My step project entailed building a Virtual Reality ready computer. I used this computer and held an event where I shared Virtual Reality education programs with professors and students in the Physics Department. Many people came by and tested out the virtual reality programs and many wished they had this sort of technology when they were learning 3D vector math and chemistry.
While completing my STEP project I learned that I was interested in educating people and liked finding new ways for people to learn. Using the programs that I assisted in the development in was insightful on what I wanted to do for a career, thinking of new ideas and ways to better educate people. I also learned about computer hardware, like what each component does, how it all works together, and which pieces are important to which processes. This has allowed me a new outlook on computer systems, servers and even cell phones.
Meeting many different people and their views on education was a big part of what changed me. The people I met gave me a new outlook on education. Even those who know the concepts they are viewing were impressed with how intuitive a new type of visual can be. Truly seeing other people learn and experience a new way of learning opened my mind to the possibilities available of merging technology and learning.
Building a computer helped me realize that technology is rapidly advancing, not just the actual components but software as well. While technology is increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives, teaching software will become a normal thing in many classrooms. Even today with smartphone based response quizzes, the technology will only improve and be more useful in classrooms like google cardboard’s VR for phones.
One of the professors I met allowed me to help with coding new virtual reality learning software for his lab over the past summer. This experience has been vital for my decision to continue my education into graduate school. Hopefully all these past experiences will help me continue to educate and teach others using unique and different technology, always innovating and improving.
These changes have been important to me because it has helped me understand what I wanted to do with my near future. I had originally seen graduate school as an option but now it has moved up to the top priority for my future goals. This experience has also given me an insight into the hardware side of technology. This has given me a new hobby that I will take with myself into the future.