Real Experiences in Virtual Reality
One of the finest aspects of MYP Design is the credit afforded students for attempting something untried. While the final product of a unit is valuable, equally worthy is a student’s’ ability to articulate what he was aiming for, his relative success, and what he would do to improve his work the next time around. This allows Design teachers to embrace emerging technologies in the classroom, exposing our students to new ways of thinking and new ways of creating.
What is true of Elon Musk’s Tesla, Inc. is true of the Design classroom,
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
This is only one of the reasons Design is an engine of innovation.
The first Grade 7 Design unit of the 2017/18 school year put a spin on the create-a-personal-logo project. Designing a logo is no mean feat. It requires practical knowledge of logo design, color theory, shape psychology and typography. To focus this task, students were directed to create a symbol to represent themselves as designers, the first step toward creating their own design firm in Grade 8. Students were challenged to distinguish themselves by graphically representing their design sensibility, inspirations, and aspirations. From their imagination to paper to Adobe Illustrator, students created their own logos with tremendous success.
By why stay two-dimensional when you can go three dimensional? Many of us have consumed Virtual Reality media, through Google Cardboard or more sophisticated VR headsets, but we determined to give our students the challenge of creating VR media.
This required easy-to-use technology, the Ricoh Theta VR camera, and professional, steep-learning-curve technology, Adobe Premiere. Not only that, but everything they knew about movie making from previous experiences had to be reevaluated. There is no “Scene One opens with camera facing…” when the camera faces a full 360 degrees. This meant exploring throughout the campus and city in search of the ideal setting. The 15-second time limit meant that designers had to think deeply to clarify and then succinctly promote their personal design perspective.
These 11 and 12 year-old students rose to the challenge. They demonstrated creativity and perseverance as they shared technical know-how, critical feedback, and enthusiasm. The results speak for themselves.