Following an initial open call, 5 schools from around Galway were selected to take part in this collaborative project which explores how virtual reality and augmented reality can be used to support and enhance curricular learning and foster creativity in the classroom. The five schools are: Carrabane National School- Athenry, Claregalway Educate Together National School- Claregalway, Scoil Iósaif Naofa- Oranmore, Scoil Mhuire- Clifden and Windfield National School- Ballinasloe.
The project consists of a number of elements. Firstly, a class in each school virtually connects with local artists Jojo Hynes and Jennifer Cunningham (supported by the PDST when required) to explore their own local landscape from differing perspectives. Following this creative exploration through artistic and digital means, the pupils involved in the programme work in groups to capture 360 digital images of their surrounds and use VR software to build a virtual world into which they can import assets to facilitate digital storytelling. In this way the pupils in each school engage with their local environment in a new and exciting way, while also deepening their own learning in this regard.
Secondly, the learning gained throughout this project will inform the design of a teacher workshop/webinar exploring VR and AR in Education as a means to introducing teachers nationally to this approach, infusing artistic and educational elements together.
Thirdly, a legacy feature of this project is the design and delivery of a teacher summer course whereby primary teachers can explore this approach more fully during the week long 5 module course with the intention of introducing VR and AR into their own classrooms to engage in artistic and educational endeavours in new ways.
Schools engage with regular (currently fortnightly) virtual support visits and have access to Cisco engineers when needed also to support the technical aspects of the project.
5 school locations around Galway used and the Galway 2020 office as the Webex boards that each schools uses to connect are located here.
The overarching aim of this project is that pupils will deepen their understanding of their local environment through the use of virtual and augmented reality.
In achieving the above project aim, pupils will:
- Engage in artistic and creative approaches to explore their local landscape
- Map elements of their local environment through the use of 360 degree imaging
- Explore and gain experience using VR software
- Using their own images, create VR and AR environments exploring their local landscapes from multiple perspectives (past, present and future/fantasy)
Photo Credit: Declan Colohan
Hi, my name is Jojo Hynes and I’m from Creevaghbawn outside Tuam. I work as a Visual, Digital and Collaborative Artist. I use film, sound, VR and Fine art to create my art pieces. My artworks often explore the themes of local/place, myths and legends. I’ve lived in Melbourne and London and studied Art at University. I have collaborated with many different artists, young artists, schools and groups. I love learning new skills and creating art.
I look forward to sharing this VR and AR adventure with your class.
Photo Credit: Declan Colohan
Hi, My name is Jennifer Cunningham and I live in Tuam, Co Galway. I use paint, etch plates, make models, shoot and edit sound and film to create my artwork. I’ve studied art at University and have had many exhibitions over the years. I was recently asked to design the poster for the Galway International Arts Festival. My artworks explore the theme of nostaglia and I often use my own memories as a starting point, looking at how a child’s imagination is a place of freedom and play and a safe place to explore the world around them.
My website is www.jennifercunningham.ie.
I enjoy collaboration and I’ve worked with many different artists, schools and groups. I love creating new art. I am very excited about this AR and VR adventure with your class.