California Educator

December / January 2017

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Page 35 of 75

F O R S E C O N D - G R A D E R S at Enterprise Elementary School in Redding, it's time to swim with the sharks. e youngsters ooh and aah as the megamouth shark glides by, and then scream in excitement when the great white shark makes an appearance. "Oh no, we are about to get eaten!" a student squeals. The excitement is genuine, but the danger is not. The students are sitting safely in their seats, wearing "glasses" that look like cardboard boxes, immersed in a virtual reality experience with their teacher and expedi- tion guide Aimee Howland, president of the Enterprise Elementary Teachers Association. Technology coach Mark Lewin, also a member of EETA, assists so things run smoothly. e Google Cardboard glasses provide students with a 3-D perspective and a 360-degree view of the underwater scene controlled by Howland on her Android tablet. is virtual field trip is fun but also educational, as students At Santa Rita Elementary, Avneesh Lande tries to grab "Earth" using mixed-reality technology from zSpace. THE FUTURE IS HERE Virtual, augmented realities are tools for the classroom By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Scott Buschman ALTERNATE REALITIES: 34

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