Wink | By Matthew Seaver | January 6, 2022
The world’s first virtual reality charter school will open its virtual doors next year, and it’s based right here in Southwest Florida.
The Optima Classical Academy in Naples will let students see their entire classroom in virtual reality instead of a zoom meeting.
Optima Classical Academy wants parents to know the future is now. Using a simple headset, students will experience learning in 3D virtual reality.
Erika Donalds, founder, and CEO of Optima Classical Academy, said, “they can see the entire classroom and 360 degrees. And these atoms and the planets are in three dimensions there. They look like you can reach out and touch them.”
Donalds’ goal is to help kids close the learning gap by creating better teacher-student relationships.
Her own experience has taught her that it can be rough in the traditional virtual education model.
Adam Mangana, the executive director for Optima Domi, agrees. “My kids are currently in an online school, and it’s a classical school, great content, but they have missed because of the two-dimensional model, the powerful relationships.”
Students across Florida can enter a lottery to be a part of Optima Classical Academy.
It will open in the fall with students in grades three through eight.
The virtual academy is free, and Donalds said, “because we are a charter school, our students can participate in sports, at their zone school in person. And so we’re going to encourage families to take advantage of that and help to facilitate that.”