Using ClassVR for Virtual Field Trips at Oak Run Middle School
“Class VR makes virtual reality MY reality!”
Librarian, Oak Run Middle School
Oak Run Middle School is a secondary campus in New Braunfels, Texas, that has almost 1,000 students in grades 6-8.
Below is a first-hand description of the exciting benefits of ClassVR and how Oak Run Middle School have already seen improvements in their students’ work by embedding ClassVR into their lessons
ON YOUR MARKS . . .
In the spring of 2018 one of our district’s instructional technologists, Edwin Braun, showed me a new set of ClassVR that our district purchased for campuses to reserve. As a librarian who sees every student in the school for lessons every month, I immediately signed up for a training with him on how to use the VR headsets. I had previously used other various VR technology, but I soon realized that ClassVR was different from all the rest. The resolution on the headsets is incredible. I didn’t have to switch a device in and out of the headset because it was built in and very easy to navigate.
In my training session, I learned about the 360 camera views, how to create new content, as well as utilize the vast library of photos and units in the ClassVR library. I was able to create my own playlists using all the content ClassVR has in their libraries and using a 360 camera we could upload our own photos as well. I was more than ready to share everything I’d learned with teachers and students.
GET SET . . .
Before my first lesson with teachers and students I learned that our district had purchased another set of ClassVR. I was pumped! This means more students could participate with headsets doing my lesson. Ms. Schriewer, a reading intervention teacher on my campus, agreed to bring all her classes into the library that day for a lesson with the ClassVR headsets. I wanted to take the students on a virtual field trip focusing on famous libraries, museums and locations around the world.
A lot of the kids that came that day, and the following week when I did these lessons with another teacher, are students who haven’t ventured out of our tiny Texas town, let alone out of state to travel. I wanted to share the world with them and ClassVR gives me that privilege.
The lessons went better than I hoped they could! Students were on the edge of their seat the entire time as I took them around the world to places like the Bodleian Library in the UK to the National Library in Athens to The Met in NYC and beyond. Students were engaged and excited to be in class as I took them on a tour around the world without leaving the comfort of their seats. I was able to point out various features in the photos using the tracking tool on the teacher’s view of ClassVR. This makes all the difference when you have students who struggle to focus or aren’t following directions. I can see where they’re looking and point them in the right direction.
After our Virtual Reality lesson, I wanted to do an AR one as well. Students used the ClassVR paper cubes to focus on while Baba Yaga’s door popped up on the cube in their hands. I was able to see their view of what they were looking at Augmented Reality technology. Many of these students also struggle with behaviour issues. Not on the day I taught this lesson. They were engaged, focused, asking questions, and more into the content I was teaching than I’d ever seen them.
DON'T STOP NOW!
Our district is using VR and AR in a variety of ways. Teachers in all subjects such as foreign language, history, English and more are taking students on virtual field trips to famous locations throughout the world, allowing students to view these places in a more involved way than just looking at a photo. Science classes are looking at beating hearts held in their hands. I have teachers asking me how they can use ClassVR in their classrooms. I tell them the possibilities are endless. In some cases, this might be the only way students will ever see these places. We want to encourage students to look beyond their hometowns and realize there’s a big world out there for them to see. ClassVR allows us to show it to them.