Capitalizing on the growing interest in virtual reality and its applications, Markus Proctor ’16, interdisciplinary studies, has created EduPal, a technology startup that uses open-source design to turn smartphones into virtual reality displays, with the goal of increasing engagement opportunities in teaching and learning.
Inspired by his custom tech-entrepreneurship major, Proctor has developed a custom dashboard that can be used in conjunction with Google Cardboard, a low-cost virtual reality framework, to convert smartphones into educational tools for students and teachers. Most recently, Proctor’s product was featured in a Daily Record article on Betamore’s Beta City event held earlier this month.
“We just want to help students achieve their highest potential,” said Proctor. “We see virtual reality as a very promising vehicle to make that happen.”
The dashboard offers access to virtual tours using 360-degree still images licensed from Google. Educators can subscribe to EduPal’s program and use its library of panoramic images and videos to create virtual tours that supplement courses. EduPal offers tours for science, technology, engineering, art, math, history, and culture–all of which include lesson plans that can be integrated with existing course learning objectives.
EduPal is currently testing its technology in several high schools in the region and plans to extend its offerings by incorporating “augmented reality” and other interactivity.