Teachers Helping Teachers with ClassVR at Emmanuel Lutheran School
Emmanuel Lutheran School, Arizona
Emmanuel Lutheran School has been providing preschool through 8th grade education services for over 45 years in Tempe, Arizona. As our society and students have changed over time, we have remained on the lookout for the best technology to bring into our classrooms to enhance what our teachers and faculty are already doing. Interactive Projectors, Chromebooks (1:1 at Grade 3-8, shared grades K-2), and document cameras have helped keep our students engaged and our curriculum relevant and thought-provoking for our learners.
“My name is Chris Wempner, and I am a Grade 1-2 teacher at Emmanuel Lutheran School.
I love how easy it is to take the students from the classroom to the real world. We can read an article in a magazine about festivals in India and then be in the middle of that festival in minutes. The students are so excited to experience new places.”
Chris Wempner, Grade 1-2 Teacher
Starting Local, Teacher Experts
We were very excited to get our first set of ClassVR headsets at our school. We felt that virtual and augmented reality really opens up possibilities in the classroom, and we were looking for something that was easy to use and we didn’t have to worry about using phones and viewers, so the fact that it was all in one was a great relief to us. Once we received our set, we identified 3 teachers that we felt would be the best to pilot this technology and to help find out how to best incorporate this into our curriculum.
Using our 3 pilot teachers, we were able to cover a range of grades and subject areas, giving good insight into what we could do with the VR technology across our curriculum. We focused on an elementary level (Grades 1-2, all subjects) and two middle school areas (science and history). Through the efforts of these teachers we learned the ins and outs of the system and came up with creative ways for teachers to integrate VR into their curriculum. The goal was to help drive awareness and foster interest from the other teachers, then have these pilot teachers assist the other teachers in leveraging the technology in their own courses. The results have been great!
While we started with only 3 teachers, many more of our faculty are now inquiring about the ClassVR systems, wanting to be a part of the educational fun. Doing “Tech for Tech’s sake” or telling teachers they must implement something is not what we want for our students. Rather, we have found that having teachers choose to be a part of a new program always gets better results!
Thinking Global, Learning From Others
One of the best part of the ClassVR system is the power of the portal. Not only does it provide great instructional management tools and content management capabilities, it also connects us with other teachers who are using the ClassVR system. By using the Community library feature, we can quickly find playlists that not only closely correlate to our own curriculum, but we can also see how other teachers are teaching the same concepts and the approach they take to integrating VR into their lessons.
Having experts in our own school will be a great way to enable more teachers to use this technology in more classrooms. Teacher-to-teacher training will continue to raise the bar for us, and will make our integration even better for the years to come.
“The kids love them! They enjoy being able to see “up close and personal” areas we have been studying. The goggles are easy to use and the students are extremely comfortable using them.”