Piscataquis Community Elementary School opens 360 virtual classroom
GUILFORD, Maine (WABI) - Elementary school students in Guilford will get the chance to explore places like London, New York City, and outer space all while never leaving the classroom.
Piscataquis Community Elementary School launched its Pirate Portal room just a few weeks ago.
Equipped with multiple projectors, it works to create a 360-degree virtual learning environment.
The room was finalized earlier this school year and is one of the first to be put in use in a public school.
“I was really looking for something that would help students when they returned to be engaged in school and something that might help to address any social emotional issues after the pandemic,” Principal Anita Wright said.
Students have only been able to use it for a few weeks now, but it seems to be doing its job already.
“Well, one thing is we can see the engagement has increased, and I know it’s a new tool. So, you’ve got to allow for that,” Wright said.
The room can be used for a variety of school subjects and offers the ability to take virtual trips around the world, play educational games, watch 360 videos, and more.
“A student when I asked, tell me, how is this helping your learning? And the student answered very honestly, like they do, it’s hard to ignore the teacher in there because it’s all around you. So, in other words, you don’t daydream. You don’t drift away,” Wright said.
“Because when I could see a video, like to see how to do it, it makes it a little easier, not a teacher just telling us that we need to write that down or what we need to do,” student Baily Ames said.
The room has also been used as a reward for students such as getting the chance to spend time going on a virtual roller coaster.
The room joins the school’s use of Virtual Reality headsets as they aim to take a new approach to education to help keep their students engaged.
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