Lesson 10: Social VR and the Future

In this lesson students will wrap up and synthesize what they’ve learned throughout class. We hope that, in addition to learning about immersive storytelling techniques, students will have been exposed to how the worlds of emerging technology and journalism interact and how to evaluate new storytelling tools. Students will have the chance here to reflect on what they’ve seen and look forward to important new tools on the horizon. 

One development to highlight in particular is Social VR–platforms that allow for dynamic social interaction in VR experience. One of the key things drivers of growth for a new technology is when you can use it to connect with other people. Sheltering in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the utility of our current remote communication tools, and also their limitations. Social VR points to one direction that remote communication can continue to evolve in.

Learning Outcomes
    • Define Social VR 

    • Consider ethical impact of social VR

    • Discuss possible uses of immersive tools at media organizations

    • Anticipate future developments and technologies in the immersive sphere 

In-class Exercise/Activity for Small Groups

This class session is a good opportunity for a few think-pair-share discussions. Students can work individually and in small groups to contemplate how technology shapes journalism and how journalists can set the direction for technology.

Discussion Topics

How do new technologies catch on? And what decides if they are embraced by the public?

What do you want (from the technology, storytelling, etc)?

What do you think the next generation might want?  (from the technology, storytelling, etc)?

Why is it important for journalists to experiment with emerging technology?

How might news organizations experiment with emerging tech?

How might journalists engage with readers and report in Social VR?

End of lesson feedback

3-2-1 (3 takeaways, 2 questions, 1 thing they enjoyed)