The Mosslands School, Merseyside, UK
- To be able to understand and explain significant events of the Holocaust.
- To be able to design and create a 3D world.
- To use computational language to improve the usability of the 3D world.
After meeting with several departments, I developed a cross-curricular project between history and computing. By using ‘CoSpaces’, alongside the ClassVR headsets, pupils were able to create their own virtual world. A piece of work by which they could demonstrate both their understanding of a historical concept, and the effective use of coding and design to create an engaging digital space. After initially creating worlds to explore the coding, the students were given their brief for the creation of a Virtual Holocaust Museum: a space that a visitor could explore, that not only conveyed the creator’s understanding of the topic material but also engaged the viewer through effective use of CoSpaces.
In pairs, the students built their worlds using CoSpaces. Over the course of six weeks, students had a range of both history and computing lessons to embed the depth of historical knowledge and learn the technicalities involved with the computer science aspect of creating a fully-functioning 3D world on CoSpaces. In week three, students learnt about the rise of Nazism and the final solution, as well as starting to create their space which reflected this series of chronological events. In week four, we introduced the headsets: this involved the students pulling together the various worlds they had created on CoSpaces to then test, trial and debug any coding or design errors. The final week involved sharing the spaces and providing peer feedback – evaluating both the technical computing elements and the historical accuracy of their content.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
The work the students produced was not only of an excellent standard but also of an incredible variety. Some students had chosen to create a traditional “gallery” with information adorning the walls of the space, while others had chosen to create enclosed spaces to simulate the conditions of the transport and accommodation of the camps involved in the events of the time period. After six weeks and approximately 8-10 hours working on the projects, the final session allowed pupils to explore each other’s spaces. Many students commented on how they had effectively used the VR setting to create a sense of immersion, particularly long corridors and cramped train compartments.
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