Dr. David Shin Builds Empathy Through Technology

Congratulations to StC's Dr. David Shin, who earned his doctorate in education through his work in building empathy in classrooms through virtual reality!
For Dr. David Shin, there’s no better way for teachers to build connections with students than by seeing the classroom through their eyes. 

As part of his three-year journey to earn his EdD, the Middle School science teacher used head-mounted, 360-degree cameras to capture footage of everyday classroom lessons from the student’s perspective. He then loaded the footage into virtual reality headsets, allowing educators to experience a typical day in class from the boys’ perspectives.

Shin wants educators to hear and see exactly what students are experiencing, as seeing a student’s point of view can help them engage with their students more effectively. That’s where the value of empathy can make a significant difference in the classroom. “When you have a good relationship with a student, they’re just more willing to work with you,” said Shin. 

According to Shin, standing close to students can be a sign of care. It’s also possible for educators to note the behavioral responses to instruction through tone or volume of voice, or to discover ways in which students are engaging in ways they hadn’t realized before. 

Shin hopes this tool will help educators empathize with students. “When a student and a teacher connect, that’s a huge deal,” he said. “When that happens, it’s much easier to teach any concept.” 
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