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Special Education Workshop has been postponed and may be reschedule for the fall.
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Special Education Workshop

Join us for XR Marin’s first-ever event focusing on how XR technoligies (virtual reality, augmented reality, 360 degree video) can be used when educating students with special needs. Hear from experts about the innovative ways they’ve been using XR technologies with students who have special needs in educational settings.

This event is for students with special needs, parents, educators, administrators, and XR content developers. Hear from experts about the innovative ways they’ve been using XR with students who have special needs.

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Dr. Sandy Ayala, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Special Education, Sonoma State University

Dr. Sandy Ayala is a Professor at Sonoma State University. She came from the University of California Riverside where she earned her doctorate in special education with an emphasis in technology. Dr. Ayala's dissertation research looked at the effects of video self modeling on the decoding skills of students at risk for reading disabilities. She spent four years as the Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Learning Disabilities where she expanded her interests in the way universal design for learning can positively impact students with learning disabilities. Dr. Ayala has been a teacher for close to 20 years including working as a speech pathologist in New York and Southern California. Her latest interest is in the use of the iPad in the classroom as a progressive tool for communication, synthesis, expression and engagement. During her presentation, Dr. Ayala will present innovative EdTech methods for she has effectively used with students with special needs such as self-modeling.

Dan Phillips, Director, Technology Resource Center of Marin

Dan Phillips is a speech and language pathologist and assistive technology specialist in northern California. He is currently the director of the Technology Resource Center of Marin (TRC),, a site-based assistive technology center that was created and designed by Dan in 2001 and currently serves the needs of over 4,000 students in both special and general education in Marin County, California.  The center explores technology and its applications for special needs students in not only traditional areas of reading, writing, math and communication, but has expanded to include more innovative technology tools such as virtual reality, robotics, 3D printing and interface, eye gaze technology and music and art STEAM tools.  Currently, the office is partnering with University programs in the bay area and studying the effect of virtual reality on students and adults with physical disabilities as well as social communication and language skills through immersive learning.  This fall, TRC is helping to develop 4 VR labs in target schools throughout Marin in a pilot project to support immersive learning in special education classes and programs.

Mark Andersen, Co-Founder & President, Lifeliqe

Mark Andersen is the Co-founder and President of Lifeliqe, an education platform for students to learn visually in digital 3D. Lifeliqe's platform distributes the world's largest digital Science library available in interactive 3D models, augmented reality, virtual reality on HTC Vive and mixed reality on Microsoft HoloLens. Mark focuses on expanding Lifeliqe's learning experiences into schools and libraries. He created Lifeliqe’s partnership with the Nevada State Library launching XR into 16 Nevada libraries, workforce development and cultural preservation in cooperation with the University of Nevada and the College of Southern Nevada. He is in classrooms and libraries weekly assisting teachers and librarians leverage the power of XR to improve learning outcomes and engagement for students. Previously he was the Business School Chairman at Anglo-American University where he also taught for five years. For the past twenty years Mark has worked as a marketing leader in tech startups in Silicon Valley. Before getting his MBA from Northwestern University (Kellogg) Mark co-founded a successful startup that grew to 120 employees.

Justin Worthy, Speech Language Pathologist, Churchill County School District

Justin Worthy currently serves students, grades 4-12, with the Churchill County School District, as a Speech Language Pathologist. Justin has worked with the district since 2016.  He also worked in Texas as a Speech & Language Pathologist Assistant, where he worked with individuals of varied diagnosis’ and of all ages.  He has a passion for helping others which stems from his upbringing with educators.  He graduated in 2010, with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree, in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, from Southern University and A&M College, in Baton Rouge, LA where he was on scholarship as a Division 1 tennis player. Justin also attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Ct where he was also on tennis scholarship.  Justin was born in Springfield, MA and graduated for The Springfield High School of Science and Technology. In 2012 Justin was inducted into the Springfield Public High School Sports Hall of Fame as the first tennis player to be so honored.  Justin’s love and passion for the advancement of children, is evident in his work, with them. He is very interested in furthering his studies in the field of Speech and Language at the graduate level.

XR Marin

931 C Street
Novato, CA 94949


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