What Educators need to know about Virtual Reality now

As we continue to develop our Tech Hub we have included two HTC VIVE sets. We open this to classes (booked by the teacher) for use and during lunchtimes for Student bookings.
As you can imagine there was great demand and waiting lists to begin with and now we are seeing the same students booking every week or two.

As a leader in digital learning I am doing what I can to source VR experiences, and as Steven quite rightly says is that these experiences don’ t have much of the “replay” appeal and other than the 360 experience it is not really something that couldn’t be experienced on a flat screen with a great deal less cost involved.

Don’t get me wrong…I love the VR experience and I have seen some students experience things that they would never be able to experience in real life. One student who is wheelchair bound has journeyed to places in outer space, climbed Mount Everest and will soon walk the Kakoda Track (we have just downloaded this Australian Experience.

As I read through this article I was thinking about a conversation I recently had with some IT students. They are about to embark on their senior studies, and as we are a rural school the subjects that run are those with the most students applying for them and these students were ‘out-voted’ for their subjects and in the upcoming school year 3 Digital media, programming and technology courses will be dropped from the curriculum. As you can imagine this news for these dedicated students was very upsetting and traumatic. One is now considering dropping out of school completely to pursue their passion of digital media, programming and technology just because as a school the decision has been made not to run these courses.

This article has given me inspiration to support these students and their teachers to use VR creation tools to develop digital resources that will comply with the needs of their courses whilst still enabling them to develop digital media and programming skills they are so passionate about.

Thank you for this article and the suggestions you have included to make VR a tool for all educators and learners.

Immersive Tech in Education

1, Educate yourself.  Read and have a conversation about VR.  There are plenty of resources available, do your own research and due diligence into the value of VR in education.

2, Experiment.  Yes we’ve all heard of it, Google Expeditions.  I do see value with expeditions especially since it’s free and available on both Android and iOS.  All you need is a cardboard sleeve, a capable mobile device and you’re set to experience VR.

3, Dream.  VR is not yet ready for widespread K12 adoption due to barriers such as cost and limited content however there are a growing number of appropriate VR experiences that can be used in the classroom.

Shout out to all my colleagues, see links at the end of this article, who are taking thoughtful steps to appropriately integrate VR into their curriculum.  Your efforts are integral to the success of VR as a trans formative…

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How authentic is assessment

As I recently set to correct some assessment pieces that my students have worked on. I began to reflect on how they have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and understanding through a standardized test as opposed to their demonstration of skills throughout lessons during class time without the pressure of exam situations. With time pressure and lack of ability to discuss learning, to develop ideas and knowledge or collaborate, students regularly underperform.

This kind of testing was developed at the beginning of the Industrial age to help employer score and sort workers into groups and categorise their skills to put them into the most appropriate areas of the factory. Fortunately our world has developed and now this kind of categorisation is redundant. Unfortunately the education system has not developed it’s methods to reflect this development.

Without the pressures of these testing situations we observe more authentic student abilities. It is disconcerting to me that as long as we continue to administer standardized tests to students we are not giving students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a normal scenario.
Employers are looking more and more at the so-called “soft skills”; such as collaboration, team work and problem solving. When we take these opportunities away from the students, after encouraging and embracing this in daily classes, we are asking our students to perform in a different way to how we normally expect and encourage when competing assessments.

We are taking away the strategies that would be otherwise encouraged and embraced.

With the resources available to us through the development of technology and ‘anywhere-anytime’ access to global knowledge it does not make sense to test student knowledge and recall of information when it is all Google-able.
In all levels of academia we subject students this regime of recall testing Google-able information. In the workplace the demonstration of employable skills includes the application of knowledge not the recall of this without access to resources so why do we insist on this method in education?

How can we make this a systemic change and remove the emphasis from tests and scores to an authentic demonstration of skills?

My Google 20% Story

I have begun reflecting upon the books that I have been reading and this book is a great inspiration to my teaching practices; “The Google Story” by David A. Vise. You can read my reflections about this book here.

The Google Story

I have proven when education embraces some of the lessons learnt by Brin and Page into the life lessons being taught across the world that there is greater success and innovation. Every teacher can start this by simply asking the students about their creative ideas and providing the Google innovation “20% time” to develop and incubate these ideas.

Continue reading


Teachers talking about using Tech in the classroom and the transformation of teaching and learning

Sharing some technologies and practical activities to implement in your classroom and also some that may take a little more time to set up and manage

Here is a link to my first (and very short) Education Technology Innovations podcast.

In tonight’s episode I have introduced Google Apps for Education and some of the inclusions in this learning suite. I will dig into these deeper and individually over the coming episodes.

I also discussed some foundation lessons for the use of Minecraft in Education in the classroom. I shared some outlines of both creative and survival lessons to ensure we cater for all skill levels and interests. This will also be a regular theme in this podcast.

Again if you would like to have input through participation, suggestions or questions please connect with me at

Google+: https://profiles.google.com/u/0/114963931879323257113
Web: http://www.rachaelbath.wordpress.com

Thanks for watching and see you again next time.