Experts Share Innovations in Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality at xR in EDU

Today, in partnership with SRI International, we are hosting xR in EDU, a 1-day forum on extended reality in education. The event brings together experts in the field to help accelerate the integration of immersive technologies in k12, higher ed, and professional learning environments.

To bring together the expert perspectives we’ve been able to gather for xR in EDU, we’re publishing a podcast series featuring a few of the speakers from this event.

If you’re interested in extended reality in education today, listen in to our xR in EDU podcast series, where we talk to innovators in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality about how they’re changing education today.

Melissa Dodd, Chief Technology Officer, San Francisco Unified School District

With over 56,000 students in 136 schools, 10,000 employees and 4,500 educators, the San Francisco Unified School District is attempting to implement technology into the classroom to deepen learning and engagement from students.

With a number of partnerships such as Google, Common Sense Education, Salesforce, and the Mayor’s office, the school district is at the forefront of exploring ways to bring xR into the curriculum, so that tech may seamlessly connect students with their learning.

To learn more about the innovations in SFUSD today, we spoke with Melissa Dodd, Chief Technology Officer for the district.

Derek Belch, Founder and CEO, STRIVR

Originally Sports Training in Virtual Reality, STRIVR was created by a college football coach to train athletes with virtual reality.

As of today, STRIVR has 30 different sports teams and all of the major leagues under their belt, and has also branched out into the professional learning space. Recently they have made the news for their role in the Walmart Academy virtual reality curriculum, which will be used to train over 150,000 Walmart employees.

We spoke with Derek to learn more about the company and how it is creating engaging learning and training platforms through virtual reality.

Maria Barrera, Chief of Staff, Nearpod

Nearpod is solving problems in the education space through making content in classrooms more interactive and engaging to the K-12 age range, allowing students to experience things they may not be able to due to time constraints or resource constraints.

Nearpod also supplies teachers with more tools to build their lesson plans and make the classroom an overall more positive experience. Nearpod hopes to continue to build cutting edge content and new tools for teachers to collaborate in their instruction and planning within the next year or so.

To learn more about Nearpod, we spoke with Sarah Romero-Heaps, curriculum designer, and Maria Barrera, Chief of Staff about the company and its products.

Jessica Lindl, Global Head of Education at Unity Technologies

Unity Technologies got their start as a producer of game industry software, but they have recently begun to focus on xR technology and its practical applications in education.

A global leader in content creation software, Unity is one of the leading innovators in this democratization of technology. Their goal is to make their software accessible to anyone who wants to use it, expanding the potential uses of xR in education and beyond. Unity is working to bridge the gap between developers and educators through the integration of xR technology.

We spoke with Jessica Lindl, Unity Technologies’ Global Head of Education, to find out how Unity is transforming people from consumers to creators.


Ondrej Homola, CEO and Co-Founder of Lifeliqe

Grown out of the 3D content publisher, Corinth Classroom, Lifeliqe was founded in the U.S. as a visual learning platform for students and educators.

Lifeliqe is working to implement xR in education through a variety of applications, such as textbooks accompanied by augmented reality software. Their online hub contains over a thousand interactive 3D models that are available for students and educators to use in their classrooms.

We spoke with Ondrej Homola, CEO of Lifeliqe, to learn more about how Lifeliqe is making xR technology affordable and accessible as an educational tool.

Stay tuned for more interviews from experts in AR, VR, and MR today.