Located in southern Mississippi, the Pascagoula (also referred to as the Singing) River watershed is the largest natural waterway in the continental United States. This Singing River Scenes for Education (SRSE) project involves the development of the VR environment, conducting field testing in selected middle school classrooms, and conducting research to determine the effectiveness of the VR environment in meeting educational objectives. In the VR environment, students will navigate streams from the headwaters of the watershed to the Pascagoula River and on to the Mississippi Sound, performing hydrology, soil, and land cover protocols to collect data at one of three sites: an upstream site, at the mouth of the river, and in the Sound. The VR environment will incorporate fluid dynamics, automated student tracking mechanisms, and simulated investigations. Protocols and lessons from the project Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE™) will be utilized to develop the VR environment and to guide actual field experiences for participating students during field testing. Students will submit actual field data to the GLOBE database. Ultimately, the VR environment will also be submitted to the GLOBE website for international access. The SRSE project will accomplish the demonstration and infusion of existing Instructional Technology (i.e., GPS, GIS, and Computer Science) pursuits within education to deliver a true 3D-immersive learning environment that can be replicated across core curricula. Current gaming technology can potentially allow a low cost development solution that fits within existing educational infrastructure, both locally and nationally. The SRSE project will not only serve as a demonstration but also a model for how student/teacher interactions can be developed across the curriculum.
|Keywords:||Virtual Reality, Instructional Technology, 3D-Immersive Learning|
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Research, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA
Associate Professor, Department of Construction Engineering, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA
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