First Class

First Class is a cutting-edge immersive experience platform that brings the power of augmented reality to teacher education. By using the Microsoft Kinect, First Class allows users to practice their foundational teaching skills by using real movement, voice, and gestures to engage a classroom of virtual students.

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Practice Authentically

Real teaching doesn’t happen with a keyboard and a mouse, so why should you use them to practice it? When students use real movements, gestures, and voice to interact with First Class, they are learning by doing, practicing their teaching in an authentic way. And authentic practice makes it easier for students to transfer their simulated experiences into real classrooms.

Making The Most of Your Classroom Time

First Class does not replace live teaching – it supports it, allowing pre-service teachers to make the most of their time in the classroom. There is no substitute for practicing your teaching in front of live students. But legal and logistical constraints limit the time that pre-service teachers can spend in schools. First Class helps to fill in the gaps, allowing students to practice anytime, engage in difficult or uncommon classroom situations, and experiment without fear of failure.

Virtual Personalities

The virtual students in first class aren’t just cookie cutter computer characters. They are unique individuals who get bored, lose focus, and need to be engaged. Saying “good morning,” calling students by name and making sure that your students can make eye contact with you are the kinds of little details that go a long way in real teaching and they’re just as important in First Class.

An Immersive Experience Platform

First Class was envisioned as a teaching support tool for pre-service teachers. But it was built to be an extendable platform that can be customized to help users in a variety of contexts practice the way that they engage with others. Job interview preparation? Doctor-patient engagements? Negotiation training? Intercultural empathy? The potential for First Class to create a unique support tool for any context is only limited by your imagination.

Experiment. Learn. Repeat.

By providing valuable feedback to users both during and after their experience, First Class allows users to experiment, learn from their efforts and try again until they feel comfortable. Real classrooms don’t have a reset button, making First Class a valuable addition to a learner’s toolbox.

Ann Clements, Associate Professor of Music Education

This project has been built around the research of Ann Clements, Associate Professor of Music Education.

An active researcher, musician, and pedagogue, Clements has given over 150 presentations and keynotes internationally. She is published in multiple national and international journals. Clements is the author, co-author and editor of several books in the field of music education. Her primary research areas include music participation, game theory as applied to education, learning in blended, virtual and augmented realities, and ethnomusicology. She has served in leadership and editorial roles in national and international music education and ethnomusicology organizations and has won several university awards and fellowships.

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Contact Us

All inquiries can be directed to firstclass@psu.edu.

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