Embracing Virtual Reality with ClassVR at King's School Nad Al Sheba
King's School Nad Al Sheba, UAE
Kings School Nad Al Sheba, United Arab Emirates, focus their teaching on developing the skills and values that will enable students to become thinking, informed and confident people, able to meet the international challenges of the 21st century.
Below is a first-hand description of the exciting benefits of ClassVR and how Kings School Nad Al Sheba have already seen improvements in their students’ work by embedding ClassVR into their lessons
EMBRACING NEW TECHNOLOGY
ClassVR arrived in Kings NAS during the first week of term and the impact of this exciting new technology was immediate. Children attended demo lessons to ensure they understood the health and safety of using the VR and then they were off to a running start using the technology for engaging hooks and topic sessions.
Children are embracing the new ClassVR devices in school and are being introduced to the concept of virtual reality by viewing content based on their topics. Year 1 visited space, Year 3 found out what was like to be inside a volcano and year 6 travelled around the inside of the human body. The excitement was amazing; we could hear the screams of delight from the Year 3 children throughout the school.
Next was the FS2 visiting Japan, Mexico and Africa! The children were so excited by being fully immersed in images and sounds of their topic country. The teachers were then able to give the feedback on virtual reality and discuss how it could be incorporated into their lessons.
“Thank you so much for the virtual reality lesson. It was amazing and the children are still talking about it. I think it would be great for a number of things communication and language, imagination, inspiration for the children” FS2 Teacher
ENGAGEMENT AND INTEREST FROM THE STUDENTS
Playlists of resources are now being created to cover cross-curricular topics for Primary and Foundation classes. We are looking at ways in which VR can be used to develop speaking skills in Foundation Stage as the children are able to talk about the image or video they are immersed in by the VR surroundings.
The opportunity to produce higher levels of interest and engagement has been evident across the school. Year 1 experienced space and rockets and thanks to virtual reality they really got the feel of how big a rocket is or what it is like to be inside a spaceship capsule. Year 3’s adventures into the volcanos allowed them to access lava mode and the heat could almost be felt by the children due to the 3D experience produced by ClassVR!
Key Stage 1 children being able to discuss their VR experiences has positively impacted the progress of their writing. The experience has enabled them to improve their writing skills and has provided children who struggle to write with a new inspiring resource.
“It was amazing to see the children so engaged in their learning while using VR, it gave the children an opportunity to visit a spaceship, which wouldn’t normally be possible! The children created fantastic pieces of descriptive writing after using VR as a stimulus. We can’t wait to use it again!” Keystage 1 Teacher.
VISIT SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD
Children being taught the British Curriculum whilst living in the UAE may have never seen many of the places, or have a knowledge of the events we discuss whilst learning subjects linked to, for example, British History. ClassVR enables children to visit places all around the world from the safety of their classroom and through this experience learn more about the subject being taught.
Moral Education in the UAE is a new subject to many schools but we have already thought about how we can link this to ClassVR. For example, the 360 video of the Culture and Heritage Centre is a great resource to understand the UAE culture whilst in the classroom. Compassion and empathy can be taught using virtual reality videos, giving the children an insight into what it is like to be a refugee. These resources add another level to children understanding of moral education. Me and my world via VR shows what it is like to visit schools around the world, an opportunity to see the different environments in which people live and work. Real life application is extremely important and what a better way to explain the concept of being brave than to watch a canyon swing and feel what it is like to fly across the mountains.
ClassVR is easy to use and gives teachers the ability to create lesson content wherever they are via the web-based portal. It allows them to use the web to search for equirectangular images or YouTube for 360-degree videos on a particular project. You simply upload your content, save to the playlist and send to devices – VR lesson complete!
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE NOW
CoSpaces is another fantastic resource that is incorporated in ClassVR; our children have already been using this application to create their own worlds or create their own imaginative place to visit during storytelling. With ClassVR they can experience what it is like to walk in a world they have created themselves!
“CoSpaces gives children the ability to create not just consume gaming. Children were delighted to be able to create what Dubai will look like in 2050 and then use the ClassVR headsets to walk around this new environment” Keystage 2 Teacher.
ClassVR opens up a wide range of opportunities for learning in a new innovative way which can easily be incorporated in many lessons. Our Arabic and Islamic team are already planning how they can use virtual reality in their next lessons.
“It was amazing to see the children so engaged in their learning while using VR, it gave the children an opportunity to visit a spaceship, which wouldn’t normally be possible! The children created fantastic pieces of descriptive writing after using VR as a stimulus. We can’t wait to use it again!”