The world’s first metaverse school taking Polk students

Girl with full VR headset controls

Students will use Oculus headsets to explore the virtual classroom | Photo via Optima Classical Academy

Classical education and cutting-edge technology are joining forces at Optima Classical Academy (OCA), the world’s first virtual charter school, right here in Florida. OCA visited Catapult (502 E. Main St.) on Tues., March 8 from 6-8 p.m. to host a free demonstration for prospective students and families ahead of its August 2022 opening.

OCA hopes to utilize technological advancements to teach classical education, with an emphasis on liberal arts, sciences, and moral principles like character and civic virtue.

While conventional online education (think: pandemic learning) is routinely self-taught and paced, OCA plans to deliver live instruction from an engaged educator. The new school model hopes to appeal to homeschooled students as well as virtual and in-person learners.

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Using virtual reality, students can explore underwater, go back in time, and more | Video via OCA

Wondering how the new school choice would work? Students receive a student success kit, including Oculus virtual headsets, notebooks, supplies, and literature. Some lessons will encourage students to get outside, and Oculus headsets will allow students to use to attend live lectures from their teachers, work in small groups, take virtual field trips, and more.

Students will take trips through space to the deep ocean, and through time to significant historical events. Ideally, a fully immersive experience would help students to remain engaged, resulting in more effective lessons and successfully obtained learning outcomes.

The tuition-free charter school is now taking applications for 1,300 students grades 3-8 online. Once submitted, lottery applications will be invited to register or join the waitlist.

Following the completion of its inaugural school year, OCA plans to extend classes through 10th grade in 2023, followed by classes for all K-12 students for the 2024-2025 school year. After launching the first school, OCA will launch one school per year over the next ten years.

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