The classroom comes to life with virtual reality

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The classroom comes to life with virtual reality

Students at the junior high using virtual reality to learn in the classroom.

Students at the junior high using virtual reality to learn in the classroom.

Photo credit to Cassidy Peterson

Students at the junior high using virtual reality to learn in the classroom.

Photo credit to Cassidy Peterson

Photo credit to Cassidy Peterson

Students at the junior high using virtual reality to learn in the classroom.

Hope Sickels, Staff Contributor

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Cassidy Peterson has been working hard to implement the use of virtual reality inside the classroom. This requires familiarizing students and teachers with the technology.Virtual reality sets allow students to experience situations and do things that would otherwise be impossible.

He wants students to understand that the rest of the world is not like the Quad Cities and through virtual reality, they are able to do just that. There are ways for students to create their own virtual environment and when they do that, that allows them to express what they have learned and communicate it in a new way.

At the start there were some wifi connection issues, but the problem has been fixed and no other negative comments have been reported to Peterson. “Students and teachers love them,” he said.

The VR cart is in use almost every day. Teachers have started thinking outside the box and using the VR sets for different aspects of teaching. Peterson said, “Some teachers have even started having students create tours of their future lives, by having the students create what their goals are for college and after.”

The high school and junior high share one cart of 30 virtual reality viewers and 30 cell phones. The cell phones come with it to benefit both students and teachers. Kids don’t have to provide their own device and teachers have the option and availability to preload their lesson before students arrive. On the VR cart comes it’s own wifi router so teachers and the kids using the devices don’t have to rely on the schools router.

Jessica Scadden, a teacher in the English department, used virtual reality for the introduction to Native American literature. She explained that with the sets, kids were able to look around at things like Native American teepees, pow wows and clothing. “I think for the most part it helped them because a lot of them could then picture what was coming up in the literature they would be reading,” Scadden described. She also added, “They seemed fairly engaged the whole time.”

“When students create tours on Google Tour Creator and view them in the VR goggles for the first time, it’s awesome to see how impressed they are with their own work,” commented Peterson.