Updated: Dec 11, 2019
A virtual field trip to King Tut’s Tomb in Egypt launched the pilot VR learning program at San Jose Intermediate School in Novato (SJIS) with support from XR Marin and XR Libraries. Coleen Fried, History and Language Arts Teacher, and Janna Morbitz, Science Teacher, teamed up this fall to introduce Virtual Reality (VR) in the classroom to boost student engagement and enhance learning. Both teachers were interested in utilizing VR as a tool to enhance their curriculum. Colleen Fired attended a workshop for educators at XR Marin last summer to explore how VR might be used to introduce her students to ancient history. Janna Morbitz sought funding from the San Jose Intermediate School PTA to purchase 15 Oculus Go VR headsets to utilize VR applications for in-classroom learning. XR Marin supported both teachers through technology training and curriculum development with this new immersive technology. XR Libraries curated VR experiences for both teachers to complement and enhance their curriculum.
Dane Lancaster (XR Marin) and John MacLeod (XR Libraries) along with members of the XR Libraries assisted with the Discover Egypt: King Tuts Tomb VR experience for the virtual field trip. King Tutankhamen was buried in a tomb that was filled with treasures and artifacts symbolic of Ancient Egyptian culture that would become one of the greatest icons of Ancient Egypt. 28 excited students explored King Tut’s tomb to see what the artifacts they discover say about the life and culture of early Egyptian civilization. Students were asked to collaborate in pairs to identify and describe at least 10 objects in the tomb. With the conclusion of this successful pilot experience, another VR field trip is planned for Ms. Morbitz's science class to study ocean acidification and climate change.