We have come a long way when it comes to instructional tools that are used in the classroom. Where once a student was handed a textbook filled with descriptions and images, now the Excelsior Springs School District has virtual reality devices that will take our students all over the globe!
Thanks to a teacher grant given to the Excelsior Springs Middle School by the Excelsior Springs Educational Foundation, students will now have access to virtual reality headsets that will take them to places like the Eiffel Tower, Museums, the oceans, Mars, and beyond.
Incorporating technology into the classroom is nothing new, but virtual reality is on the cusp of taking off, as companies like Nearpod and Google are competing with each other to release headsets for schools to use. Every virtual reality field trip is to a famous spot based on a 360-degree still photograph of the site. The technology will give viewers the illusion that they are moving inside the location.
Schools around the country are seeing the benefits of incorporating gamification into the classroom for greater collaboration and integration, an increase in student motivation, an opportunity to provide new rewards with a focus on positive stimulation, and inspiration for creative learning, all while making new experiences possible.
Having the headsets at the middle school gives access to over 600 students in the district to have the experience. Each subject and grade level will have instructional goals aligned with state standards and devices will be used as an enhancement to meet those objectives.
Excelsior Springs Middle School Assistant Principal Ben Rubey says, “From desktops to laptops to telephones, students are constantly using devices to get through daily activities and we need to continue to provide those new experiences and opportunities in the school setting. Students need to be pushed to build their critical thinking and problem solving skills, and these devices will add another way to gain those skills, adding to student achievement and increased levels of student engagement. If we are constantly pushing our students, our building will have an environment that creates excitement and enthusiasm for learning.
This is a resource build by the ESSD40 staff for to aid in transforming teaching and learning.
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