Pupils can get a taste of what it is like to be in outer space or under the ocean in a new immersive classroom where scenes are projected on to the walls and ceiling.
The 5G-enabled classroom, said to be one of the first of its kind in the UK, is being made available to pupils in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Pupils from Carbrain Primary in Cumbernauld have been among the first to try out the classroom, which includes rainforest scenes, an art gallery and a gondola trip through Venice.
Lauren McIntyre, a primary school teacher from Whitelees Primary, also in Cumbernauld, said: “This classroom is brilliant because it’s transformational for children and young people but also in the wider community because it brings things to life. You can go in there and experience things you might not be able to.
Edtech: The immersive classroom experience
“You say, for instance, ‘I want to do a writing task on going to the beach,’ so I can take the full class in there and we can go to the beach, we can get those adjectives and we can get those synonyms and it makes it a higher quality of writing as well.
“You can go anywhere, so you can choose the content specific for what you are teaching. The children have loved it.”
The 360-degree digital projection technology uses all four classroom walls and the ceiling to bring the real world into an immersive experience for students, who can see what it is like to be on a First World War battlefield or on top of Mount Everest.
Frank McNally, convener of education and families at North Lanarkshire Council, which has worked on the project with BT, said: “The immersive classroom allows us to break free of the traditional classroom boundaries.
“Its potential uses really are limitless and we hope that it can be used to engage pupils who are perhaps turned off by traditional learning experiences, as well as by local community groups, such as historical societies.”
He said that the council hopes to expand the initiative so that, in time, every town has an immersive classroom that can be used by school pupils, children in early years and the wider public.
The newly installed 5G immersive classroom is at the Muirfield Community Centre in Cumbernauld.