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Avatars Benefit APS

AURORA, CO – With limited in-person opportunities for training due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Aurora Public Schools (APS) is using an innovative virtual reality (VR) platform to transform professional development for its teachers. APS is the first K-12 district in Colorado to partner with Mursion, a VR simulator that allows teachers to practice and perfect their skills in real time.

In a Mursion simulation, teachers engage with live digital avatars who can portray virtual students (see attached video clip of an APS teaching coach in a simulation). This gives teachers the ability to try new strategies for student engagement and classroom management in a safe space. Practicing and honing their skills in a virtual environment empowers APS teachers to create more positive outcomes for their students.

In addition to interacting with virtual students, Mursion scenarios enable participants to practice collaboration with their fellow teachers or school leaders. APS is also working to design new scenarios which will allow teachers to engage in safe and vulnerable conversations around equity, implicit bias and restorative justice.

APS first started working with Mursion during the 2018-19 school year to assist with the hiring and development of principals. Since then, it has expanded its use of Mursion for training with crisis response teams and now for teacher development. APS teachers will have the opportunity to interact with Mursion as part of the district’s annual Inservice Day on January 29. We invite you to observe a Mursion simulation and learn how this cutting-edge technology is advancing teacher development in APS.

-Courtesy Aurora Public Schools-

Kids and Schools
Matt Peterson