Hayling pupils explore the world through new virtual reality headsets

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CHILDREN were given a glimpse into what could be the future of education at virtual reality learning sessions.

Pupils from The Hayling College were joined by a representative from Google, who visited the school yesterday as part of the company’s Expeditions programme.

From left, Owen Hughes, 11, Roxy King, 12, Amy Linsley, 11, and Josh Dibley, 11 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (170124-5284)

From left, Owen Hughes, 11, Roxy King, 12, Amy Linsley, 11, and Josh Dibley, 11 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (170124-5284)

Google has created virtual reality headsets called Google Cardboard which allow students to visit places they might never get the chance to via smartphones.

Lee Purslow, head of IT at the school, said: ‘Once the smartphone is inside the cardboard headset, you download an app which links up to another app on the teacher’s iPad.

‘This takes the children to wherever it is that has been selected, like the First World War trenches, Brazil, the moon, they can even go back in time to see dinosaurs – it’s a really enriching experience.

‘Pupils can turn around and move their heads up and down to explore, while the teacher reads out facts from the iPad.

‘Most children have smartphones now, so there’s no reason why they can’t be used in different lessons for virtual reality teaching with these headsets.’

The app holds a combination of 3D images, panoramas, videos, sounds, details, and more, for each of the different places that can be visited. Students can also explore inside the human body.

Iris Richmond, a pupil from Year 10, said: ‘I was really excited when I heard our school would be taking part in this experience.

‘It’s a big thing because it could be the future of education.

‘It will be good for those who are more visual learners, and good for others too, because it’s a different way of learning altogether. It’s nice to actually see things in front of you.

John Perry, leader of the Ukip Havant branch and councillor for Hayling East went to watch the students.

He said: ‘Anything that makes teaching more interesting and effective must be a good thing, and if it encourages Stem [science, technology, engineering and maths] subject education, then so much the better.’