On Thursday the 8th December, 24 members of Year 8 vanished from Mr. Lunn’s English classroom in E16. For 90 minutes, they emerged instead in the virtual reality of ‘Pearl’, an Oscar winning VR film telling the story of a daughter’s relationship with her father.
Forging cross-curricular links across ICT, English Literature and PSHCEE, the event allowed us to draw closer links between emerging technology, digital storytelling and student’s social and moral development.
Analysing the importance of following your dreams, forgiveness and loving your family, the boys drew a range of interesting links between modern storytelling through VR and more traditional storytelling through written texts. In particular, the boys were fascinated with the way VR allowed for more immersive storytelling, engaging a range of sights and sounds for a fully sensory experience.
After school, Dr. Courtney led a seminar on the significance of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to the Lower Sixth Historians. Using virtual reality headsets to visit the actual locations of these historical events, the seminar was brought to life through the use of 360 degree images.
We are indebted to Andrew Caffrey and Ian Nairn from Google’s Edtech for coming into the school. Their application of these digital technologies to the classroom has certainly inspired us to rethink the way we use technology in the classroom. We hope to work more closely with them in future events, including a joint-school’s development with Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls.