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Innovation In Action

Virtual Reality In The Classroom – This Is How It’s Done

SIS South Jakarta P6 Teacher Nicole Lestage wearing the Oculus Quest 2 HMD (Head Mounted Display).

The SIS Group of Schools takes Student Desired Learning Outcomes seriously and one aspect in particular has been on display during the pandemic – innovation. Leading the charge in her pioneering work bringing Virtual Reality into the classroom in a professional way has been SIS South Jakarta’s P6 teacher, Nicole Lestage. 

Nicole attended the AltSpaceVR training provided at the beginning of the year for all SIS South Jakarta teachers and decided to take the initiative by taking steps to socialise the platform with parents and students. After trying it herself she saw the value for students in her class right away,

Introducing new technologies into the classroom can sometimes be met with resistance. However, once I experienced VR myself, I realized this was an effort worth undertaking. As a teacher, I am constantly searching for innovative ways to engage the students. Using VR in the classroom will allow students to develop context through experiential learning; enrich literacy and improve retention. VR also allows us to focus on the crucial “soft skills” needed for the future.

Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker wearing a VR HMD.

With students and parents excited, Nicole plans to ease into adopting this medium slowly before adopting a more structured support of pedagogy with VR. For now the goal is simple: bring back some of the social emotional learning that children can’t get from a Zoom session.

The children in my classes adapted to the challenges of Distance Learning fairly quickly. However, over time, the distance from their friends and their daily social activities has affected their Social Emotional Development. Gone are the casual conversations in the hallways between classes, or the friendly competition found on the pitch. As I prepare for our first meeting in AltSpaceVR, I will keep the format very fluid. The kids will be introduced to Moonbase –  a virtual playground/hang-out spot. They will be able to explore Moonbase and the solar system; play games together; have privacy for small group discussions, and strengthen the bonds of childhood friendships.

As more teachers make use of VR across the SIS Group of Schools one thing is clear: pioneering SIS teachers are diving in exploring new ways to leverage this powerful educational tool. After all, innovation is a process not an event.

You can create a Microsoft account here and use it to access AltSpaceVR. Both are free.