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09/25/2020
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Arizona State taps VR for immersive education

Arizona State University has begun developing new immersive locales using virtual reality, starting with a virtual wildlife sanctuary for biology students. Through a partnership announced last week with the virtual reality company Dreamscape Immersive, ASU leaders said they aim to make online classes more engaging, creating an immersive educational experience for students while they are learning remotely during the pandemic. Starting with introductory biology, and eventually expanding to more courses, the tools are designed to allow students to explore and engage with virtual worlds as an avatar in a game-like learning system. Betsy Foresman has more.


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U. Florida's COVID-19 gadgetry

Students and professors at the University of Florida have developed three new wearable devices to help monitor, detect and mitigate COVID-19, including a wristband that vibrates if someone gets too close. The gadgets also include a face mask that reduces the amount of virus in the air and another wristband that continuously monitors user temperature to detect possible COVID-19 infection. The devices were invented to help collect critical health data that can be used to alert wearers of potential exposure or infection, University of Florida professor Swarup Bhunia told EdScoop. Betsy explains how the inventions work.


COVID-19 continues to disrupt higher ed

With a growing numbers of students contracting COVID-19, several universities across the country are reevaluating their plans to reopen classes for the fall semester. The reversals come after many universities decided to bring students back to campus for the fall, including the University of Arizona, which in August said it planned to begin bringing more students back to campus at this point in the semester. Meanwhile, administrators around the country are reporting concern with students not following social distancing guidelines and continuing to have parties and meet in large groups. UA President Robert Robbins said these choices will soon "have consequences and there will be individuals who will be asked to leave the university.” Read all about it.


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