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NYSSBA at 100 Years - The Classroom of the Future

Virtual Reality glasses, a four-foot-tall robot, historic US flags, and a portrait of President Woodrow Wilson were among the items greeting school board members, officials, superintendents, and approximately 2,500 other NYSSBA conference attendees at the Association’s recent annual conference in Rochester.

Encouraged by NYSSBA leaders Bob Schneider and Heidi Longton, the three regional School Boards Association executive directors, Sherry Johnson (Monroe County), Marla Iverson (Four County), and Patrick Burk (Genesee Valley) created a welcoming display “for” and “of” the ages.

Sparked by the MCSBA’s President’s Committee’s initial historic classroom exhibit concept, the team created an exhibit with modern furniture, state-of-the-art flooring, and a Smart Board contribution from KI, Interface, and Fusion (Recordex), to give visitors a sense of the benefits and potential of a 21st century classroom.

Presenting in the modern space besides a theatrical 1919 school classroom set, Hunt Engineers, Architects & Surveyors' Josh Bezio and Mike Morone and Heather Stonecipher of EDUTECH captivated attendees with a 2019 virtual reality school-building tour and remotely controlled robot-student.

HUNT has been utilizing virtual reality to better communicate our design intent to clients. Early on in the design process designers can begin to create the essentials of the new space based on the clients needs. Then build on those essentials with more detailed materials and colors to provide a realistic representation of the finished space. This process gives our clients a better sense of the end result and the ability to make more informed design decisions meaning they will end up with faculties that truly fit their needs.

Sharing the innovative space was EDUTECH, allowing visitors to test out their remote controlled robot. These robots are aimed to give sick, disabled or injured students the ability to still participate in school and with their classmates. It's controlled by a laptop program that allows the student to move the robot around remotely and broadcasts their face to the tablet attached to the robot.This allows the controlling student to interact face-to-face with others at school.

These are just two of many modern technologies making their way into K-12 education and the K-12 design process and HUNT was proud to be a part of the NYSSBA Centennial Conference.

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