Over the past few weeks I have both introduced my students to, and spent a significant amount of time working with my students in Virtual Reality using CoSpaces. CoSpaces has allowed me and my students to learn together in a new way. Creating in three dimensions presents its own challenges. Seeing, imagining, and creating a virtual world in three dimensions enabled me to rethink what our students can do to demonstrate their learning.
Part of this came from my longtime desire to create a VR Breakout Edu game. While I did create one (Who Moved EdCampNJ) I am still not quite at my goal of making the game independent of anything other than the virtual reality format. While working to create this, and testing some other fun creations out with my students using CoSpaces I had some amazing experiences. I gave my classes some basic instructions on how to create using the program and how the block coding work. Then with some very simple guidelines (ie: demonstrate figurative language, create a chain reaction like a Rube Goldberg machine to launch a rocket) they made the concepts their own. Not only did I get some incredible responeses, their creativity and story telling ability shined. During this time my classes inspired me with their ability to use the VR platform and some basic block code to create a story I was also impressed with the suggestions they were making to improve the program. On the other side, I was incredibly impressed with how CoSpaces has made those adjustments. Within weeks and sometimes days of suggestions that either came from me, or my students, the company had created some new variations that made the program even better.
I wanted to post some of their incredible creations for others to see, but I didn’t want to post students’ full names on Twitter. I can however, leave the links here without having their names posted. So I am going to link a few fantastic creations. When my students realized they were able to create in a real, virtual reality environment, many were extremely excited. Some of them even went on to create other things to share with me beyond their assignments. I am loving the way they have taken to creating within the program and I am excited to see how they share their knowledge with others through creating in VR.
Here are a few great CoSpaces creations from 7th and 8th grade students. Keep in mind the 7th graders had about 20 minutes to learn and create. The 8th grade had a little over an hour. This took plenty of trial and error, learning, and creativity from these students. They not only learned a new tool, but also demonstrated a new concept with a new way to create. There were plenty of failures, but very few who actually surrendered to it. In the end I am extremely proud of the great things they did. There are many more, but here are some samples of their creations.
Figurative Language (7th Grade)
8th Grade: Chain Reaction to Launch a Rocket