Culturally Relevant Virtual Reality For STEM


Virtual Reality (VR) offers a new world for contemporary science teachers. As the number of students with smart phones increases over the years educators will have access to devices that can provide amazing intellectual resources for students


Two years ago through the support of of the Technology for Equity in Learning Opportunities at Stanford University (TELOS), we initiated a research project to examine how to better integrate technology with best practices in teaching. For years, technology developers have created software that offered dazzling displays of science content through simulations, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Despite the dazzling potential of these VR resources these resources were not build based on sound instructional practices. In fact, most of those technological tools replicate passive instructional approaches. Given that context, we explored what would happen in VR could be used to teach science in a culturally relevant way. What would happen if the technology enabled students to see how scientific issues were impacting their own community. As a result we worked with 4 partner schools throughout the SF Bay Area to create culturally relevant science lessons that would empower students to literally see how the science was impacting their community. Please download the manuscript to get a sense of our early findings. Additionally, click the link below to view our VR lessons.





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