January 2022: In January 2020, Georgia Public Broadcasting launched its new Virtual Reality (VR) Initiative in selected schools across the state, funded through a three-year grant from The Imlay Foundation.  We can all remember the great excitement we experienced as school children when something or someone new altered the grade school class routine. While the COVID pandemic put a hold on further rollout until early 2022, this initiative is already bringing that kind of excitement, along with a heightened sense of attention and curiosity, into classrooms across Georgia.

The project is allowing students to engage with events, places and people that most would otherwise encounter only as two-dimensional words on a page, an especially relevant opportunity given how many children and youth use virtual reality technology in other aspects of their lives.  Based on a thorough process of communication and preparation, lesson plans for each experience are tailored to the specific needs and requests of the school.

In addition to Slavery and Freedom: the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and The Civil Rights Movement, GPB is initially virtualizing additional curriculum including the Little White House, Providence Canyon, Andersonville, the Okefenokee Swamp and Brasstown Bald. This initiative is uniquely positioned to support educators by producing resources that meet the needs of teachers and students throughout Georgia.