Monthly Archives: March 2017

VR!

I got to use virtual reality today and it was SO COOL! I was visiting Legacy Academy to talk tech with some of their staff and they had just gotten their VR system. Before now I was like, “ya whatever, VR is probably cool, but meh.” You really can’t comprehend what it’s like until you’ve tried it and it’s crazy. We were in a fairly small conference room, but I was walking on the surface of mars and plotting points on a graph on the x, y, AND Z AXIS! I could literally get lost in this for hours, and it was just my first taste.

You really can’t comprehend what it’s like until you’ve tried it, and it’s crazy. We were in a fairly small conference room, but I was walking on the surface of mars and plotting points on a graph on the x, y, AND Z AXIS! I could literally get lost in this for hours, and it was just my first taste.

Walking around I was aware that I was still in a conference room. Other people in the room were talking, I could feel the cord from the glasses on the ground, I was trying not to run into anything (but they have cool systems in place to help you not run into anything.) But it’s so easy to get fully absorbed in whatever world you happen to be exploring. And I wasn’t even wearing headphones. I could only imagine what that would have been like.

And of course, I’m already thinking about what I can do with my students in this. I teach astronomy and there are already TONS of space to be explored on VR. It is SO HARD to teach little kids the concept of the scale of space when every picture you google looks like this: INACCURATE! (I’m writing in all caps a lot in this post because I’m really excited!)

solar_system_menu

(side note, I take my kids to CU Boulder to walk the mile long scale model of the solar system, and this video does a good job demonstrating the correct scale as well.)

BUT with virtual reality, my kids could LITERALLY (I get annoyed when people use that incorrectly, but I really mean literally with vr) walk on the surface of Mars and see the Curiosity Rover. SO COOL!!!

And this is just the beginning. I’m sure that there will be more educational content rolled out as teachers get their hands on this. From solving math problems to drawing. From to astronomy to virtual field trips: I think the possibilities are endless and I’m so excited to see what happens with it.

(I promise I’m not making a commission off this, I just think it’s awesome new tech.)

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Tattling vs. Telling

We have had a lot of issues of tattling in my third-grade class lately. It is very difficult to find a balance between we are a class community, like a family, and we need to help each other and work together, and everyone worry about themselves and then everyone will be taken care of. 

So today we talked about tattling vs telling. 83f659b7fe4c0f66a71474bda7a4e881.jpg

I think the biggest mindset shift for my students is going from “trying to get someone in trouble” to “keeping someone safe and helping them.”

They also can handle a lot more problems than they give themselves credit for. When a kiddo comes to me to tell me someone stole their pencil or whatever, my first question is, “well what did you say to them?” Most of the time their response is “Nothing, I came and told you!” I want to get them out of that habit, because 9 times out of 10 it was just a miscommunication or accident that can easily be fixed without my help.

Kids also have a very strong sense of justice and they want everything to be “fair.” I discuss that further in an old blog post you can read here. So we really need to switch our thinking and ponder how we can help each other and NOT just try to get each other in trouble.fair isn't equal.jpg