Using VR to encourage storytelling in early school years
As a former infant school teacher, one of the first things that really got me excited about virtual reality in schools was the enormous potential for inspiring writing. I taught in EYFS and KS1 classrooms for a number of years. As every teacher (and parent!) of small children knows, there’s a lot more to learning to write than getting ten out of ten on a spelling test, or knowing what an adjective is! The real key to the earliest stages of writing lies in what a child can express verbally – and the best way to develop that vocabulary is through real-world experiences.
That’s why teachers spend hours creating treasure chests full of mysterious objects to inspire students’ pirate stories, or take their class on autumn walks before writing poetry. It’s why they use the parachute from the P.E. cupboard to create a hot air balloon in the corner of their classroom, to encourage role play and storytelling.
Avantis Educational Specialist (UK)
This is where I think ClassVR has a really important role to play. Next time your Year 1 class is learning about the history of flight and writing an adventure story, you can take them inside a helicopter. They can go paragliding, sit in the cockpit of a jet plane, or even fly in the basket of a hot air balloon – and they can do all of this from inside your classroom. Just imagine the richness of their storytelling after an immersive virtual reality experience. For those children who struggle to recall and visualise a story setting, imagine being able to take them back there in an instant.
Technology is never going to replace the priceless real-world experiences we provide for our students. But it can open up new avenues; it can provide fuel for children’s imaginations, and offer them the opportunity to see places they have never been. I for one am very excited to see the impact virtual reality can have on early writing.