Guilford has state’s only IMAX-type virtual reality classroom in a public school

GUILFORD, Maine — Instead of watching their teacher write on the whiteboard while they take notes, elementary students in Guilford can see their lessons through the only 360-degree virtual reality room in a public school in Maine.

The idea is that the four walls of the room are actually screens, similar to an IMAX theater. Students sit in special chairs — which Principal Anita Wright compared to boat cushions with backs — on the floor that can be pivoted as the kids turn to watch the images unfold along the walls. Although usually the room would be rounded, the school district retrofitted a space they already had.

The technology is furnished by a company named Igloo that brings to life such experiences as going inside the human body or meeting a dinosaur face to face. Wright said she found it during the early days of the pandemic when she was researching how to help reengage students after they returned to the school building post-remote learning.

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