Holly Jacob is a Year 5 teacher and Digital Technologies coordinator at Queen of the Apostles School in Riverton. ICT learning and technology is embedded throughout the school’s curriculum and is used to promote student engagement, motivation and excellence, and ClassVR plays a significant role.
The School’s STEM engineering process is modelled on Lee Crockett’s Future Focussed Learning Model using the 6Ds (defining, discovering, dreaming, designing, delivering and debriefing). To give the students an authentic experience with the process, the school looked at problems in the local environment and one of the focuses was on local bees. “The population of native bees are declining. A number of factors are contributing to this, so we used the 6Ds to explore further” says Holly.
To help the students understand the issues, Holly searched the ClassVR portal for VR videos of bees in their typical habitats. Holly explored the ‘Community Tab’ via the ClassVR platform and discovered a school in England who had uploaded a 360 degree video of the inside of a beehive. Not only does ClassVR have a plethora of classroom-ready content, but other users can create, upload and share thier own content too.
Holly was able to easily download the video to the headset for her class, “Our students were able to experience the inside of the beehive and see different roles of the bees. From there we discussed the importance of bees for pollination, the decline in numbers and the possible impacts. It was a great conversation starter.”
“ClassVR allowed us to see the bee’s living conditions and gave us great ideas for bee hotels,” says one of Holly’s Year 5 students. “As the native bees are not honey bees that live in hives, we wanted to make a safe resting place for them so they can continue to pollinate plants for us. It is very important to help them survive. We monitored our hotels daily and could see that they were becoming a home to a growing number of bees”.
The School was invited to present their learnings at the the Catholic Education WA (CEWA) STEM Showcase Day.
“We couldn’t take live bees with us so again we used ClassVR technology to demonstrate bees in their natural environment,” says Holly. “The preparation was minimal, but it had the biggest impact on the day. There were lines and lines of children wanting to see the beehive. It was a great starting point for engagement between my students and those visiting our stand. From there they could show off their bee hotels and discuss ongoing solutions. It was so lovely to listen to their conversations and see that those visiting our stand were walking away with a new consideration for bees”.
Ongoing learning is key at Queen of Apostles so the school’s next steps are to design more hotels and habitats for the bees using Minecraft EDU and upload the 3D image to the ClassVR headsets so other students can explore them in depth before creating the real thing.