meta with all of

the Quest, which I have 'em all.

seeing how they started and where they've
gone, and then the complaints about,

on their face and the heat and, rubbing
and things of that sort on the skin.

So they've been able to see all this
taking place while they're just patiently

waiting before they release and Apple
does, Like they, they get it right.

And that's, I've been so excited about
the Vision Pro for that very reason.

Jethro Jones: and I've gotta say
I know some people have talked

about, some discomfort and some,
feeling of this weight on your face.

To be honest, I have not
experienced those negative things.

It feels I.

Quite comfortable.

Yes, I know there's something on my face.

especially the first couple days
I noticed it, but now it doesn't

bother me and I use it probably I.

Three to four hours per
day, pretty comfortably.

I am almost always on my computer
with an extended display.

The reason we're not recording
this with me wearing it is because,

it's not quite there yet for doing
the kinds, that kind of thing.

And so Zoom, for example.

donks out after a few minutes.

I haven't gotten through a
full zoom call with it on yet.

I've gone through many hours of
FaceTime calls and it is actually a

delight to use during FaceTime calls.

So you've been talking about
this stuff for a long time,.

Let's talk about AR in education and
because this is an area that you've

been on the forefront of for many
years and, and what about AR and

VR in education makes you excited?

Right now, what are the things you're
seeing that, that are just, getting you

up in the morning and excited about it?

Jaime Donally: I tend to lean on
for my excitement isn't just the,

The latest, greatest technology.

I wouldn't say everybody needs a
vision pro in their classroom, nor

would I say everybody needs a quest.

I would say that there is specific use
cases, but I really get excited about

the practical use of the technology.

So more often than not using the devices
we all have in our pockets already,

that to me is going to, really hit
home for most con for more students.

For most classroom situations,
and there's no learning curve

with some new device, right?

So I think that, when we're using
this kind of technology, I'm super

passionate about where can we start
right, right away without any, problems

or barriers that you're gonna face.

I'm also very much practical about
what we bring into the classroom.

So jumping in head first is
not my approach, nor do I

recommend it to other people.

I think it is, exciting to see new
technologies, but really talking through

collaborating with schools and making
sure that they understand what they're

getting into and how to avoid as many.

Roadblocks that they're gonna face.

and that is typically something
an afterthought after a purchase.

So somebody will say, Hey, we
bought a thousand of these.

And it's oh my gosh, do you
realize what you just did?

so there's this caution that I have
for people that I, I would really love

to chat with you and I always chat.

I probably on a weekly basis do I chat
with schools and talk through some of

the things that they're implementing.

So I love being a part of that.

But most.

Importantly Jethro, I think that
most people don't think about

is, that they haven't actually
created any objectives or goals.

And so that part I really love being
a part of because once we can clearly

identify what they wanna accomplish
from any technology, then helping them

gather the right tools, seeing where the
students are truly struggling, helping

'em reach those needs in ways that they
could not do without the technology,

that part really gets me excited.

Jethro Jones: Yeah, I'm so glad you
said that because that's been my

approach with technology as well.

What is it that you're really
trying to do and then the tool

we can find to make that happen?

and what's great about AR and VR is
that there's more opportunities now for.

You to do something and, but that
doesn't mean that's the only opportunity

or that's the always the best thing.

just to segue into artificial intelligence
real quick, one of the things that I've

just loved about AI is that creating
unique and personalized experiences

for every student is so much easier
with AI than it has been in the past.

It used to be a big load on the
teacher's shoulders to do that, and now.

It's a piece of cake because you
say create 30 different scenarios

for this one problem, and I want
it to be according to this table.

Joey likes these kinds of things.

Eloise likes football.

Michelle likes this and being able
to tie it into those things that are

then personalized for those kids,
that kind of stuff is just powerful.

And what a great opportunity to
be able to use that, to customize

and personalize for our students.

Jaime Donally: You know what's so funny
is I'm thinking clearly on the opposite

end, that you're giving out a lot of
information about that student, so

being extremely prepared and trained.

Gained on how to make sure you
are getting the benefits of AI

without giving too much information.

That could be really sensitive
information about those students,

whether it be accessibility issues,
whether it be, their interests that

now become targeted ads at them,
whatever that might be in the future.

Like I.

I am so cautious about like this.

I love ai, I share on ai, right?

But I, also see that equally
balancing out the risk, right?

And recognizing what potential
information can be out there.

So while personalization today might
be possible because we're giving

this information, what does that
mean for tomorrow when it comes

to that same information being
used against them, if you will.

Maybe those tests actually recognize
where somebody is struggling

and it makes assessments that
pressure, that struggle, right?

Who knows?

Like you just think about somebody
actually using or leveraging

this information in a wrong
way, and that's possible too.

It's really interesting and
I, again, I feel like there's

a balance with AR and VR too.

that there's people that ready to
jump in and try these new things.

They're ready to give every
kid a meta, RayBan glasses

and it's like, no, no, no, no.

The AI built in, let's think about
like your student speaking into

that system, if you will, and what
kind of concerns there might be.

do we love meta for its privacy?


No, we don't.

So all of these questions I
think are really important.

One, to establish a trust within our
communities, and two, to know where this

technology has a potential of going.

There's great things, and then
there's risks too, and you

gotta weigh out those risks.

Jethro Jones: Yeah, and it's important to
look at the risks as well, and not just.

I think that because of technology
exists that it's all 100% good.

so let's talk about that layer
that you talked about with, helping

people know, like what their
goals are and objectives are.

W what is the process that you go
through to help someone look at that as

they're evaluating a piece of technology?

Jaime Donally: I usually recommend
starting with the struggle.

where are your particular students
struggling year after year, which usually

is attributed back to the teacher, right?

So that's hard to reflect on sometimes,
but you gotta say, and I know for me, I

really struggled with certain concepts
to be able to teach because maybe I

didn't have a great foundation on that
concept as a former math teacher, if

they didn't have that really solid
foundation, how were they supposed

to learn something more advanced?

When they couldn't even get the concepts
here, they're learning a song and a dance,

if you will, but I think that's where
this technology can really support those

learners to understand in greater depth.

So going back and reflecting
on let's talk about it.

where do you notice in scores your
benchmark exams, whatever it might

be, where do you notice your students
consistently struggle year after year?

And oftentimes they'll be like, oh yeah,
and they can name it pretty easily, this

is my area, or their area of weakness.

and then you can say, okay,
that's super abstract.

That's hard for them to understand.

So how do we bring this back
to something tangible for them?

how do we really make sure we're
aligning with what they enjoy doing?

Some kids would never put on a headset.

some kids get really sick in a headset.

But let's talk about maybe when it
comes to the augmented reality and what

kind of devices do you have available.

So while this may be even good in
theory, in the area you wanna approach

and budget for in the future, and.

Have discussions about this
is what you have today.

So where can we start to
help them reach those goals?

there's o oftentimes those are
the questions that we start

having and initiating the general
ideas of where they're going.

And then once they've really started
becoming masters in those certain areas.

They're ready to move on and expand, 90%
of our teachers, they don't wanna do ar

vr every week, nor should they, right?

I think there should
be a variety of things.

Anything I recommend in AR or vr, there
should be a supplemental hands-on activity

worksheets that they're supporting, group
collaboration that's happening, mastering

some, projects that they're doing.

All of those factors that are
aligned with learning it, so that

you're meeting the various learning,
preferences for our students.

So I think that it usually boils
down to us just having those,

conversations and then those things
really start getting revealed quickly.

Jethro Jones: Yeah.

And one of the challenges that we face
is that we see the shiny tools or some

new toy and we're like, oh, I gotta adopt
that and figure out how to use that.

I gotta.

Bring this into my classroom.

And then the professional development
piece about how to use all these

different tools and when to use
them and when's appropriate and

when's not appropriate, and looking
at the risks and the challenges.

those are all challenging also.

and one of the things that I've
said for a long time is that

technology makes a good teacher,
great and a bad teacher, even worse.

And it's a polarizing thing.

Do you agree with that or disagree?

What do you think?

Jaime Donally: Say, restate that
and let me get my head around

exactly what I'm thinking.

This one,

Jethro Jones: Rather than just throw
it at you and then ask you a question.


So what I think is that technology
makes a good teacher even better.

They already have the foundational
skills, and it makes a bad teacher

even worse because if they're already
a bad teacher, then bringing technology

in isn't going to close any gaps.

It's going to expose the areas
where they're already weak.

Jaime Donally: Yeah, I
think that's certainly true.

I think that sometimes.

I've had experiences 'cause I was
an instructional technologist, when

I was in my last school districts.

sometimes it inspired them
to become better teachers.

So it was like this aha moment where
they got to see the benefits of using

certain technologies, what it was like.


My kids love this.

look how much they're growing from this.

maybe I need to really embrace this
instead of just being stuck in my,

little narrow window of what this
should and shouldn't look like.

so sometimes I've seen some
good things come from it.

It all really depends.

I think it really, it just all
depends on how they're using it.

if they're using it in the right way
for good or bad teacher, I think there's

potential for benefit for our students.

If they're using it in the wrong way,
good or bad teacher, I think that there's

some serious risk of damage, right?

it comes down to training.

It comes down to, really I think
collaboration, in my opinion.

I don't think anybody should be
doing any technology and silo.

I think it really does take the
de, those departments collaborating

and working together as well as.

Across, your teachers, your peers.

but it really does also,
it does take skill.

It does take time to understand and
feel confident in using new tools.

But, sometimes those tools can be very
simple tasks that they can bring in

that really make a powerful difference.

I hope, and I guess I, My hope in that
is that it turns a bad teacher into a

good one, because I think it could be an
inspiration for them to want to be better.

Jethro Jones: I think that's,
I think everybody hopes that

Jaime Donally: Yeah,

Jethro Jones: but, and,
and I, and I really.

Jaime Donally: case.


Jethro Jones: not always the case,
but I do really believe that it

does have the potential to do that.

I just don't think that the
technology itself is, I don't

think the technology itself is
gonna change learning for someone.

It's not gonna change
teaching for someone.

and if we've seen with kids and cell
phones that if they don't have the skills

to manage their emotions and their, Their,
self-discipline about using the phone.

Like my wife, is in a text thread with
some youth who, who do some stuff in

our church and she got a text message,
from one of them at two o'clock

in the morning, and she was like.

What is going on?

You should not be texting at
two o'clock in the morning, as a

teenager and you shouldn't even
have your phone during that time.

'cause our kids don't have devices at that
time and all of our devices are charged in

the living room rather than in bedrooms.

And so those are like the things
that we do to make sure that.

We're keeping our kids safe, that
we're doing smart things, but

that extends to schools as well.

And just throwing technology
in somewhere is not the best

thing to do all the time either.

so before, before we sign off, I do
wanna talk about your, you've got

two books, about ar, vr, The first
one is called, learning transported,

augmented, virtual mixed reality for
all classrooms, and the second one

is called the immersive classroom.

Create customized Learning
Experiences with AR and vr.

Now, we don't have time to go into
everything about that, but what are

the big ideas that you're sharing
in these books that, that you want

people, to get from them and how
they should, could use these tools

in their classrooms day to day?

Jaime Donally: The first book was
really just get a hook, right?

Get interest in defining what
this technology is, because there

still was just not a whole lot
of awareness as to what it was.

So really defining it,
giving the resources if they.

We're interested in pursuing more, to get
them started with some basic lesson plans.

Some, just sparking the
interest, if you will.

the second book was really digging
into making customized, content

or opportunities using this
technology, the power behind it.

The stories behind it,
how is it impacting lives?

So there were some accessibility
aspects into it, the digital

citizenship part of it.

the purpose behind it and the power, I
just, I think that, moving from, Hey,

this is where we start, and this is where
you get the context of what this can do

in the classroom to where should we go
in, in the future using this technology?

What is the power behind it is
really intended in the next book.

Jethro Jones: Very good.

On that note, how easy is it for a teacher
to create experiences with AR and vr?

It seems like it would be an
expensive, complicated endeavor.

Jaime Donally: It's really not.

I think there's a lot of creation tools
out there to be able to build and design.

I don't always say that's where
we need to start, because I

think getting the fundamentals of
understanding the technology, but I.

we usually started experiences, right?

We're experiencing something.

we're taking in that information.

And then from there you start really
saying, I need to build something

that matches what our needs are.

so then you really have the creation
aspect starting to come into play

once they become a little bit more
mastered in, into the technology.

so I love sharing code spaces.

Code Spaces is a tool where
you can create content.

Augmented and virtual reality.

It is so fun.

It's like the ROBLOX for students,
but it's education and, it is such a

fantastic space to be able to design
and build and collaborate together,

to build 360 concepts or, learning.

Augmented reality, virtual
reality for them to go in and

explore on multiple devices.

It's flexible for Chromebooks.

I think that's a biggie when we're
talking about some of this technology

and what devices are in the classroom.

So there's just a lot of really
great benefits to using that tool.

and it's such a simple tool
that students will literally.

Overspend, they will go home and work on
it in the evenings and on the weekends.

You cannot get those kits, so does a
fantastic purchase because you certainly

get the benefit of using a tool like that.

Jethro Jones: that's good.

I like hearing these, examples of things
that people are using because, even before

we started recording, we both shared.

companies that are doing cool things
that we hadn't even, neither of us

had heard of before, and yet both
of us are intimately aware of.

And so Codespaces is one of
those that I hadn't heard of yet.

And so I'm glad to see something
new and, and that's awesome.

Jamie, thank you so much for being
part of a vision for learning.

where would you like to direct people to
learn more about you and connect with you?

Jaime Donally: They can check me
out at my website AR VRIN

So ar vr and

lots of blog content, walk you
through how to use tools step by step.

Links, use cases and all of the above.

also I wanna recommend a really incredible
platform that's a hundred percent

free for classrooms, and that's the
Verizon Innovative Learning Platform.

I don't know if you've checked that
out, Jethro, but they have so many

augmented and virtual reality tool
tools, including the McGraw Hill AR app

that I've been sharing out like crazy.

Tons of amazing experiences for
our students in the classroom, so

definitely check them out because
there's so many additional resources

out there for them to go and explore.

Completely free.

Jethro Jones: Yeah, there's
a lot of cool stuff there.

I have, checked that out before.

Jamie, thank you so much for being
part of a vision for learning.

It was great to chat with you today.

Jaime Donally: Yeah.

It was great talking to you.

Thank you so much.

Creators and Guests

Jethro Jones
Jethro Jones
Author of #SchoolX #how2be Co-Founder of @bepodcastNet, the best education podcasts out there.
Jaime Donally #ARVRinEDU
Jaime Donally #ARVRinEDU
#ARVRinEDU Founder + Speaker @ARVRinEDU® | @ISTE Author | @EdSurge Columnist | #AR #VR #XR #AI | @GlobalMaker #GlobalMakerDay | #Pathfinder @identityauto
Discovering the Practical Use of AR and VR in Education with Jamie Donally