From Theory to Practice
Building Leadership Opportunities through Virtual Reality Science Expeditions
The authors of this paper discuss the use of Virtual Reality (VR) as a tool for building meaningful connections in science education across different grade levels. The authors elaborate on their experiences with using VR in teacher training programs, in practicum and student teaching experiences, and in providing a professional development workshop on how to use VR in science classrooms. With adequate preparation and training, teacher candidates can become leaders in their schools with regard for building more interactive STEAM-based programs that utilize cutting-edge technologies like VR and AR (Augmented Reality). Furthermore, the benefits of using VR in the classroom are discussed. These include whole-child benefits such as opportunities for meaningful social interaction, student-led inquiry, intrinsically motivated exploration and investigation, meaningful integration with other subjects, and substantial student engagement. VR expeditions provide a high level of cognitive, social, and physical activity that can supplement any form of instruction, and help students make lasting connections to the material.
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