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Kentucky Department of Education’s Monumental VR Deployment

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We are thrilled to announce the Kentucky Department of Education’s groundbreaking initiative – the largest school district-led VR deployment in the country! Dr. Shannon Putman Ph.D, an esteemed special education teacher and VR expert with over a decade of classroom experience, spearheaded this remarkable project. Starting with just 50 Oculus Gos and growing to 2,450 Meta Quest 2s, she has paved the way for the future of VR education across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Dr. Shannon Putman with an HTC VIVE VR device.
Dr. Shannon Putman, the champion and leader of Kentucky Department of Education VR deployment.

About the Project

Fueled by COVID funds from the Career and Tech Education and Special Education departments, this initiative provides VR-based learning to Kentucky high schools, career technical education centers, and special education programs. With 30 technical centers spread across the state, this project reaches vocational schools offering a diverse range of career-focused tracks such as welding, HVAC, CAD, digital marketing, business, and healthcare.

Educators of Kentucky learning to use VR for their classrooms.
Educators of Kentucky learning to use VR for their classrooms.


The project boasts an extensive array of content designed to cater to diverse learning needs. Utilizing platforms like ENGAGE for a virtual campus, the students of Kentucky can virtually meet and collaborate in real time. CareerView XR, an immersive career exploration platform, provides students with job site field trips and job shadow experience. In addition, Dr. Putman has had tremendous success partnering with XReps. Together they created gamified football-based cognitive drills to make learning math more engaging, enjoyable, and accommodating to different learning styles. With a broad range of content, Dr. Putman ensures that every student benefits. 

Kentucky student using Dr. Putman's & X-reps' gamified math education content.
Kentucky student using Dr. Putman’s & X-reps’ gamified math education content.

Devices and Software

Choosing the right devices was crucial. After careful consideration based on price and features, the Quest 2 emerged as the ideal choice. To manage this vast deployment efficiently, Dr. Putman opted for ManageXR as the VR and AR mobile device management platform. The ease of remote management, control over updates, and detailed analytics were key factors in making this decision.

ManageXR allows educators to track and manage thousands of VR devices seamlessly, ensuring a smooth deployment process. The platform also enables remote content distribution, customization of home screens, and kiosk mode for multiple apps. ManageXR enabled Dr. Putman to create a custom and focused home screen, so students can easily access their learning materials.

ManageXR's powerful MDM software enables you to create a custom and focused home screen so students can easily and quickly access their learning materials.
ManageXR’s custom home screen for Kentucky Career Technical Centers.

Phased Approach

With a total goal of 5,400 headsets in schools all across Kentucky, the project is being executed in two phases. The first phase began in October 2023 deploying 2,450 devices across the state. In this phase, Dr. Putman and the educators of Kentucky focused on deploying to their career technical centers. By conducting a phased approach, they could learn what works and what doesn’t when deploying at scale to schools. She could then apply these learnings to improve execution in the second phase. The second phase is launching this month, January 2024, and will have a more direct focus on special education.

Special education student using Dr. Putman's VR-based learning content.
Special education student using Dr. Putman’s VR-based learning content.


Kentucky’s Department of Education, under Dr. Shannon Putman’s leadership is pioneering a new era in education with the largest VR deployment in the state. This initiative not only showcases the potential of VR in the classroom, but also emphasizes the importance of adapting teaching methods to meet the needs of every student. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact this project will have on the educational landscape of Kentucky. Stay tuned for more updates as this innovative journey continues to unfold!

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