Teach Like a Club: Virtual Reality & Art Therapy

So Yay!! I am teaching a Photography class this year along with other artsy subjects. So excited. I have been thinking about how to make the best of both worlds of hybrid teaching. This type of hybrid is different that I have done before. It is virtual and at our partner university campus. I reached out to find out the cool research around campus to take my kiddos on tour. What an awesome opportunity for middle schoolers to be able to meet and interview people doing awesome work in their fields!

So, I thought,, “How can I push photography further?” The curriculum that one of the partners gave us, well, is just meh. Our students know a lot of that already. Push –

So, I looked up to see if our school has a virtual reality lab, and whad’a know, it does! Whoop Whoop!! I am in process of planning a field trip. I want to do an art therapy activity that is virtual reality. But it isn’t just me that is gonna say do this or that. I am teaching Photography like a club. Hence, this class will be student-led. I will facilitate and throw ideas out there. I want my students to run with it. I am going to start off with some themes. I do need to make sure that what is included is tied back to the state standards, but any teacher worth her salt knows how to tie anything back to a standard.

My students are pretty quiet so far. We have only meet online to date. I live two hours away from the university and attending the in-person hybrid portion is optional (and at my own expense). I am planning a trip.

The main theme that we are working on first quarter is a series of self portraits retaliating to identity. We are using James Marcia as a framework. My students will create four pictures, one for each quadrant. They will construct both analogue and digital art. With that, some will be both analogue and digital. Tomorrow, I am going to teach my students about the history of filters (from analogue to digital). Indeed, filters a pretty much the augmented reality of social media. It will be an introduction to VR. We will work from there and learn about other types of realities. 

I reached out to the art department, which also has an art therapy department. I asked if we could take a tour of the art therapy department. They invited us to join a class. How cool is that! I shared with the art therapy department that I am going to be working with my students to develop some art therapy activities. We will then share them out with the art therapy students at the university.