Authentic Cultural Experiences in Virtual Reality Classrooms
To many Americans, Pakistan is one of the most misunderstood countries on Earth. We often form perceptions about Pakistan based on what we see in the evening news: a two dimensional filter offering little insight into the country’s rich history and culture.
PenPal Schools’ new course “VR Field Trip to Pakistan” will develop cultural competency for young learners worldwide by enabling them to explore Pakistan in 3D. Mozilla Hive Austin is excited to support this next generation PenPal Schools experience with a grant from the Gigabit Community Fund.
Are you an educator? Sign up here today.
NYC to ATX: Mozilla & PenPal Schools Come Full Circle
This latest grant reunites PenPal Schools and Mozilla at an exciting moment; enabling the globally successful learning platform to reach young people through their captivating Web technology. PenPal Schools’ initial seed funding actually came through a grant from Hive NYC in 2012 for what was then called, PenPal News.
Today, PenPal Schools calls Austin, TX home and while their mission is to reach students worldwide, they are especially committed to serving learners in their community. With support from Hive Austin, PenPal Schools is providing their service free of charge to educators and learners in the Austin area who sign up in 2017.
A teaser trailer for the VR field trip experience, produced by Austin local, Chocolate Milk & Donuts
Austin to Lahore: Filming in Pakistan
On the invitation of the Pakistani Government, PenPal Schools has filmed Virtual Reality video content throughout the ancient city of Lahore, in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Through incredibly immersive VR “field trips,” students from around the world will experience the bustling streets, ancient forts, and stunning mosques of Lahore. They’ll also get a glimpse of Pakistan’s rich culture, arts, food, and traditions — all while improving their reading, writing, and technology skills.
Of course, no PenPal Schools course would be complete without PenPals, so they’ve teamed up with the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation so that students around the world can learn with PenPals from across Pakistan! The federation represents over 197,000 schools and 20 million students from every province in Pakistan, so there should be plenty of Pakistani PenPals to go around!
Sign Up Your Class Today
Teachers can sign up for the English version of the course beginning on March 6 (the Urdu language version will be available this Spring). Teachers will even be able to order inexpensive cardboard VR headsets (pictured above) through the PenPal Schools website too!