About

Immersive Technology in Distance Learning is a web space used to present the Immersive Tech program that is being offered at Heritage Christian Online School starting September 2013.  The Immersive Tech program at HCOS was initiated in 2011 by Gord Holden, our Immersive Specialist, who came on board to deliver HCOS into the 21st Century of learning by using virtual worlds and teaching 21st Century tech skills.  This blog will be a source of information for parents, teachers, and students as well as those interested in learning about the IMT program that is being offered at HCOS.  You will discover short bios about each of the IMT teachers, individual program descriptions, student work samples and parental testimonies by searching through the blog’s posts and pages.  Welcome to our world.  Blessings!

Immersive Technologies (IMT) Program at Heritage Christian Online School

While few today would consider using a typewriter instead of a word processor, unfortunately such anachronisms are rife within education in the 21st century. Today’s students are not served as well as they might be by an archaic passive learning approached inspired by the assembly-line of the Industrial Age. Here at HCOS however, we are providing students access to 3D interactive virtual platforms that have been researched and developed for the educational edification of 21st century learners. These “experiential” environments foster the critical thinking required for the “active-learning” involved in questing, exploring, discovering, examining, experimenting, understanding, creating, and helping others. IMT students do more than simply reading about wolves. Instead, they become a wolf, tasked with gaining the skills of communicating, collaborating, and foraging in order to survive. This transformational experience carries over into many other subject areas as well. http://viewpure.com/5BS9BytA7Ik?ref=bkmk

Students become apprentice astronauts, scientists, reporters, and archaeologists, striving to gain all the information they need to understand how to resolve the challenges presented. They become architects, learning how to build the 3D projects that will house their research. As avatar historians, they experience the challenges, dilemmas, and lessons to be learned by living during various periods of time. They may find themselves racing chariots in the Circus Maximus, journeying with the Magi to Bethlehem, or praying with their classmates in the catacombs under Rome.

Would you prefer to learn French by living in Paris for 6 months? HCOS students can attend a French school in a virtual French-Canadian town. There, the surrounding homes, industries, shops, and entertainment areas provide ample opportunities for students to put their French lessons into practice. http://viewpure.com/h5DDL6Fr26Y?ref=bkmk

Trained IMT teachers guide the students through all these authentic and contextual experiences, and ensure a safe and positive environment. Students are encouraged however to engage with their parents regarding the decisions they must make involving values, morality, and spiritual matters. While some might see these experiences as a game, it’s truly “Purposeful Play” and the way God designed children to learn. While the complexity of these activities are likely more challenging than any curriculum they have run across, the engagement of the student lets their genius shine through. Last year, the FSA literacy score for IMT 7 students was 16% higher than that of their HCOS peers. While expectations are high, screen readers and other technologies can assist, and reasonable modifications to expectations can be made. Generally speaking, this program is an excellent fit for those with a passion for the use of technology and a mind brimming with imagination and innovation. http://viewpure.com/1YookRDby3Y?ref=bkmk

To apply please contact Gord Holden at gholden@onlineschool.ca

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