I teach gifted students in grades K–8 and I am always looking for new, engaging tools for my teacher toolbox. I have discovered that sometimes the best ideas for using these tools come from my students.
As an introduction to virtual reality (VR), I showed Lifeliqe — a platform for virtual reality and augmented reality – to my students. We discussed different ways we can use VR in the classroom. They talked about how we could use VR in history and science classes. These classes address complex principles and ancient civilizations that students might understand better if they could “see” them through the use of VR.
One student wanted to be able to walk into a volcano to see “what’s going on in there without dying.” Other students thought VR would help them understand what ancient structures and people looked like. I remember one student saying, “It would be cool to see a Mayan or Egyptian in daily life around their pyramids. Maybe VR can show us that one day.” When I asked why this student wanted to see this, the student replied, “Just to make it easier for me to understand how they lived and what they had to do to survive so long ago, without all the things I take for granted.”
This fall I plan to introduce Lifeliqe into actual content learning. I don’t like to force technology into lessons and learning activities, so using my students’ comments as a starting point, I will look for moments to organically introduce VR into content learning when it is applicable.
Todd LaVogue, M.S., is a design, innovation, and technology specialist at The Conservatory School in North Palm Beach, Florida.
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