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.