Friday, March 10, 2017

Part 3: Thinglink VR Student Projects

Part 3: @Thinglink_EDU #VR Student Projects | by @EdTechnocation #ARVRinEDU
In my constant exploration for virtual reality resources and tools, I think I've found the holy grail for VR creation! The Thinglink 360° & VR Tool is one of the easiest and most classroom friendly. I've put together a four part blog series. In part 3 I'll share some student projects and ideas for others ways you can use Thinglink VR in the classroom.

Part 1: Thinglink is Bringing VR to Every Classroom!
Part 2: Creating Thinglink VR is a breeze!
Part 3: Thinglink VR Student Projects
Part 4: Get Started with Thinglink VR in the Classroom

Thinglink VR Student Projects

My school has a 1:1 iPad program and the Thinglink VR Editor on the web works almost perfectly with the iPads! This school year I've worked with several grade levels to document and reflect on field trips they've taken using the Thinglink VR Editor.

7th grade World Geography Organic Farms Project

One of my favorite Thinglink VR projects that I'm able to share was with two 7th grade World Geography classes. They planned to take a field trip to two separate local organic farms on the Wai'anae Coast of Oahu. This was a perfect opportunity to introduce students to the Thinglink VR Editor! Our goal was to have students create an interactive virtual reality experience that they could give to the farms to use for community outreach and education to support their mission as local organic farms.

We organized students into groups of 4 and assigned each group to a specific area of the farm (i.e. aquaponics system, lettuce field, packaging facility, etc.). Each group was responsible for collecting 360° images (using the Google Street View app), regular pictures, video, and audio recordings, including interviews, action shots, and background noise.

Students were given a Content Checklist to help organize themselves before the field trip. Take a look at the checklist I created here and feel free to make a copy!

The Thinglink VR Editor is not collaborative, unfortunately. So when the students returned to class the next day I assigned each group a "Thinglink-er" who I set up with a student Thinglink account and gave them access to the VR editor. In class, the groups worked together by sharing their content with the Thinglink-er's iPad and helped to piece everything together and create the tags. They also collaborated in a shared Google Doc to draft their text and organize their pictures. The projects turned out to be amazing evidence of learning and a great resource of knowledge for sharing.

High School Marine Biology Watershed Project

Another project that is currently in development is with our high school Marine Biology class. They are currently studying the unique nature of our local watershed, the Ala Wai Canal Watershed. In an ongoing effort to further educate the community and local government on the state of the watershed, an interactive virtual reality tour could go a long way in providing that education! Each student in the class has been assigned a specific section of the watershed, running from the mountain all the way down to the shoreline and it's affect on the ocean. Through the rest of the course (ending in May 2017) each student will create a Thinglink VR project centered on their assigned section. And all of the students Thinglink VR projects will transition back to a central 360°. Below is the beginning of that project with a few of the watershed locations already created:

Other class VR Projects
  • Chinese Honors High School Language - students used the Google Street View app to take a 360° image of their favorite spot on campus. Then, with a combination of audio recordings, pictures, and text they demonstrated their Chinese language skills by speaking the language and recording themselves describing their favorite spot on campus. Similar to this Spanish class example.
  • 4th Grade Social Studies - students in the 4th grade visited a local stream. While they were there they used their iPads to take pictures of specific areas of the stream to demonstrate what they were learning in class. The teacher also took 360° images. Each student created their own tag in a shared Thinglink VR project by uploading one of their pictures from the field trip and typing an explanation.
  • 8th grade History of the Modern World - Students will remix a 360° image of a world map (or this one) to plot significant events that occurred during World War II. They are also going to create a virtual field trip experience during their visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial in April (similar to this one).
  • High School Social Justices Class - We'll be working with a local restaurant that's owned and operated by a refugee family that immigrated to America a few years ago. Students will interview different members of the family and will create an interactive VR documentary of the restaurant and the family with the Thinglink VR editor.
Get Quality Professional Development for Virtual Reality & Thinglink VR in the Classroom!

I've been exploring the use of virtual reality in the classroom for the past two years and have been sharing, presenting, and training on the topic for about a year. Starting in April (and through July) I'll be helping to roll out a series of workshops on VR and Thinglink VR in Hawaii on multiple islands. Join me!


Virtual Reality in Education Resources for Educators

There is so much amazing VR content out there! But I found, in talking with other educators, that it was really difficult and time consuming for them to sort through it all and figure out what's worth keeping and using. So I've developed a #VRinEDU resource website designed specifically for educators! Check it out and click on the image to the right to subscribe to my free VR in EDU Updates Newsletter!