When I taught KS2, some of my absolute favourite topics to teach were History-based: Ancient Egyptians, World War II, Tudors. There was something about them; there was a story to tell and my students always loved a good story. A huge challenge faced when teaching History however, is just how to convey what it was it was like in a different time.
To add to this, a lot of the time it was necessary to teach about a different time in a completely different place too. So, the mission was always to make it relatable, to recreate this time and place in the students’ minds somehow.
How different an impression a child gets from seeing a picture of the Pyramids of Giza to standing by them and staring up in wonder as they take in the sheer size of each enormous, stone block used to build them. How easily this second method of introducing the topic would lead to students asking questions themselves about how these huge blocks were transported, how long they would have taken to build and what was so important about them. By igniting an interest in a topic, children take ownership of their learning. They aren’t sitting passively at their desks, listening to facts or looking them up, they are seeking out answers to their own questions, they are finding out what they want to know.
Until time travel becomes a reality- (hopefully the Avantis Tardis is in the works) ClassVR offers a way for students to open a door to the past and have a look around, giving them a more powerful impression of how the world used to be, allowing them to reflect on how it has changed and perhaps making them wonder about what the future holds.