A GeoDome Panorama with WorldViewer provided the setting for a month-long residency to explore the use of immersive, interactive data visualization in a K12 context. Traditional science labs allow students to do their own investigation and inquiry – Immersive Learning Labs expand on this, developing data literacy as well as allowing students to do direct manipulation and analysis in a controlled environment. In the GeoDome, students traveled the cosmos, explored global datasets, visited local wetlands, and looked inside a beehive, in a series of content created in collaboration with experienced classroom teachers. They also contributed their own content, taking fisheye cameras into the field. The project capitalized on the potential of immersive environments to transform abstract, complex information into something students intuit and understand in a personal way.
This project builds on the success of the Minnesota Regional GeoDome Network and is hosted by TIES, an education technology cooperative of K-16 educators who share costs, program opportunities, and teaching strategies. Working with the University of Minnesota STEM Education Center, researchers are measuring the impact this type of experience has on student learning and on the curriculum.
Here’s what the teachers had to say:
“We were able to reach a wide variety of disciplines across grade levels – Special Ed, English Language Learners, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Math, Broadcast Communications and more. This flexibility is a HUGE selling point for school districts.”
Kathy Kraemer , Instructional Technology Coordinator
My students really enjoyed the experience! Many of them thanked me for taking them when we returned to the high school. I can imagine many lessons that could be presented with a global perspective tying in to our state standards. We loved it!
Stephanie Harris , Biology Teacher
One of my students said this on the way back to class today: ‘I have never really liked science until now.’
Jeff Bullard , Chemistry Teacher