Monday, May 1, 2017

The Power of VR and Audio in the Classroom - Part 2

Our learning journey using virtual reality continues with the grade 5 students connecting their learning in Social Studies. In the first blog post about our adventures using VR to learn and share our learning, the grade 4 students used our newly acquired VR viewers to visit places around the world connected with the early civilizations they were learning about. This blog post is about the grade 5 students and how they leveraged the technology to help personalize their learning experience and help make it more real to them. You can read about our first experience here.

The students are currently learning about The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship. After assisting the grade 4 students embark on their worldly adventures to help bring their Social Studies learning to life, the grade 5's did some research and planned a virtual trip to Ottawa, Parliament Hill to be exact.

Having spent time researching and discussing the levels of government in Canada, they were pretty excited to get to visit the heart of the federal government. In preparation for their visit, I tweeted the Canadian Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to let them know that we would be visiting their work spaces (literally visiting their offices). This added a touch of reality for the students and helped excite them even more about using Google Expeditions to visit Parliament Hill.

Here are photos of them visiting:

Here are some audio about their experience:

House of Commons

Library of Parliament

Prime Minister's Office

The students enjoyed their field trip so much that they asked if we could invite some of the other grade 5 students in the other class to check out Parliament Hill. A few weeks earlier, the other grade 5 class invited our Provincial MPP in to visit and my grade 5's were invited to be part of that experience. I was proud to see my students lead the other students through this trip the same way I led them. It was a moment that I won't soon forget.

The students are still talking about their trip and are looking forward to the next virtual trip they go on. Stay tuned for more blog posts and audio about our travels and how they are helping us make connections and deepen our learning!

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