In our Google-funded Google Expeditions project, we are investigating the role of virtual reality (VR)-based field trips in complementing physical field trips - for preparation ahead of a physical field trip, for spatial literacy and awareness during a physical field trip, and for revision/reflection and even for completion of activities (if some of them couldn't be completed due to weather, etc.) after a physical field trip.
Most importantly, we are investigating the role of VR-based field trips in simulating learning scenarios that the students may not be able to experience in real life or may not be able to travel due to constraints of resources.
Towards this objective, we are interacting with UK school teachers for eliciting their critique on existing Google Expeditions and also for generating ideas for 'new' Google Expeditions and for the theme 'Climate change'.
This article Can virtual reality emerge as a tool for conservation? discusses the role of virtual reality in raising awareness of conservation issues such as those related to climate change - it reinforces our research objectives - how VR-based field trips can aid student engagement and student attainment.
Through this blog, we will keep you updated as we carry out our research in UK schools. We are primarily focussing on subjects that have a fieldwork component - Geography and Science (e.g. Biology) but we are aware that for a theme like Climate Change, we may have to interact with teachers from other disciplines such as economics and history.