Latest education updates from around the world

Biliteracy Seals in a Large Urban District in New Mexico: Who Earns Them and How Do They Impact College Outcomes?

By |May 18, 2024|

REL Southwest examined the characteristics and college readiness of students from three cohorts of grade 12 students in 2017/18–2019/20 in a large urban district in New Mexico who earned different types of biliteracy seals (state, district, and global seals) and whether earning a seal resulted in improved college outcomes.

Indicators of School Performance in Texas

By |May 18, 2024|

REL Southwest partnered with the Texas Education Agency to examine student behaviors and teacher factors that could be used to create indicators of school performance when accountability data are not available.

Stabilizing school accountability metrics

By |May 18, 2024|

This white paper describes a way to improve school accountability metrics by reducing measurement error, which can obscure school performance, especially in small schools or subgroups. This approach, called Bayesian hierarchical modeling, can help states target the schools and subgroups that most need additional support.

Encouraging families to visit a literacy website

By |May 18, 2024|

In Arkansas, REL Southwest studied the effectiveness of using emails and text messages to increase the number of parents or guardians of elementary school children visiting a state literacy website.

The Louisiana Believe and Prepare educator preparation reform: Findings from the pilot and early implementation years

By |May 18, 2024|

REL Southwest examined the extent to which the Louisiana Believe and Prepare educator preparation reform is contributing to expected improvement in the outcomes for early career teachers using data from eight cohorts of teacher candidates who completed a traditional undergraduate teacher preparation program between 2012/13 and 2019/20.

This $1,000 App is Now the Most Expensive on Quest—At Least There’s a 20 Minute Free Trial

By |May 18, 2024|

With previously hidden ‘App Lab’ apps now discoverable on the main Quest store, the $1,000 WeldVR is the most expensive app you can find on Meta’s VR app store. But fret not, you can get a free trial… for 20 whole minutes.

For years, Meta only allowed select apps onto the main Quest store (which Meta recently rebranded as the ‘Meta Horizon Store’). Apps that weren’t greenlit for the Horizon Store could be published to ‘App Lab’, which gave the app a home to be bought and installed, but the apps would remain ‘unlisted’, meaning they could only be accessed with […]

‘Everybody’s Golf’ Studio Tees Up the Competition on Quest in ‘ULTIMATE SWING GOLF’

By |May 17, 2024|

Clap Hanz, the Japanese studio behind hit golfing series Everybody’s Golf and Hot Shots, released their latest VR game on Quest, called ULTIMATE SWING GOLF.

The game follows in the footsteps of Clap Hanz’s other iconic titles, this time featuring five outdoor courses for some arcade-style VR golfing action.

The game’s main focus is on free play, training modes, and competitive online matches, however it also includes a mixed reality play mode which transforms your room into a golf course.

You can grab Ultimate Swing Golf over on Quest, supporting Quest 2/3/Pro, over on the store, priced at $30.

Ultimate Swing Golf […]

‘Blacktop Hoops’ Graduates from Early Access After Racking up Over 15,000 Reviews

By |May 17, 2024|

Blacktop Hoops (2024), the popular VR basketball game, is out of early access on Quest, now serving up multiplayer and single player streetball on standalone platforms and PC VR headsets too.

Developed by Vinci Games and first released in April 2022 in alpha, the full version of Blacktop Hoops is now available, bringing with it a new GOAT campaign mode, revamped online parks for up to 4v4 matches, new maps and environments, a new Court Cam mode, training modes and more.

The studio says the game’s first official season will take place over the next four months, which will let […]

Quest 3 Finally Replaced Index as My Main PC VR Headset, and I Have Valve to Thank

By |May 17, 2024|

After nearly five years, I’ve finally moved on from Index as my main PC VR headset, and Valve is the one that made me do it.

Index is a great headset. Between it’s tracking, ergonomics, field-of-view, crisp display, and still industry-leading audio, it’s been hard to give it up—even if it’s resolution is, by this point, very much ‘last-gen’.

Image courtesy Valve

Even with Quest 3’s upsides of higher resolution, better lenses, no-tether, more compact form-factor, and no external trackers, I was still reaching for Index when it was time to dive into PC VR. But the release of […]

‘Rocking Legend’ is Like VR ‘Rock Band’ Without Needing a Closet Full of Plastic Instruments

By |May 16, 2024|

Domurosoft, an Italian indie studio, is getting ready to release the full version of Rocking Legend on SteamVR headsets soon, which includes some very Rock Band-inspired gameplay which critically doesn’t require dedicated guitar controllers.

Rocking Legend can’t really boast any well-known music—its 30-song OST of original songs have all been tailored to work with virtual drums and guitars.

While it’s true you can play guitar using motion controllers to simulate strumming and fretting, the game also promises support for USB or Bluetooth-enabled instruments for a more authentic experience, which includes ones you might have left over some other games.

The game, which has just […]

New Live Captions Feature on Vision Pro Could Lead the Way to Real-time Translation

By |May 16, 2024|

Apple announced it’s introducing a host of accessibility features to Vision Pro, which is set to include Live Captions for the deaf or hard of hearing. It certainly feels like an important first step in eventually kitting the device with real-time translation at some point down the road.

The visionOS update, which is said to arrive some point later this year, will also add adjustable captions for Apple Immersive Video, and support for ‘Made for iPhone’ hearing devices and cochlear hearing processors. Additionally, accessibility features will include options to Reduce Transparency, Smart Invert, and Dim Flashing Lights for users with […]

AR Content is Coming to Google Maps, But It Won’t Matter Until There’s a Headset to See it Through

By |May 16, 2024|

Google today announced it’s starting a pilot program that will soon allow select partners to create AR content and display it within Google Maps. While it seems like an important step for Google on the way to owning a piece of the ‘all-day AR glasses’ future, it’s unclear just where it’s all headed for the company in the near term. Because compared to Meta and Apple, Google still seems unable to commit to a coherent XR strategy.

Starting in Singapore and Paris later this year, Google is essentially elevating content built in its Geospatial Creator platform to the world […]

Wooclap: How to Use It to Teach

By |May 15, 2024|

Wooclap is taking presentations into the interactive space in a new way.

Official Vision Pro Schematics Will Accelerate Development of Headstraps & Third-party Accessories

By |May 15, 2024|

Apple has released detailed schematics of Vision Pro and its various parts, which will likely lead to an acceleration of third-party accessories like headstraps and protective cases for the device.

Vision Pro was announced nearly a year ago and started shipping three and a half months ago. Until now, third parties building accessories for the headset needed to work from their own (or someone else’s) unofficial measurements of Vision Pro to build accessories that fit the headset correctly.

But Apple has finally updated its Accessory Design Guidelines document to include detailed schematics of Vision Pro and its accessories.

The newly […]

Meta Just Made It Easier for Small Developers to Get Apps Into the Main Quest Store

By |May 15, 2024|

Quest users searching the Store will now be able to more easily find games published through its early access distribution channel, App Lab, which previously weren’t visible, effectively giving smaller studios a more level playing field.

Meta is making its operating system and app store available on third-party VR headsets sometime soon, and one of the bigger changes coming to the platform is the blurring of the barrier between the Main Store and App Lab.

Besides offering a way for studios to publish their titles in early access, App Lab also lets any developer who meets basic technical […]

Google & HP Partner to Productize ‘Starline’ Light-field Display for Videoconferencing

By |May 14, 2024|

Google announced it’s partnering with HP to commercialize Project Starline, the company’s light-field display for immersive, headset-less video conferences.

Google says it’s partnering with HP to start commercialization of Starline in 2025, which the company says will “focus on connecting distributed teams and individuals in the workplace.”

Additionally, Google says it wants to eventually bring Starline support to video conferencing services such as Google Meet and Zoom—which will be interesting to see given how different livestreaming light-field video is to standard video.

First unveiled in 2021, the telepresence platform was initially a cumbersome, booth-sized unit that Google said would allow for […]

AI Ethics and Legal Concerns in Classrooms

By |May 14, 2024|

As AI use continues to grow in classrooms, educators need to be aware of the ethics and legal concerns involved

New Meta R&D Reveals Shortcut to Ultra-wide Retina Resolution Holographic Displays in XR

By |May 14, 2024|

Researchers from Meta Reality Labs, Princeton University, and others have published a new paper detailing a method for achieving ultra-wide field-of-view holographic displays with retina resolution. The method drastically reduces the display resolution that would otherwise be necessary to reach such parameters, making it a potential shortcut to bringing holographic displays to XR headsets. Holographic displays are especially desirable in XR because they can display light-fields, a more accurate representation of the light we see in the real world.

Reality Labs Research, Meta’s R&D group for XR and AI, has spent considerable time and effort exploring the applications […]