Avon Middle School students embarked on a unique learning experience when they used virtual reality headsets allowing them to travel to Greece without leaving the classroom.
The headsets were used by Jennifer O’Leary’s seventh-grade history class Oct. 2 as a way to build on what they have been learning in class.
“Right now in our module, we are going over Ancient Greece, and the VR headsets allow the kids to look at areas where the Minoans, the first Greeks, were,” O’Leary said. “They can look at the Acropolis of Athens, an ancient amphitheater and the Elgin Marbles Museum.
“They can also go to Mount Olympus where the Greek gods were once believed to have lived.”
O’Leary said the headset, Merge Virtual Reality Headsets, utilize Google Expedition on students’ phones.
“They just slide the phone in and can go almost anywhere we cover in the textbook,” she said. “This is just our first day with the headsets, so it’s a learning experience for them.
“But, I feel the headsets are pretty intuitive. They are made with foam, so they’re comfortable, and they’re compatible with either iPhone or Android.”
O’Leary said she wanted to incorporate the headsets because they add to whatever topic she is going over in class.
“It allows my students to virtually travel to these places and see things for themselves,” she said. “A big thing with Ancient Greece, is showing the kids about all the ideas we got from them like stadiums, columns, architecture, lyrical poetry, drama, comedy and tragedy.
“It allows students to see these places they are reading about and brings everything into reality.”
Jackson Stark, 12, a seventh-grader at Avon Middle, said he thought the headsets provided a pretty cool experience.
“We get to see places in Athens and Sparta,” Jackson said. “Right now, we are looking at Mount Olympus; it’s really cool being able to see these places.”
TamaraJo Shaccour, 12, a seventh-grader, said she was able to see the greenery and rocks on Mount Olympus.
“It’s really cool seeing where these ancient civilizations lived,” TamaraJo said. “The VR helps because it’s hard to visualize these places in your head sometimes.”