Pedagogy is not in the tech.
When you think about using technology and how it fits in with education, it is easy to think that tech should do the work and students should learn from it. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While technology can support and enhance learning opportunities, the pedagogy that goes with its application, deployment and accessibility in the classroom cannot be taken for granted. We can’t just focus on the technology alone, but how teachers use this technology.
What Role Does Lesson Planning Play in Delivering Effective Learning Opportunities?
For effective learning to take place in a classroom, teachers need to carefully consider the dynamics of the group and the needs of individual students, whilst also having the right resources to hand. Lesson plans are key to meeting these needs, as the tools, resources, technology and strategies employed by teachers can vary depending on the context and from one teaching group to another.
This is what makes lessons planning such a crucial part of teaching. Beyond just the topic in question, many other aspects are to be considered when planning a lesson, such as:
- The range of abilities within a group
- S.E.N.D. requirements for individuals
- Resources available, and resources needing development
- Consideration of the objectives of the lesson
- The outcomes – what are students expected to be able to do by the end?
- Accessibility of the learning material
- Adding challenges to stretch students
- Opportunities to collaborate as a group as well as challenge individuals
- Opportunities to assess learning
- Opportunities to review and evaluate their progress
- Target setting
And much more, and that’s just for one lesson! Seems like a tall order, but careful planning can lead to effective delivery of learning opportunities.
Incorporating Virtual Reality Technology into Lesson Planning
The adoption of virtual reality in schools has been phenomenal and is predicted to rapidly increase over the coming years. Teachers are striving to use this technology to deliver immersive, yet, engaging lessons in the classroom. Here at Avantis, we often get asked the same question, how do I incorporate virtual reality into my lessons and lesson plans?
Like any other classroom resources, the ClassVR headsets and VR & AR content we develop should be treated in the same way. While virtual reality can enhance the learner’s experience and make them participants rather than spectators in a classroom, the pedagogy still lies with the teacher delivering the lesson.
Whilst we strive to support our ClassVR users in every way we can, by providing general lesson plans and extensive training to give ideas and suggestions of how to incorporate virtual reality content into lessons, teachers know their students best – so they can create lesson plans with virtual reality that suits the needs of their class.
When it comes to planning a lesson using virtual reality, our advice is to consider the following:
- How does the resource you wish to deploy link to the lesson’s main objectives?
- Will the student explore the resource independently?
- How much will students collaborate and engage is discussions while using VR?
- What key questions will you use to guide and focus students while they explore?
Using VR in Your Lessons
Let’s take the topic of the moon. Imagine first showing pictures and describing the surface of the moon for your students to understand. Now imagine being able to take students to the surface of the moon and let them walk around in virtual reality. Virtual reality can provide an unparalleled learning experience where students can experience topics, collaborate in virtual spaces and ultimately, improve student outcomes!
Rocco Cerullo, Educational Specialist at Avantis Education (@Rocco_Avantis)