All Middle and High Schools in ND to Receive Virtual Reality Headsets
Immersive Career Exploration Startup Donates VR Tech to Public and Private Schools
(Feb. 1, 2024) In a first-of-its kind statewide initiative, immersive edtech startup CareerViewXR will donate more than 300 HTC VIVE virtual reality headsets to public and private secondary schools to make immersive learning more accessible across the state of North Dakota. Distribution of the headsets will begin February 11-13 during the 2024 NDCA Annual Conference at the Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center, where career counselors from across North Dakota will be gathered. Any unclaimed headsets that remain after the event will be available to the appropriate schools through their regional ND Job Service office. Additionally, EduTech will be providing professional learning and statewide support for this initiative.
While there have been many individual schools and school districts across the U.S. harnessing the power of immersive media in the classroom, statewide deployments encompassing both public and private schools seem to be unheard of. CareerViewXR Co-founders Katie & Matthew Chaussee hope that this initiative will inspire other states to implement VR headsets across their school districts.
“This initiative is one of a kind. To our knowledge, North Dakota will be the first state in the country to put VR headsets in every public and private middle and high school. Supported by ND Career and Technical Education’s RUReady platform, ND Job Service, and EduTech, this donation enhances a multi-agency public-private partnership that we are especially proud of.” says company CEO, Matt. Company owner Katie added, “We’re grateful to be living here in North Dakota, a small but connected state that supports entrepreneurship, workforce, and education. Providing these headsets to schools is a way we can ensure CareerViewXR is best positioned to address the career awareness gap, helping ensure every student has the opportunity to discover their dream job. The headsets also provide a great first step for schools to start exploring all immersive media solutions.“
February happens to be national Career and Technical Education (CTE) month, which is perfect timing to announce every middle and high school in the state will receive a VR headset to add to their arsenal of technology in the classroom. The Fargo, N.D.-based startup hopes that the donation will get learners even more excited and engaged with potential career paths than ever before.
“Schools across the state have been enthusiastically adopting CareerViewXR on students’ non-VR devices. With the addition of virtual reality hardware, students can get fully immersed in dozens of great jobs located right here in North Dakota. We’re grateful for this gift and for the value CareerViewXR brings to the state’s RUReady career planning system.” says Wayde Sick, State Director of the ND Department of Career and Technical Education (NDCTE).
CareerViewXR’s web-based platform is already in use in secondary schools across the state, thanks to a North Dakota Career and Technical Education initiative that added access via the RUReady platform last fall. This initiative was made possible by the approval of an appropriation by the North Dakota State Legislature during the 2023 session. With the added distribution of VR headsets, North Dakota students can now be fully immersed in CareerViewXR experiences and schools can also obtain a variety of other additional educational VR content.
Rep. Mike Nathe, sponsor of the legislation providing CTE the ability to purchase the software, stated, “Funding from HB1232 allowed ND CTE to implement virtual reality career exploration software across the state. By choosing North Dakota's own CareerViewXR, CTE ensured that the solution matched the state's specific needs. On top of that, CareerViewXR's generous donation of VR headsets to schools statewide exemplifies how good policy can enable great entrepreneurial initiatives.”
The CareerViewXR platform utilizes 360-degree technology to create interactive web-based tours and companion virtual reality videos that bring job sites into classrooms. Its growing library of over 65 field trips and job shadows offers students a glimpse into the daily lives of real professionals in real work environments in various in-demand industries. By increasing career awareness, students are better equipped to make more informed career decisions.
The startup was recently recognized as a Yass Prize semifinalist. This prestigious grant program known as the “Pulitzer of Education Innovation” awarded them a $200,000 award that is being used to improve the platform and promote it in new markets. Despite being headquartered in Fargo, CareerViewXR has a growing subscriber base of students and adult job seekers exploring in-demand occupations across the United States.
The startup acquired the VR headsets thanks, in part, to a growing partnership with HTC VIVE, an industry-leading XR solutions provider. Through this partnership, they collaborated to put VIVE Focus Plus headsets into the hands of educators and students across North Dakota. “Congratulations to CareerViewXR on this first-of-a-kind statewide initiative. We’re honored to be working with CareerViewXR and providing our headsets for the program, which fits perfectly with our mission of merging humanity and technology to unleash the imagination,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM of Americas at HTC VIVE. “Our partnership with CareerViewXR provides immersive learning solutions to inspire and empower students and job seekers to advance their skills and explore new career paths in an engaging and safe environment, without limitations.”
CareerViewXR CEO Matt Chaussee added, “Making an announcement like this was one of those big dreams we hoped we could achieve years ago, when CareerViewXR was just a fledgling idea. We’re excited to continue with our commitment to education by working to ensure all students can confidently and enthusiastically answer the question ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ through immersive environments that are accessible, safe, informational, and fun.”
CareerViewXR is an immersive career exploration platform that brings the jobsite to the classroom through 360-degree web-based tours and companion virtual reality videos. Students and adult job seekers alike can explore engaging field trips and job shadows highlighting in-demand industries like skilled trades, healthcare, energy, and more. Best of all – VR headsets are completely optional; the content is accessible on devices you already own – including laptops, cell phones, and tablets.
CareerViewXR is the flagship product of Be More Colorful, a Fargo, North Dakota startup that specializes in immersive technology solutions for solving workforce development problems. Co-founded by husband-and-wife team Matt and Katie Chaussee, the company has been at the forefront of creating immersive media solutions that help people make better decisions about where they choose to live, learn, work and play.
CareerViewXR Website: https://careerviewxr.com/
Be More Colorful Website: https://www.bemorecolorful.com/
For media inquiries, please contact:
Maddysen Boecker, Communications Manager at CareerViewXR by Be More Colorful
(701) 353-2000 EXT. 704