A New Vision: Using Google Cardboard to Promote Experiential Learning

Academic Enrichment Grant

 2016-2017 Project Summary

Merijke Coenraad

Saint Columbkille Partnership School • Brighton, MA

Experiential learning is a cornerstone of shifting classrooms from a teacher centered mode in which students are told information to one that focuses on student centered education where they are the constructors of their own knowledge, working collaboratively to build meaning together. It builds student engagement, helps them make connections between content studied in school and the real world, and allows for lesson activities to be personalized to each student. Unfortunately, experiential learning is often limited by the time and money that field trips require and many teachers no longer take their students on field trips. This is especially true for children who live in an urban environment where resources can be scarce. It can be difficult and expensive to bring students on field trips and those trips are limited to the immediate vicinity of the school.

Through Google Cardboard and virtual reality, the difficulties of time and money are overcome and students are able to experience the places about which they are learning right from their classroom; this is the new vision for education. Given the Google Cardboard technology, teachers will design lessons that accentuate the 21st century skills and give students autonomy to evaluate and analyze images and videos viewed through virtual reality. Students will work collaboratively to interpret these images and make connections between the physical locations that they are viewing and each subject. Reflections will be documented in a class blog, allowing other teachers and students to see what they have done and the impact that it has had. Periodically throughout the year, students will also be asked to reflect individually on their learning and success through this project. Quotes from these reflections can be shared with others and the complete reflections can be made anonymously available to teachers wishing to implement the same type of project in their classrooms.

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