Can you imagine what it would be like to learn about marine life whilst swimming with sharks? Or, what it would be like, to discover the Prehistoric world by being able to turn into archeologists in Atapuerca for one day? These are just a couple of examples of what Virtual Reality can offer education. The School is very conscious of this potential, and wanted to take a step forward in applying this technology to the curriculum, by training our teachers in Primary, so they are able to use it in their classrooms.
According to the educational thinking of Cody Blair in his book, The Learning Pyramid, we learn about 5% of what we hear, 10% of what we read, 20% of what we listen to and watch, 50% when we are guided in group discussions, 75% when we do things, and as much as 80% when we teach or facilitate learning in some way. These statistics support the theory that students, especially those who are youngest, learn more in a practical, rather than in a theoretical environment. That´s why it´s easier to understand History, if we are able to travel in space and time wearing a pair of glasses with a suitable software programme to guide us. In our case, it´s a way of reinforcing and complementing our own School teaching methods using this new tecnology tool.
As well as developing their technology skills, Virtual Reality also has other advantages: it motivates the student, raises their level of interest and allows them to live the experience in a more personal way. It captures their attention for longer, stimulates their creativity and reinforces their learning. And, also very important, Virtual Reality promotes teamworking using software which presents them with goals to be completed as a group, and can provide them with challenges and activities which they can then share with classrooms in other parts of the World.
Off you go Primary! Good luck on your first, exciting trip through Virtual Reality!