Virtual Reality: Learning Beyond the Classroom
For the 19-20 school year, AP Art History students at Paul G. Blazer High School will learn about a variety of architectural works through “visiting” those locations via virtual reality. Through learning about these structures in a simulated 3d experience, students will be able to see the work in their original context and will be able to see the layout and details of the building in an innovative way. Rather than learning through a 2d projection via PowerPoint, students will be able to have the experience of seeing the building in 3d as it is meant to be encountered. For instance, in the summer of 2018, I was able to see the Palace of Versailles and the Colosseum (bothc in my curriculum) and was in awe at how much one misses in just picture representations. The Google Exploration app, which is best experienced via Virtual Reality headsets, has prepared tours of many of the architectural structures that I discuss in my AP Art History class and YouTube has many videos of these locations that you can also watch with Virtual Reality headsets. Ultimately through the learning experience, students will show improved learning on assessments (tests, essays, and class discussions) about these locations. In addition to using these in my AP Art History course this year, I hope to use them in the future in my studio classes to allow more students to be able to experience museums, art and architecture in virtual reality, since many will not have the opportunity to visit these places in their lifetimes.