Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Spanish Language Students Take Virtual Reality Tours

Feb. 1, 2019 -- Heights High Spanish language and culture teachers Abiola Adeyemon, Olivia Fatica and Carolyn Pavel wanted to take their students on a field trip to see important Spanish cultural locations. They only had a few days allocated for the ‘field trip’, so they used a Google Expedition Virtual Reality kit to take their students on tour.

“Our recent unit included learning about the main plaza or Zócalo of México City, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma, the highly ranked public research university in Mexico City with stunning architecture and public art and the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itzá on the Yucatan Peninsula,” said Mrs. Pavel. “So those are a few of the places we toured with the VR viewers.”

This Chichén Itzá video is an example of the tours (although not in 3D) that the Spanish teachers led for the students. 

The viewers hold devices to run the Google Expeditions app for students to view while the teachers used a tablet to guide the students through the experiences.  

Reading about the locations and seeing photos provided some cultural background, but the three-dimensional views, many recorded from aerial drones, provided so much more. “Students gained a sense of scale and depth and got the feel for the enormity of the sites,” continued Mrs. Pavel.

The teachers especially enjoyed the students’ many questions about the sites and seeing their excitement for learning more. The students were amazed and made comments like, "I'd love to visit there; I feel like I'm in heaven; We're actually swimming with sharks; I can see how the shadow on the pyramid looks like a snake."

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