Students from L'Horizon High School were able to experience virtual reality for the first time this year. But before experiencing the actual viewing experience, they first had to build their immersive glasses themselves.
Chantale Maheux, teacher at L'Horizon School in Lévis, is regularly on the lookout for new projects that may interest and motivate students more. Lately she has heard of Google Cardboard. She was interested in their educational potential.
These glasses (or headphones), paired with a smartphone and immersive image applications, allow you to view three-dimensional scenes realistically as if you were there. It is said that it is about virtual reality since they simulate the physical presence of the user in an artificially generated environment. By putting the glasses on his nose and moving his head, it is possible to explore a place in 360 degrees.
An interdisciplinary project
After some research, Chantale decides to go ahead and suggest a new project to her colleagues. Assisted by the laboratory technician, Ann Dominique Côté, and the teachers of the Déclic team, Wendy Tuppert Tremblay, Caroline Tremblay, Nelson Breton, Dominic Rouleau, Marie Duchesneau and Isabelle Gagnon, she laid out the foundations of the project which was to come to life with students in 7 groups of 2e secondary school. This educational challenge will touch on mathematics, technology and geography.
No question of ordering "pre-made kits" of virtual reality viewing glasses. The Déclic team of teachers will instead have the equipment made by the students. This is how Ann Dominique designs and tests the 17-step manufacturing range of a custom-made glasses. It then gathers the necessary materials.
In parallel with the manufacturing project, the team produces an iBooks that presents the project to the students. They are led to discover the history of virtual reality as well as their educational challenge. Using a workbook, they must then use their mathematical knowledge to calculate the dimensions of their glasses.
Then, during 3 class periods, the pupils had the opportunity to make their own glasses. During our visit, a group was in its last production period. The interest was palpable among the students who were eager to experience “their glasses” for real!
For the end use of the glasses, the pupils were of course able to download existing applications. But the geography teachers Marie Duchesneau and Isabelle Gagnon had also prepared a real rally around the world for them during which they had to visit suggested heritage cities.
In the end, the team of teachers is very satisfied with the project since it has made it possible to create beautiful educational intentions that put the student in action, at the heart of his learning. The team confirms without hesitation that this project will be back next year. It will even be enhanced with a few additional exploratory teaching sheets. It is therefore to be continued ...