I love learning new things. When I discover new technology, whether it’s for video production
(my background), or any type of gadget or app that may serve me, my family or teachers
(I’m a Video Technology Coordinator) I get giddy and want to share with everyone. I hope that
by sharing my ideas, one will stick, especially for my colleagues, who may not have time to
research technology for their classes.
The other day I participated in a technology ambassador meeting hosted by MsEdtechie,
Patricia Brown, Technology Integration Coach extraordinaire. She had six stations set up for
staff to learn about different educational technology resources. For me, the top of the list was
the virtual reality app. I immediately downloaded the DiscoveryVR app onto my iPhone. Next
I placed my iPhone into the I Am Cardboard viewfinder (I Am is the brand of viewfinder there
are other options to choose from such as Google Cardboard). The viewfinders remind me of
the ViewMaster from yesteryear-- but on steroids. Am I dating myself? I chose the
SharksEverywhere! virtual reality experience. “WOW!,” I said as I looked through the viewfinder.
I walked around, looked up to the left and right and saw sharks, other sea life, and a scuba diver
waving at me! This 360 degree virtual reality was a trip in more ways than one. A trip I may not
be able to afford on my own, nevertheless I could take students on virtually.
I could see this as an introduction to a Science class in elementary school or an Environmental
class in high school to pique student interest. For an English class, it could visually prompt a
writing assignment. Maybe a Technology class could use it as a springboard to compare the
technology advances from the time of the old View-Master and today’s new viewfinder.
Teachers are extremely busy, and while they are open to suggestions, sometime find little time
to research new tech tips and applications which would enhance their lessons. Technology
support staff want to enhance your curriculum, not to add to or annoy, so ask for their help!
So to all lifelong learners, try out a new technology for you and your students. Give them
exposure to new technologies. Who knows, maybe that tech addition may spark interest in
one of your students to pursue as a career. If it flops, move on to the next
technology, and at least you know what works, and what may not. If you need a hand to hold,
consult your Technology Integration Coach, or the teacher tech guru in your building. Spread
the technology cheer! Who knows, you may become the next technology expert in your building.
By the way, when I researched View-Master,I found they have virtual reality options also. So cool. Good luck!