How virtual reality turns students into scientists | Jessica Ochoa Hendrix
Articles Blog

How virtual reality turns students into scientists | Jessica Ochoa Hendrix

February 28, 2020


How did you discover your passion or find your career? Were you exposed to it? Or was it trial and error? As child rights advocate
Marian Wright Edelman said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Fortunately, we now live in a time when emerging technologies
may help us to solve this problem. For the past two years, I’ve been developing
an extended reality program that enables middle school students
from across the country to take on the role
of a marine biologist — even if they’ve never seen the ocean. As one seventh grader
who recently completed our program said, “I could see myself as a scientist, because I enjoyed this game.” This feedback really excited me, because too few students
do see themselves as scientists. A 2014 study showed that 57 percent
of eighth- and ninth-grade students said, “Science isn’t me.” Coincidentally, also in 2014, I met Mandë Holford, a marine biochemist, and Lindsay Portnoy,
an educational psychologist. The three of us shared a passion for getting students excited by
and comfortable with science. We thought about how
we could give children the most realistic experience
of a scientific career. We discussed the research; it showed that students felt comfortable
taking risks when playing games. So the three of us started
an educational games company to bring science to life. Virtual reality seemed like
a low-cost way of increasing access. In addition, academic research has shown that virtual reality may lead
to increases in learning retention. This was perfect for us,
as we wanted to be in schools so that we could reach
the most number of students possible, particularly students who have
been underrepresented in science. So, with funding from
the National Science Foundation, we began developing
our extended reality program that combined virtual reality with personalized digital journaling. We worked with teachers
while developing it to ensure that it would fit seamlessly
into existing curricula and empower teachers to use cutting-edge
technology in their classroom. We designed the virtual reality
for Google Cardboard, which requires only a smartphone and a 10 dollar VR viewer
made of cardboard. With this inexpensive headset, students are transported
to an underwater expedition. Students use their digital journal to write down their notes, to answer questions, to construct models and to develop hypotheses. Students then go to the virtual world
to test their hypotheses and see if they’re accurate, much as scientists go to the field in their careers. When students return
to their digital journal, they share their observations, claims, reasoning and evidence. The students’ written answers
and virtual interactions are all updated live in an educator assessment dashboard, so that teachers can follow their progress and support them as needed. To give you a better sense,
I’m going to show you a little bit of what students see. This is the virtual reality
when they’re underwater observing the flora and fauna. This is the digital journal
where they’re constructing their models based on this abiotic data
to show what they expect to see. Here, they’re supporting that
with qualitative statements. And this is the educator dashboard
that shows progress and enables [teachers]
to see the students’ answers as they go. When we were creating BioDive, again, we really wanted
to focus on access, so we designed it to require
only one phone for every four students. We also knew how collaborative
science work is, so we constructed the experience
to only be solved through collaborative teamwork, as each student is an expert
in a different geographic location. Given that these children’s brains
are still developing, we limited each experience to last
a maximum of two minutes. And finally, because we know
the importance of repeated exposure for internalizing knowledge, we constructed BioDive to take place
over five class periods. We started piloting BioDive in 2017 in 20 schools in New York and New Jersey. We wanted to see students
as they were using this new technology. In 2019, now, we are now piloting in 26 states. What we have heard from teachers
who have taught our program: “It was a nice way to show ocean dynamics
without the luxury of actually being there since we are in Ohio.” (Laughter) “It’s pretty mind-blowing.” “The students were totally engaged.” But what really gives us hope
is what we’re hearing from students. “I liked how it felt like I was there.” “It’s interactive and a fun way to learn.” “It really gave me realistic examples
of how these organisms appear.” “I could see myself as a scientist
because it seems really fun.” Our feedback wasn’t always so positive. When we began developing, we started off by asking students what they liked, what they didn’t like and what they found confusing. Eventually we began asking
what they wished they could do. Their feedback gave us
concrete items to build in to be sure that we were including
student voices in what we were designing. Overall, what we have learned is that this
is the beginning of a new platform for giving students
both voice and ownership in deciding how they want to have impact in their careers. We focused on science, because we know we need scientists to help us solve our current
and future challenges. But virtual reality could support
students in any area. How could we support students
in exploring all of their desires with these eye-opening experiences
and chances to learn from primary sources? Could we create VR
for inexpensive headsets that lets them be immersed
in oral literature or in critical moments of human history? Extended reality has the potential
to change the trajectory of our children’s lives and lead them to careers
they never imagined by giving them the chance
to see what they can be. Thank you. (Applause)

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Between the proliferation of 3d design software, 3D printers, and VR, rapid prototyping has never been easier or quicker. It’s amazing to see how quickly these technologies are changing manufacturing and production.

  2. So in the future all vocations will have a VR interactive playdate so that teenagers can get a better idea of different professions.

  3. i pray that it also helps the brain of these children to cultivate creativity and not be extremly dependent on the headmounted technology for creativity. The program should promote individual thought process and not turn into an addiction

  4. Virtual reality provides us with good visuals which helps students to understand things much easier but at the same time too much of it will tamper the imaginative skills of a student

  5. VR created by machines = TED. VR created by the mind (lucid dreaming, etc.) = TEDx. They are both created by our minds, so both should be TED.

  6. The future is of technology.
    The future will not force their kids to go and have a school,
    They would rather say them to live their own lives, and you know what?

    MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN!

  7. I believe VR would help as the way that the lecturer explains. But I also have concerns about technology’s side effect. My personal experience, before smart phones, instant messages apps and all that, my friends and I call each other and meet up more often. Now, since we can do most of the communications by a smart phone, there are less reasons to drive half an hour to meet each other and grab a cup of coffee. There is no way I can ditch technologies, but I sense that something is missing during this process of pursuing effectiveness.

  8. Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that dont really matter. On my youtube channel this has been one of the things that motivates

  9. How many of these kids have Playstation VR at home and just spent 6 hours having space battles or killing zombies in a haunted mine.

  10. how many marine scientist positions are there? its abit dystopian sucking kids into a degree with a VR demonstration of something they may never be able to do even if they do succeed at University.

  11. I have unsubscribed from this leftist sewage channel several times and YouTube keeps resubscribing me.

    I don't want my brain polluted with leftist mind cancer.

  12. But! I don't think virtual stuff is always good. It is more important for learners to learn from still things such as reading books than sparkling things.

  13. This may happen to a developed country, but in a third grade country like ours, it only lead into depression .😭😭😭

  14. TED talks are one of the best talk shows I've known on YouTube and they are really making a difference. They made me open a YouTube channel to share my dreams and surprisingly its growing after following all their talks.
    If you want to see it just click the link
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_30TJoVIiyPC-4GidADX4w

  15. This is the best way to learn. Interactive learning, in the field. Like an apprenticeship. Lecturing is outdated. People absorb better in the field of action exposed to the real thing. And VR makes that possible from an location

  16. umm, making collaboration the only way to go about learning is such a wrong way to do it. so many students may be introverts and work better than others alone, you're not giving them an option.

  17. Vote -4- Bernie Sanders. How else are you going to get scientists?? Too many Flat Earthers who reject the laws of gravity, let alone. About time for Bernie to clean up that murky gruesome swamp.

  18. With the advancements in virtual reality technology we could one day trick inmates into believing that they are in different situations to see how they would react, and see if they were safe enough to release back onto the streets or not

  19. I tried to be a scientist but I was set up to fail because the program took on more students than it could manage. So they make the intro courses exceptionally difficult, a “weeding out” process to discourage many from further pursuing.

  20. nice concept but the title really oversells the programm. it might even create unrealistic expectations of scientific work, but like i said overall it's a nice idea

  21. That's a great idea! I think I might be out of school before it reaches this place but I'd be looking forward for my own children to get to find what they want to do with the assistance and possibilities they need.
    For economics I think it would be crucial to adapt to differet fields like said in the video. If not already there, most countries constantly move towards a critical lack of doctors and caretaking attendants, nurses, etc. If your work could be a tool to help with the lack of these and many other jobs it would be really amazing!

  22. This won't make up for a schooling/anti education system that makes kids self destructively stupid and gives them the worst mental illnesses and disabilities known to science. School is making your kid's kill them selves.

  23. I hope and want to learn the English language  Now I speak through the translation application, is there someone who helps me and practices the language with me always, do not do it?

  24. I suspect I'm among the majority of people who by matter of circumstance stumbled into ultimate (legal) careers. Wonder how much better I would have done if I planned. In my day (never thought I'd say that) virtual reality was called pretending and imagination.

  25. The Universe has been speaking with me ,showing me signs. This video was an affirmative go a head for my innovative mind. Were at point in time where science is captivating us spiritually. We need to observe and science is observation philosophy. For youth, elderly, man , woman, everyone. Those with bureaucratic professionalism on there side cant be the only ones who get to observe. We need more non profit organizations that can give a wide range of people the chance to be in tuned with the universe without being accompanied by civil and commercial operations.

  26. Lets just take the virtual world and make it our school. Art class? Go into an art room and paint in a world full of people not even there. Pe? Get on beat saber or something. Ela? Take a virtual book? Math? Show us 3D models on how math can work. I’d prefer the school room where I’m not limited by the walls that cage me in.

  27. Im in a similar situation . My house. Is between two houses they used DEW Weapons and targeted me to make me look guilty. They sent false mental messages to my mind , so they input false information to prove they were correct. It was done in an illegal way, in a terroristic manner with real threats . Both sides were wrong . That cant be considered science nor research . Thats illegal cheating . 5514 1/2 S San Pedro st los angeles 90011
    A collection of illegaly obtained data through illegal and false pretenses . illegal science research and should be looked into .

  28. lets start with proper parenting. not everyone is capable of raising children. evrything they learn at school will be undone at home.

  29. https://www.gofundme.com/f/1wprubkjxc?sharetype=teams&member=3753354&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&pc_code=ot_co_dashboard_a&rcid=cadeab8720e04700952b38e47cc6390e

  30. Cant be what you cant see ??

     This is troubling disinformation.

    Blind people cant see more about another person as they are not distracted by visual disinformation, a pilot flying a plane at night, flying through cloud or a submarine pilot can see more than a visual pilot would see. The collection of animals like bats have outlasted many other species.

    They can all be something and are all something.

    A computer with VR cannot see but is something ?

  31. nagyszerű. nehogy megismerjék a valóságot, a természetet, nehogy levegőn legyenek! el kell hitetni velük azt, ami nem valódi és amire akkor döbbennek rá, amikor élesben találkoznak az óceánnal vagy bármivel. mert csak a gyakorlatban derül ki, mire született, mi az amihez tehetsége van. játéknak jó lehet, de hogy ettől legyen az, aki egy ember, na azt nem. épp elég agymosott mobilbeteg van már. egészségtelenek, depisek, és fogalmuk sincs milyen az kint játszani a szabadban együtt.
    még valami kedves… a gyerekek agya nem fejlődik, születésünk pillanatában hozzuk a 100%-ot, hogy aztán a felnőttek mindenféle baromsággal letompítsák, és ne hagyják, hogy azok legyünk, akik, mert tele vannak félelemmel, pedig a gyerekek még nem félnek. az, hogy kísérletnek nevezted a szoftvered tesztelését, minden elmondott.
    nem értek vele egyet. nagyon nem.
    a gyerekeknek rengeteg mozgásra van szükségük, a régi rossz iskolarendszert már évtizedekkel ezelőtt fel kellett volna számolni. az ember nem robot, és nem lehet olyasmikre kényszeríteni, amit nem akar, és amire semmi szükség az igazi életben. mindenki tudja mi az amit szeret, hagyni kellene, hogy tényleg az legyen!

  32. This is far away from the best presentation ever https://youtu.be/xzh-ofGJ1z0 by Simon Sinek I watched it last night and I'm really impressed 👍🏻

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *