Our 6th grade Virtual Reality (VR) experience began when Mr. Legge came to me in hopes of helping his Life Science students deepen their understanding of human cells. We decided to have his students view “Cellscape: A Virtual Reality Journey Inside a Cell” on the Oculus Quest headsets.
Many people have asked me: “Why VR? Why do we need this in the classroom?”
Virtual reality headsets are one of the most stimulating methods of learning currently available in education. It enhances student learning and engagement, while also transforming the way content is being delivered. VR allows students to experience what they’re learning by being fully immersed in it.
Mr. Legge could have had his students read about human cells in a textbook, watch a documentary, or illustrate cell diagrams, but that doesn’t reflect the same learning experience as taking a “field trip” to the middle of a cell. “Cellscape” shrinks viewers down a million times and places them right into the center of a working human cell. While in the experience, students look all around them while a narrator guides them on a tour of the complex cell processes at work. This “field trip” into a cell gave his students a much deeper understanding of cell parts and functions because they were able to experience it happening all around them.
And virtual reality stretches beyond just science. Here at Powhatan, our students can transport to ancient Rome, instead of just reading about it. Or they can be placed in the trenches during World War II, instead of just watching a video. Students can visit the setting of a novel they just finished, no matter where it may be in the world, and never even have to leave their classroom.
With virtual reality, Powhatan students can now walk on the Great Wall of China, dive down to the sunken wreckage of the Titanic, explore the International Space Station, and so much more!
~Mrs Miller, Innovation and Technology Teacher
Check out the free VR cell experience at https://www.cellscape.net