The introduction of 360-degree virtual reality technology in Catholic schools throughout October has been hailed a success by educators around Australia.
Catholic Mission’s Mission in 360 technology, complete with custom viewing goggles, was a hit in schools in Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Melbourne, according to teachers and students alike.
‘I think it’s really good to see things from a different perspective, and when we’re looking at Gospel values and showing compassion and love to other people, it’s important to see those who are living less fortunate than us,’ said Michelle Gear, Religious Education Coordinator at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Georges Hall, where the technology was piloted.
‘It is something that I can see working in this school. I think it can be beneficial to [the students’] … understanding of other people’s environments.’
Mission in 360 was equally popular in Melbourne, where Marymeade Catholic College in South Morang incorporated the technology into their student formation. ‘Being able to teach our students using real life examples that they can feel a part of rather than just listening to or reading is so beneficial,’ said Kelly Hack, a teacher at Marymeade.
‘I didn’t know what to expect from the technology, but it was a pleasant surprise and something I’d love to use more in my class. My students loved being able to see a different way of life.’
Further north, on the Gold Coast, Mission in 360 was just as popular. Katherine Janovsky, Assistant Principal at St Michael’s College in Merrimac, said the technology brought her students closer to their counterparts in developing countries.
‘Our students are somewhat sheltered living on the Gold Coast so being able to highlight the way others live, in countries overseas, is invaluable and a great exercise in creating a sense of solidarity,’ she said.
Catholic Mission’s Director in the Brisbane Archdiocese, David McGovern, said Mission in 360 was an innovative way to connect students around the world.
‘It brought the people we support and highlight in our engagement with local schools here into the students' hearts and minds even more powerfully,’ he said.
‘They suddenly could see that the people they were being asked to support were really no different from them.’
For more information about Mission in 360, visit catholicmission.org.au or phone 1800 257 296.