The students at Purdy Elementary in Fort Atkinson have been piloting a Virtual Reality (VR) Program for students in the classroom. Lead by 4th grade teacher Christine Perkins, this program allows students to use the VR goggles to take expeditions of places they would never be able to visit.
One of their first expeditions was a virtual tour of Ellis Island, while studying their unit on immigration. The kids were able to take a tour of the museum and, through the goggles, it appears that you are standing right there as part of a tour group. "VR expeditions in the classroom have absolutely enhanced the student learning and engagement!" - Mrs. Leigh Ann Scheuerell, Purdy Principal. "When you put on the goggles and enter an expedition, you feel as if you could reach out and touch what is in front of you. It allows students to completely immerse themselves in their learning and students can see what they are studying up close right in the classroom. From touring car factories, to exploring volcanoes close up, to researching the Jamestown colony and so much more, the expedition opportunities are endless!"
"These types of experiences have made learning come alive for my visual learners."
Christine Perkins noted, "These types of experiences have made learning come alive for my visual learners. We were able to find Google Expeditions that applied directly to our current curriculum. With these types of tools students are able to gain the experience of going places they may never have the opportunity in real life. We have greatly enjoyed using these tools in our classroom."
Purdy Elementary was extremely fortunate to partner with Kory Knickrehm, V.P of Sales from mkCellular in Fort Atkinson. Mr. Knickrehm came on board to the idea of VR use in the classroom to see how it could enhance student learning. He was interested to know how the work done through mkCellular could have a positive impact on students in the community. "Kory has been an absolute gift to Purdy Elementary. He was just as passionate as we were about getting these devices in the classroom and came to join us in our first launch of expeditions."
Through a generous donation from mkCellular, Kory and his team were able to provide 25 VR goggles, smartphones to launch the program and all the chargers and cords needed to keep them running; all totaling a retail cost of $6,500. "We are so fortunate to have so many of our local business leaders support the work we do with our community children. This was the most generous donation I have been privileged with in my time at Purdy Elementary! We can't thank Kory and mkCellular enough for making our dream a reality and providing this opportunity for our students."
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