The Holladeck – Immersion is More Than Engaging

Lead Teacher for New Tech’ is my title although most of my time is spent with just mobile technology. At St Wilfrid’s Acadmey we have the luxury of a book able immersive space (iSpace), complete with easily moveable classroom furniture and a 3D projector. It feels like the Holladeck would on the Star Trek Voyager.It would be wrong of me to say that this room is used everyday but it is an excellent space to to inspire and give a different flavour to the students’ learning experience. Recently I have taken my classes back to Dickensian London when looking at A Christmas Carol and to a graffiti-clad brick wall when when analysing creative prose written about school.

   


These were incredibly engaging experiences for students as they enter a room where sights and sounds are created to take them into a learning location where they will have a totally different kind of lesson. We respond to sights and sounds all around us instinctively, all of the time, and these practical skills bring out an abundance of ideas and creativity in students. When asking students to write about their thoughts and feelings when glancing upon Scrooge’s counting house or spotting the clues that let us know about his character, there is an excitement to engage with the book but also a deeper understanding that generates an enthusiasm to perform.

I decided to use this technology with mobile technology and old tech too (whiteboard markers), to embed QR codes within the iSpace projection and get the students to respond to the information behind each of them. Students were engaged, enthused and working independently with a desire to perform.

   
 Just as the Holladeck on Star Trek, I don’t recommended staying in this environment for long periods of time and not too regularly that you lose a sense of reality. When the time or theme warrants such a trip to the iSpace, great things always happen.

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