I am excited to be back this week to #whatisschool with my friend and co-founder Laura Hill to lead with me once again.
Few would deny that the revolution in technology has effected the way that we educate, many in fact would argue that it is driving the future of education as well as the skill sets our students will need to compete and create in a quickly changing global economy flush with products and services that were unheard of and maybe only dreamed of by authors of science fiction a few short years ago.
Aaron Walsh, an educator and the founder of Boston-based iEdacademy, is credited with coining the term “immersive education.” A driving force in a global initiative to provide resources to teachers including immersive education materials, standards and measuring tools, his projects include IED and the Immersive Education Initiative Summit, his efforts have been backed by the Federation of American Scientists, content providers like NBC and even the United States Government.
“As educators, we know that people learn best by doing,” he says. “When students are doing something rather than reading or learning about it, they learn better. Immersive environments help students retain more information and speed up their learning. There’s an enhancement in the way they learn.”
Immersive learning focuses on the use of technology to enhance the learning process, a popular trend in futurist education. At last year’s IMMERSIVE COLORADO, the summit created by Walsh and co-sponsored by the U.S. Government, speakers addressed the personal, cultural and educational impact of immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), 360° VR video, spherical panoramic photography, 3D printing, telepresence, virtual worlds, simulations, game-based learning and training systems, immersive teaching and immersive learning systems, and fully immersive environments such as caves, domes and planetariums. Sessions on Minecraft, scavenger hunts, planetariums, cultural arts performances, Pokémon Go, 3D printing, gaming, and VRE are just an example of some of the session’s attendees participated in with the ambition of taking away ideas they can employ in the classroom that will capture the attention of students.
Immersive scenarios are defined as those that involve “authentic activities” that simulate the real world but that also engage students in real-life problems and events using technology and environment to bridge the conceptual with the concrete– giving students a virtual laboratory in which to work out real-world problems. And while immersive technology may seem out of reach with content providers, scientists and educators jumping on board providing content and tools, immersive learning is an aspect of the future of education that cannot be ignored.
So how can educators, whether employing rich educational technology or making creative, collaborative environments in the classroom use the concept of immersive education to enhance learning?
Join Laura and I as #whatisschool explores the possibilities of immersive education and the impact it will have on the future of education.
Remember that our chat times for around the world are:
- Thursday 3pm Pacific Time
- Thursday 5pm Central Time
- Thursday 6pm ET
- Thursday 11pm GMT
- Friday 12am CET
- Friday 7am Singapore/MYT/WA (Perth) Time
- Friday 10am AEDT
- Friday 12pm NZT
Questions #whatisschool, February 2, 2017 6PM EDT
1) How have you created immersive environments using teaching methods like field trips, role-play, collaboration, PBL, shared experiences?
2) How could you use technology to enhance your favorite lesson and provide a richer learning experience for students?
3) How can you use authentic audiences, either local or global, to create an immersive learning experience?
4) Imagine a “dream” environment for immersive learning, what is it like? What technology or teaching methods would you use?
5) Where do you see the greatest opportunity to use immersive learning strategies in your class, how would you accomplish this?
6) If any technology or methodology were available what real-world problem would you have students solve?