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VR SMASHING: Google Expeditions and zSpace Cross Platform Activities

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Tuesday, June 25, 4:00–6:00 pm
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 33

Ally Audas   Dr. Jane Baber   Dr. Nicole Watkins   Ryan Whitlock  
Virtual Reality is a powerful tool for creating a deeper understanding of a setting and a personal connection to the experience. zSpace and Google Expeditions have partnered to promote learning at the highest level of SAMR; transforming teaching and providing experiences that would not be possible without the technology.

Audience: Teachers, Professional developers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: zSpace and Google Expeditions will be provided for exploration
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Augmented, mixed and virtual realities
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Social studies, Science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
  • Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Students do not always have the prerequisite knowledge needed to understand settings beyond their own experiences. By introducing virtual reality, students are granted access to worlds beyond the classroom. This activity allows the students to take a virtual field trip, using Google Expeditions, to Africa to view habitats including a savannah, which has a termite mound. zSpace uses the SAME termite mound model and allows the students to explore inside the mound virtually cross cutting and dissecting the inside to see its design, the termites roles, and the role it plays within the larger environment.
zSpace and Google Expeditions partnered on various lessons for use together. Google Expeditions is used by students to experience virtual fieldtrips to habitats, jobsites, colleges and museums in a viewfinder. These virtual fieldtrips promote background knowledge, understanding of setting, habitats, historical locations, as well as access to museums thousands of miles away. Using zSpace, students explore biology, chemistry, and physical sciences through virtual labs. The activities promote a hands-on experience that might not be possible if it were not virtual; making it the highest level on the SAMR model (Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura). Because these materials are becoming more popular and accessible, administrators, teachers, technology integration coaches, and others who attend ISTE are often seeking model lessons for how to use technology they have in more meaningful ways or to enrich the learning environment with content specific examples of how it can be authentically (5 components of authenticity, Newmann) used in the classroom.
Task Cards used for the activity with student and teacher directions will be available for download via QR code.

Using the Google Expeditions viewfinders and the zSpace console, participants in this session will discover how these can be integrated together to meet a deeper understanding with authentic instruction.

Participants will see and experience the use of Google Expeditions. Students visit the assigned location which will stimulate a connection with what they already know about the content from personal experiences and new knowledge. The personal experience of the fieldtrip allows them to immerse themselves and discover interesting ideas to explore further.

Using zSpace, participants will go broad and deep within the subject as they find connections and gain personal understanding through the virtual cross-cut or dissections. With the ability to explore without fear, students can work at the appropriate pace for their own personalized data collection tour.

Participants will be provided with specific ideas for the use of zSpace and Google Expeditions to foster creativity and cross curricular connections between language arts, science, and social studies.

Supporting research

The Atlantic "Virtual Reality Gets Real
The promises—and pitfalls—of the emerging technology" http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/10/virtual-reality-gets-real/403225/; Fast Company "Could VR Make Us Better People" Time magazine VR cover story: http://time.com/tag/virtual-reality/http://www.fastcoexist.com/3041200/could-virtual-reality-make-us-better-people

Newmann, F. M., Marks, H. M., & Gamoran, A. (1996). Authentic pedagogy and student performance. American Journal of Education, 280-312. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1085433?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Kuhithau, C., Maniotes, L.K, (2015) Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century. Libraries Unlimited: California.

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Ally Audas, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Jane Baber, K20 Center, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Nicole Watkins, K20 Center

Dr. Nicki Watkins is a 20 year educator with experience at elementary, middle, high, undergraduate, and graduate levels where technology has been a key component throughout her career. She provides professional development to schools with a focus on authentic technology integration and professional learning community development. In addition, she is the Director of the K20 Center OETT Grants to Schools Program at the University of Oklahoma. Her dissertation focused on social media. She is an innovator, an educator, a researcher, a learner, an author, and a mom.

Ryan Whitlock, K20 Center for Educational Renewal

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