Welcome to Immersive Technology with HCOS


Welcome to the Immersive Technology (IMT) program of Heritage Christian Online School, where the learning goes beyond the text in books and on webpages. IMT encourages students to “experience” the learning, whether in real life or 3D virtual learning environments. Does it work? For most children it does a fabulous job of matching up with how their brains learn best.

What does this look like? To learn about wolves you might “virtually” become one. Running free in Yellowstone National Park you’ll soon discover facts about the food web and the challenges that wolves must overcome in order to survive. Think you’d be capable of raising a pack of wolf cubs? You’ll discover that being a parent is not easy!

Faced with a potential disaster with the drinking water of a community, you’ll become an environmental biologist sampling and examining the water for macro-invertebrates. Riding on your conclusions are the health of individuals, and whether or not the town’s main industry continues to provide income for local families.

Other role-playing adventures are augmented by meeting with real-life specialists as well to gain their perspective on the problems you are tasked with studying. These dilemmas are authentic ones requiring thoughtful and personal responses. You will learn that most important questions seldom have black or white solutions. Your options will not be the usual T/F or multiple choice solutions.

And yes, registered students in IMT 5-8 will meet ALL the BC Curricular Competencies for Language Arts, Applied Skills, Bible, and either Science (grades 5 & 6) or Social Studies (grades 7 & 8). In IMT 8, students will also be challenged to create an historical narrative to be placed in our time-travel resource called “The Chronicles of Entanglement.” Those so inclined can even begin building out these adventures, sharing what you are learning with your teacher(s) and other students. You can do this by taking the IMT Art 8 (grades 6-8) and AMT 10 (grades 8-10) courses with Mr. Titley and Scott Miller. They will take you far beyond what other platforms can offer. Mrs. Nimchuk will do the same with her IMT VBS (Simulations) course for experienced builders in grade 9 and above. In this course you’ll learn how to build business-ready and education-ready simulations.

For students who have Special Needs, we also have an SE specialist who works solely in IMT SE. April McLeod has dedicated herself to maximizing the transformational effects of this program with 12 students. Please contact her at april.mcleod@onlineschool.ca to hear more about the amazing results and/or visit her blog at http://imtechse.blogspot.ca/

The most exciting development this last past year has been the development of IMT French – level 1 and level 2. Set in a French-Canadian town, students will own their own 3D virtual homes, attend classes with Mrs. Hadley at a school, and then go out on field trips that range from skiing, to visiting a French Art museum, swimming with the sharks, or watching a French movie. There they will get the opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice. This program was so popular and successful with both students and their parents that we have added and hired Jacquie Chelini to teach IMT Spanish – level 1 this fall.

As online courses, teachers are available Monday to Friday, to support and help ensure student success. Indeed, “others” in this learning community will be constantly available for consultation, feedback, and sometimes just plain old fun.

Welcome to the Immersive Technology Program at HCOS. Enjoy!

Click HERE for the latest IMT Brochure.

Immersive Technology 8

By Shannon Beglaw

This year with the students in Immersive Technology 8 has been a fantastic experience! Some highlights of the year include presentations made with PowToon storyboards as initial drafts, and spoken word poetry video presentations in a variety of platforms. Students have responded to and memorized Scripture passages and are submitting their favourite or most important passages. We discovered that the flipped classroom is a wonderful method for students which allows them to be better prepared for class before online discussions in our 3D virtual classrooms, and to maximize the time we have together in our weekly sessions. For Global Day of Design, most of the class chose to participate in an optional task of designing a way to transport medieval plague victims using wind for energy. Many very creative designs were submitted! We also discovered that we could enjoy inquiry- based learning using our 3D virtual classrooms. We shared our knowledge in class discussions and we were able to brainstorm how best to answer a tough question like, “Should we celebrate Columbus?” Below, you can see Ian Giles’ creative demonstration of what he learned from his inquiry into whether or not Christopher Columbus’ legacy should be celebrated or not:



When presented with a choice of either inquiry-based methods or the traditional lecture and quiz method, there was an overwhelming response from students who chose to complete one last assignment using inquiry- based methods. Some questions I look forward to exploring next year include: Were the Vikings really Barbarians? Was the Reformation necessary? I look forward to trying new tools and digital resources to complete inquiry- based units and missions in 3DU with a fresh group of IMT 8 students next year! Please contact me, Shannon Beglaw, for more information.

Originally Published: http://newsletter.onlineschool.ca/june-2016/imt-news-moving-onward-with-21st-century-immersive-technology-program/

Immersive Technology Languages

 By Alisha Hadley

Congratulations to the winners of the “Name that World” contest: Olivia G and Micaella T with the name “Mundo Manana.”  A plaque has been installed at the beautiful landing-zone plaza dedicating it as “Plaza Micae-Livia.”


In addition to Rosetta Stone Online, we are excited to announce that the Immersive Technology Foreign Language Department is expanding to offer the following courses:

  • French Level 1 with Madame Hadley, open to students in grades 5-7*
  • Spanish Level 1 with Senora Chelini & Madame Hadley, open to students in grades 5-7*

*Recommended prerequisite for French and Spanish Level 1 courses: prior IMT experience or a 3 day “Intro to IMT” summer camp offered in July 2016.  Contact Gord Holden for more details.


  • French Level 2 with Madame Hadley, open to students in grades 6-9**

**Recommended prerequisite for French Level 2: successful completion of IMT French Level 1 course or 9 day summer camp offered in August 2-18, 2016.  Contact myself, Alisha Hadley, for more details.


Immersive Technology 5

Since 2007 it has been my privilege to teach online in Christian schools throughout Quebec. Our first “classroom” was Skype, followed by a Scribblar-type platform which added white-boards and other presentation options along with chat and voice features. This year was a new experience as I joined the IMT staff and students in British Columbia in a totally different online experience which has totally enriched not only my life, but the lives of my students in B.C. and Quebec.

Once a week our “avatars” met formally for class where students received instructions for the week and were introduced to a huge variety of online games and activities to cover their learning outcomes. We built eco-friendly cities and towns, lived through the experiences of world war veterans, visited art galleries and sought solutions for water pollution. However, it was not the academics that impressed me the most this year. What was most encouraging was finding students working online when they did not need to be there, building their own 3 dimensional homes, castles and communities, and coaching and encouraging one another in skills beyond their years. They learned not to be discouraged by “failures” but rather explore other options as a means to success. They learned to troubleshoot problems that adults twice their age avoid, and, by the end of the year, they have gained skills that have given them a firm foundation for advancement in a rich technological environment.

All this from 10 and 11 year olds! What will next year bring?

Please contact me, Sinead Roy, for more information.

Originally published: http://newsletter.onlineschool.ca/june-2016/imt-news-moving-onward-with-21st-century-immersive-technology-program/

IMT News: Moving Onward with 21st Century Immersive Technology Program

Immersive Technology – Gord Holden

I just got off the phone with a parent who attended a job skills course. She was completely shocked by the huge demand in BC for employees with the skills to work in 3D environments. This includes programming, art work and gaming and movie development aspects as well. It’s not uncommon to hear of positions for $100/hr going unfilled due to a lack of skills in these areas. It continues to be my dream to see a multitude of HCOS students taking what they’ve learned in the Immersive Technology (IMT) program into those industries, along with their faith and witness.

It was another great year of IMT growth. There were approximately 150 students participating in a variety of courses within our 3D interactive environments. These courses included Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Bible, Art, Health & Career, and French. In the coming year, Health & Career (dropped by the Ministry of Education) will be replaced by Applied Skills. We’re also expanding the IMT French program to include a second level. The feedback from parents and students was so spectacular that we have also hired Jacquie Chelini to take on IMT Spanish Level 1 in the fall. A picture of the main square of the new Spanish world called Mundo Mañana is featured on the cover of the latest IMT brochure, featured here: Immersive Technology Brochure. Please check out the brochure for more information about Immersive Technology programs. Missing from this brochure is information regarding some of the other resources we use such as Thinking Worlds and DimensionU. We are looking at the possibility of introducing another very popular 3D resource as well.




The greatest challenge this year was with the Quest Atlantis upgrade to Windows 10. While it didn’t affect the students who had already completed the introductory missions, many new users struggled with it. Next year, we will be moving necessary QA quests and missions into our 3DU environments where we will have much more control over the content and the ability to address any concerns fully and immediately.

I’m already being flooded with requests to take on new students. Some requests from as far away as New Brunswick. Many interested families are again wanting to have a look at the program before committing, so the IMT teachers are providing IMT Introductory Camps over the summer. You can register for these camps with this registration form. These Introductory Camps help ensure that families will be well prepared to make an informed decision ahead of time. You’ll notice that there’s also an Introductory IMT French course as well in August. M. Hadley will teach the course and give a placement test at its conclusion to ascertain if new students (grade 6 and above) are ready to start with the IMT French Level 2 course in the fall.

Please don’t hesitate to email me, Gord Holden, with any queries.

Originally published: http://newsletter.onlineschool.ca/june-2016/imt-news-moving-onward-with-21st-century-immersive-technology-program/

IMT Program update

Below is an update regarding the Immersive Technology (IMT) Program (grades 5-10) at HCOS, as many great things have been happening since our IMT grad ceremonies.

 pic1  pic2

We have expanded our IMT core offerings as follows:

–          IMT 5 (LA, Science, Bible & Applied Design/Skills) with Sinead Roy (sroy@onlineschool.ca);

–          IMT 6 (LA, Science, Bible & Applied Design/Skills) with Heather Douglas (hdouglas@onlineschool.ca);

–          IMT 7 (LA, Social Studies, Bible and Applied Design/Skills) with Danny Snodgrass (dsnodgrass@onlineschool.ca); and

–          IMT 8 (LA, Social Studies, Bible and Applied Design/Skills) with Shannon Beglaw (sbeglaw@onlineschool.ca).

Perhaps the most exciting news however is that we have hired Alisha Hadley. Alisha is a very experienced French teacher who is excited to be offering Immersive Worlds French in our French World for grades 5-7 ($125). Alisha plans to subsequently continue this highly oral and immersive approach up to grade 12. 40-50 students found their way onto the waiting list before registrations even opened. Here’s a brief video showing about 15% of the environment that will be used. http://bit.ly/1ekjVVz Parents can now enroll on Encom, or contact Gord Holden at gholden@onlineschool.ca for more info.

 pic 3  pic4

We also have Virtual Worlds Art 08 and 10 courses with Ryan Titley (rtitley@onlineschool.ca), but we’ve also added an IMT VBS Simulation Development 09 course by Michelle Nimchuk (mnimchuk@onlineschool.ca). This VBS course will not only cover the Applied Skills 9 outcomes, but will equip students to create virtual simulation games for business, education, and commercial gaming.  To view a student-made VBS Simulation check out http://bit.ly/1D0YNd4




IMT doesn’t excludes those with Special Needs either. April McLeod (aprilmcleod@onlineschool.ca) provides both group and one-to-one support to students across 3 levels of experience and ability. This is a truly incredible program with transformational results. If you know of a student that might benefit from this, please contact April directly for additional info. (aprilmcleod@onlineschool.ca)

Still confused about the IMT program (http://bit.ly/1flIK4x), or DimensionU (https://www.dimensionu.com/Parent/home/)?

Jordan Klein and The Chronicles of Entanglement

by Shannon Beglaw

The IMT 8 class was recently asked to submit a book report that included all four aspects of IMT 8 (Social Studies 8, Language Arts 8, Bible 8 and HACE 8), and I gave students many options to demonstrate their learning (written, spoken, performed, story board, interactive posters…). It was hoped that by giving students choice, it would make the assignment more interesting for them and that it would allow them to lean toward their giftings. Students also had a choice of books. I made a rubric that would work for either book, and for any style of submission. Jordan Klein rose to the challenge and submitted an innovative approach to the book report challenge. See his book report, below.


Jordan Klein

(Please click on the image for a larger, more readable version)

Jordan Klein’s Report on “Chronicles of Entanglement” by Patrick Bell

Originally published: http://newsletter.onlineschool.ca/archive/vol12_ed6_032016/Student01.html

Name that World!

by Alisha Hadley

What would you call a virtual Spanish world? We are calling on your creativity for this one of a kind contest: Name that World!  HCOS is excited to announce expansion of its Immersive Technology language department to include a new Spanish World for Spanish language classes and community. The winner of this unique contest will have “una plaza” named after them at the Landing Zone of our amazing new world.

So brainstorm up those names: go wild with word-play, get silly with sibilance, or say it in Spanish. Send your nominations to Alisha Hadley, ahadley@onlineschool.ca no later than March 1, 2016.  The winner will be announced at CHEC.


Originally published: http://newsletter.onlineschool.ca/archive/vol12_ed5_022016/Announce03.html

HCOS Students Ranked Among Top Ten!

One of the great online subscriptions that IMT HCOS students have acccess to use is DimensionU.  It is comprised of “engaging and interactive multiplayer video games that focus on core skills in mathematics and literacy.”  Several HCOS students have been busy putting their literacy and mathematics knowledge to the test by playing with other students in this 3D virtual world.  They get the chance to “goop”others with their goop soakers, play in team-based games, and participate in high-speed obstacle course all while learning and testing their knowledge.  Of course, they work on their own time (there are no set hours), but there are also special events. For instance, the HCOS IMT team has created a “Friday DimensionU Free4All” which happens every Friday from 11:30am-12pm. In the near future, as student numbers permit, we hope to put together a live DimensionU tournament event!

Over the last three weeks our school has ranked among the top ten schools in North America on the DimensionU leaderboards.  As you can see, below, for the week of October 12th-19th, HCOS was ranked 7th in all of the schools that participated during that week.  One of our students, “hcnathaneGN,” is to be congratulated for achieving 8th place for that same week!


Leaderboards 1

For the week of October 26th- Nov. 2nd, HCOS was ranked 3rd in all of the schools that participated during that week.  Four of our students: “hcjoshsGN,” “hcelliotlGN,” “hcnathanhGN” and “hcmicaellatGN,” are to be congratulated for ranking in the top ten!

Leaderboard 2

For the week of Nov. 9th – 16th, HCOS was also ranked 10th!

Leaderboards 3


There are also a number of students that have been pouring their energy into the game.  I would like to extend a round of applause to their efforts in the DimensionU games each week.  For the week of October 12th-19th:

DimensionU students making good effort

For the week of October 26th- Nov. 2nd:

DimensionU students

Lastly for the week of Nov. 9th – 16th:

DimensionU Students

Originally published: http://newsletter.onlineschool.ca/archive/vo12_ed3_122015/Announce01.html

Dimension U: A Letter to Parents

Dear concerned Parent.

Do not deny your concern, most of us would be if our child’s teacher came waltzing in telling you that one of the most powerful teaching tools he or she used was a video game. However, that is exactly what I am proposing. In this case the game is called Dimension U and there are four games. I have been combing this game for a weak link that brings it down. There are few complaints to be found.

What is Dimension U? That is a bit tricky; it is a game, a teaching tool and an assessment tool. It engages students and encourages them to improve. It can be played in multiplayer or as a single used. The content of each game contest can be pre-set by the teacher, other students or your own child. If a student really is having difficulty with a concept they can read up about it in the “codes” section of the game. For example I was completing a game based on “Language Conventions”; within the game I did well, however, I wanted to see what help was available and selected the “code” tab between games. This opened up a window with a short lesson (in text form) explaining the rules for capitalizing organizations and titles. I then returned to the game and practiced these skills.

So you might think great a fun pseudo educational game for after school with a little educational value, right? Wrong, there is an exceptional opportunity here. Through Dimension U (I was using the Literacy portion, the Math portion is equally impressive) students can have a selective or broad curriculum tested. A student’s teacher may access a report and see patterns related to student success. If a student is doing well spelling words but struggling with capitalization rules; the teacher will be able to see that. This allows for specific correction and instruction to develop student learning. The topics available at the Middle High level (I am planning for grade Seven) include:

Language Conventions

· Capitalization rules

· Punctuation

· Grade level spelling practice

Parts of Speech

· Compaitive and Superlative

· Conjunctions

· Pronouns

· Phrases and clauses

· Prepositional phrases

· Subject / verb agreement

· Verb and participles


· Cause and Effect

· Fact and opinion

· Main idea and supporting details

· Denote and connote meaning

· Summarize, paraphrase and inference


· Dictionary entries

· Analogies

· Words and phrases with a foreign heritage

· Words with multiple meanings

· Words to know


· Sequence of events

· Coherent transitions

· Complete sentences

· Paragraph clarity

· Combining sentences

Wow right? So you might be thinking… this is great no other resource needed, this is it. Well hold on now. While this is a great resource it is sort of like a drill for math facts and processes. Yes, there is a resource within Dimension U where students can get an explanation in regards to weak areas. However, they need to go there and apply what they see. Not all students will pay close attention to what they are getting wrong while playing as they are focused on winning. Further, not all students will read the explanation and understand it. They may, and likely will need help. Finally while this is a great resource it does not replace a novel, poem or play in terms of literary appreciation or the rich quality of story and experience available through such texts.

So what is Dimension U? It is a teaching tool that engages students in learning Language and Math facts and rules (the boring stuff they tend not to like). Students practice and apply these to achieve and win contests of skill. Dimension U is also a lot of fun. Students are engaged and desire success and are thus more willing to gain the skill they need to meet their goals. I hope you choose to engage in Dimension U as well. I look forward to practicing my skills with or against you.

Let the games begin!

Ryan Titley