VR Curriculum, Math: Google Earth and Trigonometry

We have been asked, repeatedly, how people might consider using virtual reality to help students learn mathematics. On a recent trip to Toronto we had the pleasure of talking with Jim Wardle about a lesson he developed with an instructor named Jordan Young for an Intro to Trigonometry class at Westside Secondary School.

What made the teachers excited about the lesson was that it put kids in real-life situations, included elevation and depression angles and included opportunities to discuss sources of error. In particular, the students discussed how the math could be right but one can still get an incorrect answer.

A suggestion the teachers had after doing the lesson was that perhaps using an outstretched hand with the Vive controller pointing to the top of the building and putting the clinometer on the person’s arm might provide a more accurate measurement. When they ran the lesson the first time, they either used it against where the person was looking or the Vive controller at the person’s face, which may have accounted for increased errors.

We’d like to thank Jim and Jordan for sharing their lesson, invite you to download the lesson and would love to hear feedback or suggestions if you try it out!