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- Navarro College and From the Future Collaborate for new Classroom Experience
Navarro College and From the Future Collaborate for new Classroom Experience
Posted on November 01, 2023
Navarro College XR Lab, in partnership with XR Technology program partner From The Future, is proud to announce the development of cutting-edge patient assessment and fire science education software. This groundbreaking software is currently in use by multiple first responder classes at Navarro College and is being introduced to numerous clients by From The Future.
XR, an umbrella term encompassing Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), promises to seamlessly merge the physical and digital worlds, creating an interactive “digital twin world.” This transformative technology is set to redefine the educational experience for students at Navarro College.
The inspiration for the software arose from the creative minds of Ms. Dyann Tobar, Emergency Medical Services Program Director, and Mr. Stephen Buchanan, Fire Program Director. After careful review of emerging XR technology, they identified a gap in relevant applications for their respective programs, as all applications were focused on military and hospital settings. They recognized the need for tailored software solutions for initial education to enhance their classroom training. To address this challenge, they joined forces with Dr. Anila Das, who led the creation of the XR Lab, and Dr. Mary Ledbetter, Department Chair for Cybersecurity. Together with their corporate partner, From The Future, they developed the Patient Assessment and Fire Science Hazardous Materials Identification applications.
“We have established an XR Lab that offers various programs the means to enhance learning by providing real-life experiences with patients and situations that mirror real-world challenges,” stated Ms. Tobar. “In this environment, we have crafted a life-like demonstration that enables students to learn more effectively through hands-on experiences. We are thrilled with the content and experiences we have created as a team. From The Future is now making the software available to other institutions.”
Dyann Tobar, an Ellis County local, pursued her education at Southwestern University, majoring in Pre-Med and Biology, with a strong focus on sociology and psychology. She returned to Waxahachie in 2011 and became certified as an EMT and later as a Paramedic through the Emergency Medical Services program at Navarro College. While at Navarro, she found her passion for emergency medicine and teaching, and ultimately assumed the role of Director of the Emergency Medical Services department.
Stephen Buchanan holds an AAS in Fire Science from Navarro College, followed by a BAAS in Fire Science from Texas A&M Commerce. Currently, he is pursuing a Master's degree at UNT Dallas. Alongside his academic pursuits, Stephen serves as a dedicated Driver/Operator for the Arlington Fire Department and the Director of the Fire program at Navarro College.
The establishment of the XR Lab was made possible through the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) grant award of $530,000. The TRUE grant initiative aims to prepare students for in-demand careers accelerating their transition to work while also building and enduring education infrastructure to support a thriving Texas economy throughout the diverse regions of the state.
While the XR Lab does not replace traditional learning methods, it serves as a vital bridge that allows students to access lifelike models to enrich their learning experience. This innovative technology is currently utilized in a wide array of programs, including EMT, Paramedic, Fire Science, Nursing, CNA, and Phlebotomy. The XR Lab represents not only an advancement in education but also underscores the college’s dedication to preparing students for success in their chosen fields.