Next week I will be presenting a poster about the 360-degree VR project at the Pan-Commonwealth Forum conference in Edinburgh, UK. Our session is scheduled for Tuesday (10th) afternoon so if you’re attending we hope to see you there. Alongside handouts of the poster, we’ll also have copies of a brochure that gives information about the TESS-India Toolkit of online Teacher Resources.
A PDF of the poster can be downloaded here: PCF9_poster_4_FINAL
Title: 360-degree video and mobile VR for professional development: A case-study of emerging opportunities for teacher education and classroom observation
Abstract: This poster presents the paring of 360-degree video recording and mobile VR viewing as an emerging educational technology with the potential to deliver major benefits to, even a step-change in, teacher professional development. It is widely accepted that teacher education programmes must find ways to more effectively support and engage teachers in their professional development in order to achieve improvements in the quality of teaching practice in low- to medium income countries. Previous educational research in the area of 360-degree video has focused on their use by pupils and taken place in high-income countries. Our research marks a significant departure by refocusing on their use by and for teachers and in more challenging contexts. On paper, these technologies appear to meet the necessary practical requirements for use in low- to medium-income countries, as they are compact, mobile and can exploit user-owned technologies. However, it is difficult to move forward in assessing their potential without evidence from field trials. To this end, we developed and conducted a pilot in a rural district in central India in two primary schools with no mains power or wired internet. 360-degree video cameras were used to record multiple segments from four lessons. The clips were then viewed on mobile VR headsets and individual and group feedback elicited from (i) the in-service teachers who conducted the lessons, (ii) pre-service teachers in a teacher training college, and (iii) teacher educators. The presentation will use these data and a short audience demonstration to explore the following key questions: Can these technologies be made to work in such challenging contexts? What excites and interests in-service teachers, pre-service teachers and teacher educators in this pairing of technologies? How might the opportunities and challenges to their wider implementation and evaluation be framed?