One day at the beginning of French class a student who is often quiet had a virtual reality (VR) headset with him. Of course, he put it away and hid it as class got started. There was a buzz in the room, as other students showed interest and we decided to run with it. With the entire class prompting and asking questions this student started to lead the discussion. He proposed that we could all make our own headsets and use them to travel around the world.
After two periods of problem solving and construction, we ended up with some devices that worked. Kind of. While the devices we made don't work perfectly, the skills developed by students through the process included critical thinking, communication and collaboration. One of my observations was how "out of their element" many of these students in Academic French were while constructing the devices. Leaders transpired through the process who were not always our traditional class leaders. The activity empowered students to work together and value each others unique strengths.
As an extension, students will spend some time exploring the tours available and bring one of interest in to class for discussion.
Alicia Murphy, Orillia Secondary School - firstname.lastname@example.org
- tutorial video we used to make the VR headsets (we found this better than the instructions below)
- instructions (scroll to bottom of page)
- Ascape app
- Google Cardboard app