As part of a rather beautiful three-way collaboration between the legal industry, the education industry and the tech industry, our learners had the pleasure of being the subjects of a rather innovative learning channel, which is that of enjoying virtual field trips. Of course this is only a substitute for the real thing in that if we could actually afford to have taken our learners across the Atlantic to physically visit the premises of the legal firm involved, we would most definitely have done so.
Having the kids experience this whole thing in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment worked well enough though, even though I would perhaps say that the kids just loved using the technology itself instead of generically enjoying the lesson. Nevertheless, this proved to be just another one of the many emerging learning channels which appear to be extremely effective in delivering the lesson and having it stick in the minds of the learners. It’s about taking a real-life scenario and making it relatable to one which they themselves may one day find themselves faced with and I believe the effectiveness of the delivery of the lesson resides in first stating a problem, soliciting any answers and solutions the learners may already have and then later exploring the actual solution with them through a practical setting.
So the problem statement was simply that of the learners being encouraged to explore some preventative measures to take in avoiding car accidents in particular, but with more of an emphasis on the legal aspects of the whole thing. It was really all about developing their language and comprehension skills, all to be done through a practical, real-world example of course.
The learners came up with some good suggestions after each of them were made to individually just try and think of something, after which time we all packed our virtual bags (took turns to put on the VR glasses lent to us by a huge tech company which is developing and testing them), and we headed over to the premises of Christensen & Hymas, a legal firm based all the way in Utah, USA.
Part of the virtual experience entailed an interaction with one of the legal firm’s car accident laywers, who gave a presentation about what to do in case you’re involved in a car accident, but more fittingly also went over a few pointers about what to do to prevent getting involved in a car accident in the first place.
None of the learners took any notes during what was clearly a rather captivating presentation, but this is where the sheer power of the effectiveness of field-trip learning came shining through ever so brightly. Just the next day we hit them with a snap quiz in which they had to write up an essay about this topic of car-accident prevention and every single one of them scored above 80 per cent!
So I guess it’s clear to see that field-trips make for a very effective medium of instruction, to be effected through something like VR technology if the real thing isn’t quite a viable option.