Classes & Events at the Public VR Lab

Upcoming Events, Meetups, Workshops & Emerging Media Classes at the Lab

Please see our classes page for emerging media classes and our BIG classes page for our traditional media classes.


Contact: Erin Kinney at BIG to receive dates and location information for each of these classes.

Well-designed virtual reality (VR, AR, 360) experiences can invoke a powerful sense of awe, empathy and have a transformational effect on the viewer. As VR/AR is an embodied cognitive experience, unlike any storytelling or communications medium ever before, the user moves from passive viewer to become part of the experience.

This workshop runs from 10:00am-5: 00 pm each day. 

Using project-based learning this workshop will help participants understand how to use VR/AR/360 as a communications tool for storytelling and immersive journalism. You’ll gain hands-on experience using 360 and VR equipment, and draft stories that will be enhanced by being told in VR. Attendees will learn practical ways they can bring the benefits of VR to their local community, and how VR technologies can be an effective communications tool for business, government and nonprofit organizations, and individuals.

Over the course of the weekend, we’ll break into small groups to demonstrate available equipment, using hands-on demonstrations with VR headsets, scanners, and 360 video cameras to learn firsthand about VR’s experiential context, and show examples of how VR can be used for compelling storytelling online, for solving local and global problems, and in expanding storytelling in film, art, education, activism, and journalism. Participants will be able to apply these principles to their own projects, to student objectives and to their communities.

We’ll place attendees in a customized VR experiences such as on global air pollution the Public VR Lab created for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and demo a 360 science discovery journalism project created in partnership with the Lab and the Boston Globe. We’ll lead a discussion and demonstrate how VR creates an experiential world with agency, and opportunities for user decisions and empathy, making them part of the experience rather than a passive viewer of traditional media.

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of VR basics: Equipment, headsets, content creation tools
  • VR cinematography: How to shoot effectively and use scanners in 360 and VR
  • Storytelling: How to devise immersive stories in 360, VR and AR
  • Storycoding: Basics of content creation in volumetric VR will be explained. (Please note: taking additional advanced workshops are required to learn to code VR)
  • Project-based: Participants will create a short VR project by the end of the weekend

The Public VR Lab is building a local and national network for a Community VR movement that will facilitate public dialogue; provide professional training; empower community knowledge and creation of 360, virtual, and augmented content; provide access to tools, headsets, arcades, toolkits, and professional expertise; and generate locally-focused, broadly-impactful VR experiences in the public interest.

Instructor Bios:

Kathy Bisbee is the executive director of Brookline Interactive Group (BIG), a community media arts center, and the co-founder/director of the Public VR Lab, the first publicly-funded Community VR organization in the U.S. She received a dual B.A in Political Science and Social Science from the University of Maine, Farmington, and a masters in Integrated Marketing Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA. Kathy is an award-winning, multidisciplinary storyteller, producing international films in Latin America and VR content for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). She recently presented to world leaders in Kenya on Art, Storytelling & Activism, and on Can Virtual Reality Help Save Reality?

Kathy currently serves on the steering committee for Women in Next Realities-Boston, and on committees to support safe spaces for women in tech. She is directing a nationwide collaborative VR project-in-progress on immigration stories throughout 400 years of the American diaspora, and launching a national VR affiliate program to place VR equipment, training and resources in the hands of libraries, arts organizations, independent journalists, and local municipalities.

Nir Darom is the Lead Creative Designer at BIG/ Public VR Labwhere he applies VR/AR/360 storytelling techniques through graphic design, video production, and interactive design. Nir has a BA in graphic design from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel.

Throughout his career, Nir created opening titles for TV programs at ESPN and HBO, directed music videos, designed over a hundred book covers, and has taught interactive design in Tel Aviv and at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Nir also directed an award-winning short documentary film called “Fluent by Christmas,” about his son’s adjustment to life in the U.S. In 2014, he published a novel in Hebrew, about a 14-year old girl whose father disappeared on 9/11.