Getting your head in the game!
This year, we have purchased a class set of virtual reality headsets and the term started with a lot of excitement as teachers were trained in ways to bring this amazing technology into the classroom. The headsets use a screen and sound to give the impression of being somewhere else. Virtual reality (VR) uses 360 images and videos, which move as the headset moves. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital images on top of the existing environment.
What is ClassVR?
ClassVR is a virtual and augmented reality system, including headsets and a teacher portal. The headsets are used by students to experience an object, image or video in AR or VR. The teacher controls what students see on the headsets. There is a huge bank of resources available for every subject. For example, students can visit an active volcano, go inside the human body or a cell, swim with sharks, visit other countries or ancient societies and experience cultural festivals, all without ever leaving their classroom.
How is it used?
ClassVR headsets can be used in a range of lessons: in English lessons, students can use the VR headsets to experience the inside of Dracula’s castle before writing their own Gothic literature. In Geography lessons, students can visit different biomes and look at different environments and environmental concerns, and in Science lessons, students can visit space, looking at the Mars Rover.
Last year school council trialled the headsets. Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive. They enjoy being able to hook their learning onto a visual stimulus and they said that it has helped their understanding. For teachers and students, using the VR headsets creates a sense of awe and wonder in lessons.
- ”I enjoyed the VR headsets because we teleported to France, it was fantastic” (Year 5 pupil)
- ”I liked the VR headsets because I could see a birds eye view of Paris” (Year 5 pupil)
- ”I really love using the VR headsets, it was amazing. I loved looking at Stonehenge” (Year 3 pupil)
- ”When I used the VR headset it was so fun and exciting” (Digital ambassador)
- ”I saw a boat and fish” (Nursery pupil)
Responses to the workshops:
- ”It was useful to see what the children see, read and hear in the lesson that was taught”
- ”It was useful to see the VR set regarding the curriculum”
- ”The explanation of how much control the teachers have over what the children view and the accessibility was very reassuring”
- ”I liked the fish topic and I know my children would like it”
- ”I found it useful to see what the children see”
- ”To look at all the scenes was brilliant, thank you for introducing VR headsets”