SCU Students Bring Education to Life through the Imaginarium
Day’s Child Studies course aims to “be of service to the community” through virtual reality
By Julia Joyce '19
Over the past few quarters, Elizabeth Day (Child Studies) has worked with Imaginarium director Brian Smith to bring virtual reality (VR) to the classroom, specifically her Technology and Education course (CHST 75), in which her students synthesize lesson plans that involve VR equipment in the hopes of enhancing student engagement.
As a part of her push to enhance elementary and secondary student learning, Day has her Child Studies students create lesson plans for a variety of common core standards beginning in fifth grade. Covering a wide range of subjects and grade levels, Day's students work to determine, in her words, "how technology can be leveraged in appropriate ways to enhance engagement, motivation, learning, and achievement."
Day says the Imaginarium's VR equipment makes their lessons “come to life” with possibilities including but not limited to a World War II history lesson that involves students being placed in the cockpit of a fighter plane flying over Berlin. With the help of the VR technology, students are immersed not only in the physical surroundings of the plane but also the sounds that bring the scene to life and make for a more holistic learning experience.
The lesson plans students are developing in the Imaginarium will hopefully be available soon in local classrooms.
What I'd ultimately like to do is partner with a school that has some rudimentary VR equipment, ask them 'What are you teaching? How can we be helpful?’ and have our students come up with actual lesson plans that the teachers then use. That's the ultimate goal, to be of service to our community.