Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Throughout the day on Friday, October 26, Tom and Lyn Lord’s classes met in Coffin Meeting room with guest speakers Nate Dominy, Professor of Anthropology, recent Dartmouth graduate Sam Gochman, and undergrad Naman Goyal from Dartmouth College’s Digital Arts Learning Initiative (DALI). KUA Students had the opportunity to experience Virtual Reality (VR) scenarios set in nature with the ability to switch views between the eyes of human beings and Tarsiers. 
Mikah ’19 explains, “Basically, we look through the VR headset to see through the Tarsier’s vision – how they get food, how they move around – life through their eyes. It was really cool because It feels pretty realistic. When you’re standing up in a tree, you don’t want to walk around because you feel like you might fall.”
“I think VR can be really helpful,” remarks Hattie ’20. She continues, “It helps us to understand evolution because if there is an animal that was alive many years before us and we have similar attributes like eyesight or jumping, we can start to understand how we evolved. It can be helpful in a class like chemistry too. For instance, if there is a dangerous chemical reaction to learn about, students can conduct experiments safely through virtual reality.” Mrs. Lord agrees, “VR has some real potential as a teaching tool in high schools. Right now, we are looking specifically at science curricula, but the potential applications across the board are huge.”
After their VR experiences, students were asked to complete a survey about their experience. The results of their survey will help DALI to improve their VR technology and ultimately develop more ways to incorporate it into high school curricula.
Thank you, Professor Dominy and your team, for sharing this experience with our students and stay tuned for more news from The Hilltop.


Kimball Union Academy

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Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.