District Administration June 2020 - 19

of iPad-based VR kits last summer. "We
recently got 10 more but found that they
were all connecting to a separate server, so
I had to call my vendor to help put them
onto the same closed Wi-Fi that our other
iPads were connected to."
Get teachers comfortable
with the technology
Ensure teachers understand how virtual
field trips can benefit students. "These
experiences are meant to enhance learning
and to give students a different perspective than what they can see in an image
or a video," says Scott Webb, instructional technology coordinator of Bradley
County Schools in Tennessee, which is in
its first year of deployment.
At Polk County Public Schools in
Florida, teachers began individually testing virtual reality platforms in 2016. Educators either reach out to the instructional
technology team for training or participate
in a monthly seminar that covers a different topic every session.
"I 'drop' teachers in a particular area
and let them explore the environment,"
says Teacher Engagement Leader Jessica
Solano, who leads these monthly sessions.
Since many teachers struggle with connecting their content to other disciplines,
Solano brings educators to places such as
(a virtual) Times Square to discuss how
students learn about landmarks in social
studies and will use inquiry-based questions to connect math concepts. "On
many of the buildings in Times Square,
the windows are set up on equal rows, so
I ask, 'What do you notice?' to get them
talking," says Solano. "I will then develop
a question such as 'I wonder how many
people are on this street. How long does it
take for the traffic lights to switch?' "
Solano adds, "it's important to be
immersed in a situation instead of me
saying what we're going to do in the virtual reality field trip," says Solano. "Allow
teachers to use it and pull out information
from their experiences. It's more concrete

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A Q&A with solution providers
How can virtual reality experiences be accomplished remotely?
"VR creates real-world contexts for
students. At a time when educators
and students are physically distanced,
leveraging digital options to create
connected learning experiences is
more important than ever. Now, with
school closures, VR brings the world
not just into the classroom but also
the home. Some resources require
no special equipment aside from a
computer, tablet or phone."

"Connecting students to their school
community through virtual meet-ups,
especially in this unprecedented time,
is essential, as most thrive on sharing
their ideas and experiences with
their classmates. Providing access
to online hubs and communication
platforms with navigable structures,
clear goals and a concise sets of
resources offer manageable and
meaningful learning journeys."

-Jennie Kristoffersen, chief academic
officer, Nearpod

- Audra Wallace, editorial director of
Scholastic News Editions 3-6, Scholastic

"VR experiences are becoming
increasingly accessible. With just
a smartphone, one can easily have
access to some VR content. In times
like this, it can be easy for students
to think that globalization is a myth.
With virtual trips and online multiuser
sessions, schools can show students
that we can make use of technology
advancement to stay connected
digitally, collaborate remotely across
borders and combat a global crisis like
this together."

"Using almost any device, students
can access virtual tours. And if they
have access to a VR headset, they can
have a more immersive experience.
Students can use a web browser to
connect to online platforms. They can
take virtual museum tours, explore
other cities and even create their
own VR experiences by using Google
Tour Creator for free from National
Geographic, Discovery Education,
the New York Times, Google Arts and
Culture and YouTube's VR channel."

-Yuan Yi, producer and techno-social
innovation strategist, Hiverlab

- Ed Gillispie, VP and general manager of
North America public sector, Lenovo

and relatable that way."
This summer, Library Media Specialist Michelle Davis of Magnolia School
in Alabama tested recently purchased VR
goggles before showing educators individually how to use them during regular
school days for two hours.
Teachers participated during daily
planning-periods when all students
are in physical education, allowing these
teachers to collaborate. "This got them
motivated to use virtual reality field trips,
and then they came into the library with
their classes and I helped teachers through
their first soiree into it," says Davis.
"For extended training," adds Principal
P.J. Sute, "I will get four or five subs to
come in who will rotate among the grade
levels. We came up with a schedule so the
teachers can plan together and monitor
classes for an extra hour."

Create proprietary content
In Bradley schools, administrators plan on
filming two middle schools using a basic
360-degree camera and then uploading
the content onto their platform for future
VR field trips. "That way, our elementary
students can tour the schools on their
devices without having to go there to help
with the transition," says Webb.
The Public Schools of Northborough
and Southborough plans to pursue this as
well in addition to filming historical landmarks in the area. "We also want students
to create those tours themselves," says
Doyle. "Not only do we want students to
virtually engage in the tour but to understand what technology tools were used
and what process was needed to create the
tour." DA
Steven Blackburn is DA's associate editor.
June 2020 | 19


http://www.DAmag.me/virtually http://www.DAmag.me/virtualtrips http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

District Administration June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration June 2020

District Administration June 2020 - Cover1
District Administration June 2020 - Cover2
District Administration June 2020 - 1
District Administration June 2020 - 2
District Administration June 2020 - 3
District Administration June 2020 - 4
District Administration June 2020 - 5
District Administration June 2020 - 6
District Administration June 2020 - 7
District Administration June 2020 - 8
District Administration June 2020 - 9
District Administration June 2020 - 10
District Administration June 2020 - 11
District Administration June 2020 - 12
District Administration June 2020 - 13
District Administration June 2020 - 14
District Administration June 2020 - 15
District Administration June 2020 - 16
District Administration June 2020 - 17
District Administration June 2020 - 18
District Administration June 2020 - 19
District Administration June 2020 - 20
District Administration June 2020 - 21
District Administration June 2020 - 22
District Administration June 2020 - 23
District Administration June 2020 - 24
District Administration June 2020 - 25
District Administration June 2020 - 26
District Administration June 2020 - 27
District Administration June 2020 - 28
District Administration June 2020 - Cover3
District Administration June 2020 - Cover4
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