Virtual reality field trips give students advanced adventure
Virtual reality field trips give students advanced adventure In this Feb. 7, 2018 photo, Lily Adler, left, advisor and teacher at the Berkeley Carroll School in the Brooklyn borough of New York, adjusts her virtuality reality headset. From center left are students, Daniel Cornicello, 17, Charlie Hertz, 17, and Taylor Engler, 16. (AP Photo/Deepti Hajela)
Virtual reality field trips give students advanced adventure
Lexile: 1180L
Lexile

Assign to Google Classroom

On a February afternoon in a Brooklyn classroom, 16-year-old Taylor Engler came face to face with a cow. But it was all in her head.

She was transported by a virtual reality headset. It took the Berkeley Carroll School junior and eight classmates to an upstate New York farm 250 miles away. For students, the technology means field trips are no longer limited by the length of a bus ride.

"I was not expecting it to be right in my face!" That's what Taylor said after peeling off the purple headset and finding herself back in the confines of her city classroom.

On any given day, students nationwide are taking virtual reality "trips." They are deep-sea diving, observing medical operations, even swimming through the human circulatory system. They are using gadgets that are becoming increasingly accessible in both cost and content.

At the least, teachers say, it's another way to engage the iPhone generation of students. At best, it can enhance their understanding and improve their grades.

"It instantly grabs the students,” said Colin Jones. He teaches science in the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. He has used a system called zSpace to dissect cells and walked goggled students through the boreal forest with a Google app called Expeditions.

"It's something that can be done in a period or two," he said. "But it could take even a week sometimes when you're doing a lab."

In Brooklyn, Engler and classmates virtually walked through barns and fields in Watkins Glen. They stretched their arms toward videotaped pigs and cows only they saw. According to adviser Lily Adler, it was an "outing" that otherwise would not have happened, given the constraints of time and staffing. 

"It's different than watching video because you can have more than one perspective. You can actually move," Taylor said during the lesson by animal rights group Farm Sanctuary.

Not only move, but also feel, said Richard Lamb, who studies how the brain processes information at the University at Buffalo Neurocognition Science Lab. In the lab, the physical effects of virtual reality become clear as subjects standing on solid ground teeter on stories-high virtual scaffolding or experience motion sickness without moving.

"Some of the research we're doing has actually shown that what you experience in virtual reality has very similar, if not the same, physiological responses that you would get if you were doing the actual activity," Lamb said. "Heart rate, cognition, breathing, everything."

The effect on learning, he said, is to improve interest, understanding and recall.

It's unknown how many classrooms have or will adopt the technology, but experts say it's still relatively rare. While individual headsets that require a user's phone can cost as little as $20 or $30, systems and software for classes run into the thousands of dollars. Early complaints about a lack of good software are fading as more companies enter the market, but the rules for use haven't necessarily caught up to the technology.

In New York, for example, simulated lab experiments don't count toward the state's hands-on lab time requirements.

Even so, experts say, the sciences are an area where virtual reality, especially enhanced to let users manipulate their surroundings, holds particular promise for classrooms.

"The biggest hindrance, I think, is going to be the quality of that experience, how closely it mimics the physical world," said David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association.

But, he said, "the ability to do dangerous things, the ability to run many, many more cases in a simulation space as opposed to the real physical space represents a huge learning opportunity."

Lamb, who taught chemistry, agreed.

"Too often in schools, when we do things with laboratories, it’s…you mix this together, you mix that together and you get this outcome. And if you don't get that outcome, you did something wrong, but we don't have enough resources for you to redo it," he said. In virtual reality, "all I do is hit reset on the computer. I don't have to actually use chemicals."

Both Lamb and Evans stressed using the technology to enrich — not replace — real-world experiences, where any number of subtle factors can affect an outcome.

"We have to remain anchored in the actual world," Evans cautioned, "because that's the one that we really need to explain."

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/virtual-reality-field-trips-give-students-advanced-adventure/

Filed Under:  
Assigned 168 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What are three advantages of virtual-reality field trips?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (59)
  • AkshayB-del
    2/27/2018 - 07:36 p.m.

    This article is about Virtual reality field trips give students advanced adventure. On any given day, students nationwide are taking virtual reality "trips." They are deep-sea diving, observing medical operations, even swimming through the human circulatory system. They are using gadgets that are becoming increasingly accessible in both cost and content. At the least, teachers say, it's another way to engage the iPhone generation of students. At best, it can enhance their understanding and improve their grades.

  • MarianaG-del
    2/27/2018 - 07:51 p.m.

    Virtual Reality tour's involve iPhone obsessed students

  • ZofiaT-del
    2/27/2018 - 08:58 p.m.

    This article is about how some students are getting "field trips" into the world of virtual reality. Students will be able to takes trips into the vast area of space, or travel through the human body, even deep sea diving. These devices may cost thousands of dollars for schools, but it is a worthy experience.
    Three advantages of virtual reality trips are, that a person may go somewhere that is impossible to go, it lets students manipulate their surroundings, and may be a safer way to experiment with chemicals or tests,

  • PriscillaD-del
    2/27/2018 - 09:18 p.m.

    This article is about virtual reality headsets and "field trips" students take while using them. This generation gives students the ability to go on field trips, without actually going anywhere. Three advantages are that this technology means field trips are no longer limited by the length of a bus ride, gives the ability to do wild, dangerous, and exhilarating things, its effect on learning, is to improve interest, recall, understanding. While using this, we need to remain secured to our world, because that's the world we need truly need to understand.

  • PedroM-del1
    2/27/2018 - 09:18 p.m.

    Three advantages of virtual-reality are
    1.You could just have a field trip without getting up and being discomforting lazy.
    2.You can learn about stuff on field trips without even getting out of the room; wow this makes us sound so lazy and it makes it look like google wants to control everything by teaching you what they want you to know. Also your lazy.
    3.VR is good because it mimics the physical world so you'll get the full experience while falling down stairs or bumping into chairs trying to do something in the VIRTUAL world. One more thing, your lazy.

  • ChloeT-del
    2/27/2018 - 09:21 p.m.

    This article is about virtual reality changing our perspective of things and seeing things in a different way. Instead of going on regular field trips, you can go on field trips with virtual reality. Students in Berkeley Carroll School junior, including students in eighth grade, went on a field trip to a farm in upstate New York.They are seeing the environment and surroundings in the farm in another perspective. They can observe the animals and the farm in a clear and detailed way. The students are experiencing things they may never get to experience. Three advantages of virtual-reality are introducing students to the iPhone generation, you can see things in different and several perspectives, and it helps your understanding of the field trip.

  • JosephF-del
    2/27/2018 - 09:22 p.m.

    This article is about virtual reality field trips that classes can take with VR systems. It is a "breakthrough" because it reduces costs and increases safety among schools.

  • AngelinaB-del
    2/27/2018 - 09:30 p.m.

    Three advantages of virtual reality field trips are:
    -It can enhance their understanding and improve their grades.
    -It shows responses that you would get if you were doing the actual activity.
    -It saves time and can be done within two periods.
    This article is about how virtual reality field trips. Virtual reality field trips can have many advantages such as the ones listed above. However, they can also be bad. It's another way to engage the iPhone generation of students.

  • JadeR-del
    2/27/2018 - 09:36 p.m.

    A summary of the article is that some schools now have decided to take a more modern turn. Some schools decided to let the students use VR (Also known as virtual reality) headsets. But these VR systems are not just for play, they are used for school field trips so that the students can experience different things and hey if there is snow or rain or ice or sleet, no problem you have your virtual reality field trip! Its nice to see schools take this modern spin on things and it can be very including, lets say someone is in a wheelchair and is unable to do the physical field trip with the rest of the class? This system changes all of that! It sounds amazing and I would love to try it in my own school, but I would like to also keep outdoor field trips so that we can have a mix.
    Three advantages of virtual reality field trips are
    - In case of bad weather, students can still have fun, enjoy themselves, go on a field trip while staying warm and dry inside school.
    - This system allows students to experience different things and have new experiences.
    - This system is very including because if someone is disabled and cannot do the physical activities in the outdoor field trips, they can still experience the field trip on the VR system with the rest of the class!

  • OlivierJ-del
    2/27/2018 - 11:07 p.m.

    I do not think this is a good idea. I feel that students will remember more if they actually experience the place. The VR also makes me dizzy and it is not a good idea.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT