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Robert LiKamWa – Learning in Virtual Reality

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

Meet Dr. Robert LiKamWa

Professor of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

School of Arts Media and Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU)

This project: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Education

“Augment” means to make something greater by adding to it. Robert LiKamWa works with teams of students. They “augment” the reality seen through a cell phone camera. Augmented Reality (AR) can add animals or other objects to real places. Do you wish you had a pet dinosaur with you on your walk today? (AR) can tell that story. Or anything else you can imagine. Technology can fuel your creativity.

Augmented Reality adds to what is already there

Robert’s team at Meteor Studio also works on Virtual Reality (VR). Think weird goggles. Looking around you’ll feel like you’re someplace more exotic. Maybe you want to learn about the ocean or Mars or a dinosaur zoo. VR can take you there. (Watch the Khan Academy Video below for an explanation of how it works.)

“In the future learners will create learning experiences for other learners.”

It’s already happening. In some ASU biology classes students learn wearing VR headsets. They feel as though they are shrinking to the size of a cell. What better way to learn about the inside of a cell than to go there? They also learn skills like how to use a pipette to prepare a microscope slide.

Robert believes that students in the future will rely on VR. They will take virtual walks or flights over Earth or undersea. Even into space. Robert is even more excited about students making their own VR experiences. They will plug their VR goggles into their computer. Programming a world from scratch will teach them more than just reading about it. “In the future learners will create learning experiences for other learners.”

Do you want to learn how to start now? You will need some computer skills. ASU runs a Digital Culture Summer Institute for students in grades 6 – 12. Even young students with no computer background learn VR in a short time. For more info about how to get started on your own, you can visit the engine ASU uses.

Another useful skill is thinking in 3D. For example, you could learn how to follow Lego instructions. Then build something new with Legos. Draw the instructions so others can build it too.

And of course, you’ll need a big imagination, big enough to build a world. VR lets you build anything you can imagine.

Photo Credits

Profile photo : Permission by Robert LiKamWa

Augmented Reality Shark: This Photo is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Mars2 Virtual Reality: Robert LiKamWa (watch the video here)

Read these books to learn more about . . .


by Jack Challoner

Learn about the history of VR, from how it was invented to how it is used in the world today—beyond smart phone apps—and how VR headsets play with your senses of sight, sound, and touch to fool you into thinking you are somewhere else. Then use the included VR viewer and smartphone app download to come face-to-face with a T. rex, look inside a volcano, explore the Roman Colosseum, hop aboard the International Space Station, and peek under the surface of a pond. Find more books written by Jack Challoner at his website.


by Mari Mancusi

Welcome to Dragon Ops, the world's first augmented-reality video-game theme park. Set on a once-deserted island, our three beta players—classic gamer geek Ian; his adventure-seeking sister, Lily; and their too-cool-for-gaming cousin, Derek—have been lucky enough to score an invite to play before the fully immersive experience opens to the public. But once inside, they find themselves trapped in a game taken over by a rogue AI dragon called Atreus, and suddenly the stakes go beyond the virtual world. With no cheat codes, guidebooks, save points, or do-overs, they'll need all their cunning and video-game hacks to beat the game . . . and survive in real life. Action-packed and unputdownable, Dragon Ops will thrill gamers and reluctant readers alike with high-tech adventure and electrifying twists and turns.

Find more books by Mari Mancusi at her website.


. . . and visit these websites!


This short Time Magazine video explains how we can use Virtual Reality.

This Khan Academy video helps explain how Virtual Reality works.

Science News for Students: Cool Jobs Doing Real Science in Virtual Worlds (Be sure to watch the Dolphin VR video and the Sandbox AR video!)

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