UEN PDTV: Teacher Created Virtual Field Trips

Hi and welcome to another
episode of UEN PDTV. Today we are at the Scholar
Academy a K-8 charter school in
Utah that’s based on the principles of
collaborative learning and experiential learning and prides
itself on academic excellence. Today, we’re going to see a
fourth-grade teacher, Mr. Pratt use Google tour
creator to help teach the water
cycle. Let’s go in and check it out. This has been excellent to see
you again here today Mr. Pratt. Thank you so much for having us. Thank you guys for coming. I really need to see it in
action. When you and I first met, it was in a mixed reality class. I was working on getting my
technology endorsement for my
education degree. You’ve got that? I did, yours was actually the
last class I needed for that. Congratulations. So here we are, a tech indoors
teacher. Awesome it’s good to see the
technology in use and being used
well. What was it that gave you the
idea to try something in Google Tour
Creator for this lesson? With all of the software that I
had been introduced to, I was really looking for
something different, something that I could have the
kids do with virtual reality that they hadn’t
done before. I started thinking about the
fourth grade curriculum and the different things that I
could do. Based on that, I had been
teaching the water cycle in my class and I wanted something
that I can bring back and use
right away. So that was kind of the starting
point, the jump off point for why I
chose to do the water cycle. So right here into LA we’re
close to Salt Lake, where we can see the water cycle
on action, but in your tour, you have some other different
locations, where did you find those
locations? The Google’s Map is connected
with the VR tours and it allows
you to use any of the 360 photos
that are uploaded there in their software. So you just went into Google
Maps and what kind of searches
did you put in to find these? That was probably one of the
most difficult things because
there’s 360 photos available, but when I’m looking for a 360
photo of a pyramid, I can easily go in and search
for Egypt and find the pyramids
there. But I’m looking for a 360 photo
of evaporation, and I’m looking for a 360 photo
of precipitation. It’s really to try and find those non location 360 photos
was one of the hardest things to
do. It took a lot of time and a lot
of searching through different photographs to figure
out what photos would work best for
what we were trying to work
with. Fantastic. Well, your creativity
really did come through and it’s good to
see the kids engaged. Now that you’ve done this lesson
once, when you look back on it, what would you do differently? What would you do to make it a
little easier on you or better? Do you think of any changes that
come to mind? I feel like some of the things
I’ve learned were just throughout
time having them work in the
groups, having them work one person at a
time in the headset, everyone else on the computer. The more engaged you can keep
everybody at all times, the smoother the lesson goes and
the more control you have in the
classroom. The Scholar Academy prides
itself on providing students with experiential learning and
cooperative and collaborative learning. Yeah. So is this lesson typical of
something you would do here at
your school? The more you can have the
students working in
collaborating together, whether it be just like a two
second turn and chat with your
neighbor, or group projects real life, there’s not a whole lot of
working alone. You’re working with the
business, you’re working with a company, and really school is all about
preparing kids for the real
world. There are few and far between
jobs you can land where you will be just kind of
solo on your own, but for the
most part, these kids are going to be
working with groups the rest of
their lives and being comfortable with that and
understanding that they can work with somebody
who’s not necessarily their
friend, and you can make those
professional relationships work. Getting them familiar with that
and comfortable with it is
really one of the main goals of that
collaborative learning and
projects like this where they’re using
the technology of the now. We’ve seen a lot of student
learning. I’m curious, what do you think
your students would have to say
about this experience? Well, rather than asking me what
I think about it how about we
talked to a few of them? Let’s do it. I like the VR because you can
see the water cycle when you are not actually in the
classroom. My favorite thing about using VR
is probably that you feel like
you’re not in the same place. My favorite way to learn in
science is probably technology. It’s easier to use technology
because I grew up with it and I
have a bunch at my house. One of the things I learned was
that the water goes up to the
sun and it makes energy. Technology isn’t just fun in the
classroom it’s because we have a
teacher like Mr. Pratt. So Mr. Pratt when you saw a
really cool lesson with VR and
science, and a lot of times we think
like, Oh technology it goes best with
science and math, but can you think of any other
subject areas where you could
use a Google Tour? I think one of the places that
this closely lends itself to
being used is social studies. In fourth grade specifically, I took some time over my spring
break to go up to the State
Capitol Building, and with a 360 photo rather than
trying to find them on Google
Maps or whatever, I took the photos myself. I’ve actually gone and created
another tour of the state
capitol building. So they’ve got 360 photos and
the whole VR tour of the outside
the building, the rotunda on the inside. I’ve got a 360 shot of the house
of representatives room. We go downstairs to the
exhibition hall. So I think any place in social
studies really would lend itself
to this because you’re taking them
to places that you might not otherwise be able to take
them especially once you get
into the later grades. Like I can’t take my kids to
these ancient civilizations, but if I can get a 360 photo of
the ruins, I’ve then taken them to that
ancient civilization. Fantastic. Cool. Well Mr. Pratt, it’s been really fun to watch
you teach. Keep up the great work, you’re
an Innovative Educator, and your students and your
school is lucky to have you
here. Thanks for your time. It was my pleasure. Thanks you
guys for coming out. Thanks for coming with us to the Scholar Academy to see that
awesome lesson for Mr. Pratt. Thanks for watching UEN PDTV. If you’re interested in Google
tour creator or any of the other professional about
that we do, check out our website
UEN.ORG/REGISTER, and then we’ll see you in class.

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