Thursday, July 19, 2018

Energize and Extend Learning Through Virtual Reality

Here is more notes from the recent Upstate Technology Conference I attended. I can’t wait to try some of these things out!

Energize and Extend Learning Through Virtual Reality

“Are you looking to energize your students and extend learning beyond the confines of your school walls? Come join us to learn how Virtual Reality can transform learning in your classroom! In this session, we will explore Google Expeditions, Google Cardboard and Youtube VR apps, while focusing on a variety of learning strategies that will better ensure authentic engagement and content understanding through Virtual Reality. “

Presenters: Andrea Derrick and Jared Johnson

There were only 2 of us in the room besides the presenters, which I loved!! It was very informal and extremely informational!

I have Google Cardboard glasses but really don’t know what to do now that I have them. I love the thought of augmented reality and virtual reality but once I get past the fascination with them, I’m not really sure how to use them in the classroom.

They demonstrated how to use Google Expeditions in the classroom. I like how you can guide the instruction on the teacher’s iPad with the student’s iPad. We also looked at other apps. They explained how to find activities to go along with topics and then modify them to fit the lesson.

We learned how to create our own tours with Tour creator:

I loved the demonstration of the Merge Cube which can be found at some Walmarts for $1. I haven’t found any near my home but it is going to be a mission for me now and I have GOT to find one!

I also loved the T-shirt that Andrea demonstrated. The t-shirt had a code on it and using an app, it pulled up body organs and labels. It was really cool!  

My Take Away: I saw how to use AR and VR in the classroom as a learning experience and not just a fun toy.  Through our discussions I thought of ways that this could also be used to help special education students. I could see walking a student through a new school and routine which would help students moving to a middle school or high school for the first time. Teachers could also do this for routine procedures when students arrive in the classroom. School orientation showing the entire school could be made for parents and students unable to attend a new student orientation. I could see this being used on a worksite to help special education students practice what they would need to do on the site. These can be reviewed as many times as needed. I can’t wait to give these a try!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

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