A journey in a room

Virtual Reality brings the International Baccalaureate to life at International Community School.

In the Spring of 1790, Xavier de Maistre, a 27-year-old Frenchman wrote about his time in a room in Turin. The authorities placed him under house arrest for taking part in a duel. With only his butler and a dog for company, he continued with his travels. He embarked on a journey around his bedroom. His account, ‘a journey around my room’ inspired the writer Marcel Proust.

Xavier used his imagination to travel within a room. We now have virtual reality (VR). ICS invited the Google expedition pioneer programme for a VR session this week. The programme lends mini-tablets, Google cardboard headsets and a selection of locations. Year 5's unit of inquiry was on how the world works. To inspire their research, our students explored a variety of worlds. These included coral reefs, the international space station and Rio de Janeiro.

VR is a new frontier in education. There’s a strong link between memory and place. Corporeal experiences are memorable ones. The humanities have the most to gain. Students of geography and history have enjoyed field trips for years. They learn to understand the application of classroom theory to the real world. VR gives students a new world to explore. We look forward to linking our unit of inquiries of the future to the growing list of VR locations.