Change & New Perspectives at FAMU: A Look at their new 360/VR Lab

FAMU ThingLink 360/VR Lab
by L.Michelle Salvant and Dr. Kelley Bailey

Wow! What a semester! At Florida A&M University, it’s been all about change and seeing things from a whole new perspective. For starters, we have a new president, this semester Dr. Larry Robinson became the 12th president of the University. Go Rattlers! We also have a new Head Football Coach, Willie Simmons, who had been away from the city for about 20-years, and has happily returned to make an impact on a field he calls “home.” Change and new perspectives has also made a difference in how we view things at FAMU, especially when it comes to using Virtual Reality/360 technology. This semester, we established a dedicated lab inside the FAMU School of Business & Industry for producing Virtual Reality Content using Thinglink 360/VR.

The Lab

The use of ThingLink has provided a new and encouraging opportunity to see our students demonstrate the grasp of various instructional concepts, said Dr. Kelley Bailey, Professor, FAMU School of Business & Industry. Dr. Bailey, along with FAMU MBA Candidate/VR Lead, L.Michelle Salvant, started holding the labs every Tuesday afternoon during the semester as a way to provide additional instruction for students and faculty who were using Thinglink. “The ThingLink Lab has not only allowed faculty to provide specific assistance as needed on a wide range of ThingLink based projects, but it allows our students to provide peer-to-peer support. “It is extremely encouraging to observe our students exchange ideas and best practices, raising the level of creativity for all,” Dr. Bailey said.

Over a few weeks time, the lab grew from a place of training/instruction to an Imagination/Inspiration space of sorts, where students could find innovative ways to execute their project ideas. “They would come in saying they really didn’t know how to get started using the technology and as we would talk more, our voices would become louder and louder and the enthusiasm for the possibilities would just erupt in the room, with every conversation almost ending the same way with the words, Yes!!!!!! I got it now! It made my day every time,” said L.Michelle Salvant, who also serves as VR Lead for the University’s Virtual Reality campaign.

This semester, the student projects included making a Virtual Reality/360 Business Portfolio and creating a Virtual Reality/360 Cultural Analysis of what business looks like around the world.

Explore a Few FAMU Student Projects

Gebeke Omodara’s VR Portfolio

Greg McNealy’s VR Analysis of KFC Around the World

Creativity Corner

In the next evolution of our ThingLink Lab, the FAMU School of Business will implement a “Creativity Corner” for faculty. As the name suggests, the “Creativity Corner” will provide a venue for faculty and selected staff to exchange ideas and best practices for implementation of instructional content. Meanwhile, on the student side of the “Creativity Corner,” the dedicated ThinglinkVR/360 lab space will continue on a weekly basis with specialized projects for students to participate in with the school and with the Thinglink Community as a whole.  After all, as lead Thinglink Educator, Susan Oxnevad always says, “Creating is the highest level of learning,” and these VR/360 opportunities give FAMU students more opportunities to explore, learn, and create at higher levels.


About the Authors

This post was compiled by L. Michelle Salvant and Dr. Kelley Bailey, ThingLink Certified Educators from Florida A & M University who will be ongoing contributors to this series.

Kelley Bolden Bailey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Business and Industry
L. Michelle Salvant
LMichelleMedia, Inc., Owner
MBA Student
School of Business and Industry

 

 


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