Students creating VR worlds for maths

Learning mathematics through creativity is a not an approach we often associate with junior high school classrooms. In this post, Jessica Simons, Math teacher and co-researcher on the VR School Study, explains how she went about designing curriculum that allowed her Year 9 extension mathematics class to use 360-degree virtual reality to demonstrate their depth of understanding of linear and non linear graphs.

Jessica developed a unit of work which scaffolded students towards growing their mathematical knowledge and applying this to the environment of their school. Students were asked to produce imaginative 360-degree virtual worlds that could be used to teach their peers about graphs. Working in small groups, students scouted locations around their school where graphs might be represented and then they planned and storyboarded their ideas to produce original immersive adventures in mathematics to share with others. The cover image for this blog post is of an initial brainstorm from one group on the VR task.

The unit of work can be found here.

The video below is of Jessica explaining how she developed the curriculum, bought a creative lens to mathematics teaching, and the value-add of VR to student learning.

This post bought to you by real live educators A/Prof Erica Southgate and Jessica Simons (Assistant Head of Mathematics, Trinity College, Adelaide).

Curriculum to empower student VR design on sustainability

This post provides an excellent example on how to design curriculum that integrates the use of 360-degree VR content creation for authentic research and problem-solving in the design and technology subject area. Ella Camporeale, teacher, and co-researcher on the VR School Study, discusses how she went about producing a unit of work for her Year 9 students that allowed them to use VR to create their own virtual world on the topic of sustainability at school.

The unit of work scaffolded students towards understanding the creative potential of VR and how it might be used to allow students to demonstrate deep understanding of digital design and content knowledge of sustainability based on research into the school’s sustainability practice. Students needed to investigate the issue of sustainability at school by engaging with key stakeholders to collect and represent data in their virtual worlds. They were required to produce a range of original content including 360-degree scenes of the school and different media (text, photos, video, gifs, sound files) to embed into the scenes that would tell a story about the broader issue of sustainability and their school’s approach to it. There was also the opportunity to integrate game mechanics to increase user engagement in the VR product.

The unit of work can be found here.

In the video below Ella Camporeale and Erica Southgate discuss curriculum design that integrates VR for deeper learning:

~This post bought to you by real humans, Associate Professor Erica Southgate and Ella Camporeale.

~The platform used in the project was VRTY.

~This research has been funded by the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA).

~Cover image from Pexel by Polina Tankilevitch.

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