ICTM President Shindelar sees virtual reality platform in action at MHS

ICTM President Angie Shindelar, left, joins MHS sophomore students in Friday’s virtual reality math activity using the PRISMS platform.
Shindelar, left, prepares to don a PRISMS headset, with help from MHS Instructional Coach Janelle Hawk.

Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) President Angie Shindelar got a first-hand look at the cutting-edge PRISMS virtual reality platform at Marshalltown High School on Friday.

Hosting Shindelar were MHS math teacher Justine Greig and a class of sophomore students, who have been exploring the newly-arrived PRISMS platform for the past several weeks.

For Friday’s lesson, students were tasked with using exponential functions to accurately track the spread of a fictional virus. They donned their VR headsets and got right to work – many students talked with their peers and collaborated on problem-solving.

In watching the students and trying the new technology out for herself, Shindelar said she came away from Friday’s lesson impressed.

“What I love about it… is that it speaks so much about how, if we can get learning to be something that is experiential, something that students can connect with and relate to, they will be more interested and will engage more,” Shindelar said of PRISMS. “I think [virtual reality] is really something to make them more curious, something to make them want to keep exploring.”

She also said VR is a great tool for making clear to students the importance of math in everyday life, with Friday’s lesson on virus tracking as a great example.

Thank you to ICTM President Angie Shindelar for coming to Marshalltown to see PRISMS in action! We are proud to be pioneers among Iowa school districts in adopting this great platform.

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