Jen Snook, WMS Technology Integration Specialist, is awarded the Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools 2018 $5000 Dare to Dream grant winner. Jen writes, “The Winona Area Public Schools is moving more and more in a direction of learning through technology to support communication, collaboration, creativity and problem solving. Teachers and students alike seek out authentic experiences and find it ismore important than ever to discover new and engaging ways to learn and teach.”
Jen’s dream is to incorporate virtual and augmented reality into education and training in the classroom to achieve this goal. Jen proposed using the ground-breaking technology of Class VR that immerses students into content in a way that cannot be accomplished in two-dimensional space of paper or a computer screen. The library includes over 700 curriculum-aligned resources which provides content on topics, such as, historical times, habitats and nature, cities and structures, conflicts and disasters, physical features, science and technology, and arts and culture. Beyond the resources included in the set, teachers can create their own virtual reality experiences using 360 degree photos and videos. In addition to the physical components of the set, ClassVR includes online help and on-site technical support.
Virtual reality and augmented reality build on current effective practices of immersing students in cultural, scientific, artistic, and mathematical thinking, in order to experience that content from within and to help understand it to a deeper degree. As an example, through the use of virtual reality, students can “walk-around” inside an animal cell and look around to identify parts of the cell and witness processes up close. They can also “walk along” the Great Wall of China and view the landscape from atop the structure. With augmented reality, students might rotate a 3-dimensional human heart in their personal space as if they have access to the actual object.
Snook sees the ClassVR system as a multi-media approach which enhances what students are seeing in books or Google media. She explains that looking at information in a 3D virtual reality mode helps the students to engage in new and meaningful ways. It is Snook’s hope that this is just the next step toward encouraging lasting learning,
Congratulations Jen Snook for Daring to Dream!