English Instructor Kathy Wagoner receives phones from Nex-Tech Wireless to be used with virtual reality headsets

Nex-Tech wireless donated phones to instructor Kathy Wagoner to use with virtual reality headsets. Students will use the headsets to improve their creative writing skills.

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Nex-Tech wireless donated phones to instructor Kathy Wagoner to use with virtual reality headsets. Students will use the headsets to improve their creative writing skills.

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Nex-Tech Wireless recently donated 30 phones to be used in English classes with virtual reality headsets.

The English Department had floated the idea of virtual reality headsets last year, so when instructor Kathy Wagoner saw headsets on sale, she seized the opportunity.

“I noticed they [Walmart] had clearance on virtual reality headsets, so I bought them out,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner spent about $200 and got 48 headsets. Walmart gave Wagoner a $25 gift certificate to put towards the headsets, and another customer saw what Wagoner was doing and donated $20.

After purchasing the headsets, Wagoner considered writing a grant for phones to use with the headsets. She contacted Nex-Tech Wireless to get an estimate of pricing so she would know how much grant money she would need.

“I wrote a grant, but the grant wasn’t going to be looked at ‘till October,” Wagoner said.

Channing Lewis, Business Services Manager at Nex-Tech Wireless, then sent an email to Wagoner, telling her they would donate phones to the program. Wagoner now has 46 Samsung Galaxy J3 phones from Nex-Tech.

Wagoner’s next step in the process is working with the I.T. department to figure out the logistics of using the phones in class.

“We’re in the process of getting them up and running, so hopefully, in a couple weeks, we can do our first experience,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner plans to use the headsets to develop students’ creative writing skills.

“I could use them [virtual reality headsets] to put them [students] into aquariums, like into that one in Chicago, or I could have them go scuba diving, I could put them on rollercoasters and then I could have them write with a lot imagery,” Wagoner said. “They could build their creative writing skills by using these virtual reality experiences.”

Wagoner is very thankful for Nex-Tech’s contributions.

“We’re very, very appreciative to Nex-Tech Wireless for giving us the tools we need to take kids on virtual reality field trips,” Wagoner said.

21afeyerherm@usd489.com

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