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.

HCOS IMT Language Program Overview

The latest overview of the IMT Language Program and class times is available here: http://goo.gl/Iq0Mys

The following IMT Language Courses that are currently available:

  • French Level 1 Linear, Grades 5-7
  • French Level 2 Linear, Grades 6-9 (Level 1 prerequisite strongly recommended, or placement test and introduction to technology)
  • Spanish Level 1 Linear, Grades 5-7

Course descriptions:

French Level 1

Set in a richly diverse and comprehensive 3D interactive French Canadian town, the students in Immersive World French enter as 3D avatars. There, the students attend a fully functional school where they get live 45 minute classroom instruction once per week, can ask questions, and interact with peers and mentors. Their class will visit the game preserves and the aquarium, ski the slopes of the local resort, and meet in cafes and restaurants to experience French culture. Students get to furnish and decorate their own homes for visits by friends and the teacher. Throughout such activities the students learn and master French vocabulary, oral skills, and grammar in an experiential and immersive manner. They will subsequently record their assigned interactions with the teacher and/or others for assessment.

French Level 2

In the second level of Immersive Technology French, students meet weekly in Active Worlds 3DU with Madame Hadley for live classroom instruction where they can ask questions, and interact with peers and mentors. Their class will visit the TV studio to develop features for the local news, learn to travel through the town using different modes of transport, and practice hospitality in their own homes that they have furnished and decorated. Throughout such activities the students learn and master French vocabulary, oral skills, and grammar in an experiential and immersive manner. They will subsequently record their assigned interactions with the teacher and/or others for assessment.

Spanish Level 1

Set in a richly diverse and comprehensive 3D interactive Spanish town, the students in Immersive World Spanish enter as 3D avatars. There, the students attend a fully functional school where they get live classroom instruction once per week with Senora Chelini (and Madame Hadley part-time). They can ask questions and interact with peers and mentors. Their class will visit the game preserves and the aquarium, explore the beaches and outdoors, and meet in cafes and restaurants to experience Spanish culture. Students get to furnish and decorate their own homes for visits by friends and the teacher. Throughout such activities the students learn and master Spanish vocabulary, oral skills, and grammar in an experiential and immersive manner. They will subsequently record their assigned interactions with the teacher and/or others for assessment.

The following link will take you to a video showing some of the highlights of Language World:  IMT French Demo

Minimum Tech Guidelines:

Classes meet weekly online and complete assigned course-work following each lesson. Access to a computer with broadband internet connection and a headset with microphone are required. While the program works with most MACs, Apple upgrades may or may not support this software. The following specs are recommended in order to take advantage of the powerful 3D virtual world experience.

  • 2.0Ghz or better
  • 2GB
  • 500MB (client plus cache)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista, 7, 8.1, 10
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or newer
  • Card with 32MB of VRAM
  • Source: Atlantisremixed.org

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