Empathy requires a person to consider the perspective of another. Empathic perspective taking involves three components: cognition, emotion, and visual perception. Students activated their empathic responses to Arctic wildlife by thinking about, feeling with, and by assuming alternative visual vantage points through a combination of scholarly research, imaginative role play, wildlife interactions, and Virtual Reality enhanced storytelling.
Students in grades K-6 used Google Cardboard Viewers and Apple iPhones to embark upon Virtual Reality "field trips" to the High Arctic. They assumed the visual perspective of their teacher researcher while viewing her 360° video footage (via Go Pro Fusion), experienced Google's Virtual Reality Arctic Journey and viewed National Geographic 360° videos. They also used Google Earth to self navigate through the Svalbard archipelago.
Students collaborated to imaginatively assume the perspectives of the wildlife native to the Arctic. They constructed an interactive mural to immerse themselves and other children within their emerging concept of the Arctic ecosystem. They also visited the Woodland Park Zoo to observe wild animals firsthand and to engage in an ethogram exercise that was developed as part of the Measuring Empathy Collaborative Research Project.