Today’s Contributor: Johnathan Salinas teaches 1st grade at Graham Elementary. Outside of teaching, he is pursuing his Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Education Technology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
In a first grade classroom it is essential to brainstorm, keep students engaged, connected, and comfortable. Now that our teaching has evolved to a virtual platform, I am changing the way I approach student engagement. In my grad school studies, I came across many articles that explained the educational benefit of virtual reality and learning acquisition. When learners can interact with situations that are presented with real world context and familiar environmental conditions, they have a higher chance of positive learning acquisition. With this concept in mind, I created a VR experience of my classroom, it showed parents key centers and classroom functionality.
One way I brought this idea forward was through theGoogle Street View App. The mobile application allows users to create 360 panoramic images. I went ahead and took multiple 360 images of my classroom:
After the photoshoot, I saved the files and opened an application that I often use:Adobe Captivate 2019. Adobe Captivate is an authoring tool that is used for creating eLearning content such as software demonstrations, software simulations, branched scenarios, and randomized quizzes in Small Web Formats and HTML5 formats. Using this application, I was able to create a VR simulation which highlights the key centers I wanted my parents to know more about: Math Wall, Literacy Center, etc. I was able to make the application responsive with questions and embedded videos:
The feedback from my parents was great, a lot of them mentioned that they were better able to understand the function of my classroom and exactly what their children were learning. Now that we are learning at a distance, I encourage my students to view the experience for a refresh or when they want to revisit our classroom at a distance.