Return to Headlines

District students leverage technology to enhance driver education curriculum

Computer screen displaying a driving simulator being used at Coon Rapids High School(01/27/2023) Every day in Anoka-Hennepin, high school students are getting a head start on their behind-the-wheel education thanks to technology being utilized in driver education classes in all five high schools in the district. 

Each school has eight virtual driving simulators installed in classrooms and anywhere from eight to 16 students use them during each hour of the school day. The simulators include a widescreen display, a steering wheel and foot pedals and offer a real-life experience of being behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

Students complete 16 different lessons that teach them all about driving, including defensive driving, how to drive at different speeds, and driving in varying road or weather conditions, giving students a variety of scenarios that isn’t always easy to replicate in the short window of time during behind the wheel training. 

The hours students spend on the virtual driving simulators not only prepare them for behind-the-wheel, but they also count as a portion of state-required hours. 

“It’s a great place to start,” said Chad Fellows, driver education teacher at Coon Rapids High School. “Because they learn all of these things ahead of time, when they get into a real car, the goal is they are less likely to crash. They have a little driving experience before they actually get behind the wheel, which is safer for them and safer for everyone on the road.”

Watch this video to learn more about how driving simulators are being used in Anoka-Hennepin.