Rachel Frazier

Knott County

Rachel Frazier

Knott County

Biography

Whole World in my Hands: Learning Thru Exploration

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Look around! What’s in your hand? What’s in your bag? What’s in your pocket? Technology is all around us, consuming our daily lives with email, social media, games, and news of what’s going on around the world. We literally have the whole world in our hands, with the push of some buttons. Now think about the last time, you as an educator, got to take a group of students to Washington DC to see the White House while learning about government, or got to take a group of 5th graders to Great Britain to learn more about the King of England during colonization to understand cause and effect of the voyage to America. Yeah. Funding in recent years for Appalachian Schools to take field trips within the state or even county has become scarce; taking a field trip across the United States or the Atlantic Ocean is UNHEARD OF! Integrating technology is a must for all educators, as students know it, understand it (even better than most of us), and want to use it; but also gives us the resources to provide experiences such as fields trips traveling across the world by simply having a device in our hands. The question is why or even how? Why must we integrate something that takes content time away? How can you travel for field trips through devices AND make the content seem real to students? Welcome to the future. All over the state and country 21st-century classrooms are on the rise, integrating technology like never before, simply because it is our future. Virtual Reality is defined as the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment; or in student-friendly terms an app that can let you travel to a place you’ve never been and fully experience it without leaving the classroom. Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Program, brings virtual reality field trips to classrooms using Google’s cheap, smart phone-based VR viewer, Google Cardboard; creating a goal to expose students to places they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. Through Google’s Expeditions Pioneer Virtual Reality Program, students can travel around the world through smart devices that connect to content within the classroom. Students will not just be looking at places but becoming engaged in math and social studies standards through various lessons that google provides. The experience is also led by a teacher, for students to fully connect learning in the classroom to real-life. By getting a set of iPods for my classroom, I will be able to put the world into their hands. Students will be able to travel to places they otherwise would never get to experience.