Yesterday was my first prep day experimenting with the capabilities of AH1120 that will be basecamp for Humanities 409 [Honors]. The course, entitled “The Future”, engages with speculative, pop-ontological, and techno-anxiety inducing sci-fi to explore the broad spectrum of realities presented in visual as well as written narratives, and to critique the social constructions of bodies and spaces in futuristic narratives. Last year we had the privilege of being introduced to VR thanks to Dalton Salvo (Ph.D. candidate, U.C. Irvine), who was creating his M.A. thesis in Virtual Reality and generously shared the experience with my Humanities class and many others. The experience of VR connected the course’s theory work in the exploration of reality from Jean Baudrillard, Lewis Carroll, Alan Turing, and Albert Einstein (to name a few). It gave the students a physical space to engage with theory, ultimately providing an active learning experience. To view my student’s Jessica’s Vlog reflection, please click here.
Thanks to the hard work and innovative ideas of Rudy Arias, Sean Hauze, and Polly Card from ITS, VR has become a present actuality in the classroom and beyond at SDSU. Not only do we have access to VIVE, but Rifts, Hololens, and 360 Cameras. AH1120 now operates as an interactive learning space AND a lab. With this capability, our class can continue engage in discussion with digital visualizations operated through 5 screens, iPads, and airplay but also pivot gears and dive into physical explorations of social constructions, testing boundaries and borders of contrived realities.