Creating a Digital Field Trip - Mid-Pacific Institute

Academics News

Creating a Digital Field Trip

Posted on February 26, 2016 by Scot Allen

The eighth grade students in Ms. Sills Advanced Design Thinking class know that not everyone can hike up to Makapu'u Lighthouse. "Not everyone has access to hiking," explained Ms. Sills. "If you aren't able to do a hike physically, can't get a ride from your parents or you live on the mainland, it can be hard to do."

Interested in leveraging the school's technology to address this issue, the students in her class proposed a field trip to digitize Makapu'u point lighthouse trail. They invited along a select group of students from Mr. Tokuda's Digital Media 2 class so that they could train their peers in filming with 3D technology.

"We used our freedom 360 GoPro rig to film from different points on Makapu'u along the hike," explained Kyler Saiki '20. "We put it into software that lets us stich all the videos together so we can play them on our Oculus Rift or View Master headsets."

The Go-Pro 360 rig holds six Hero 4 cameras which all film simultaneously. "Pre-planning is really important," explained Ms. Sills. "The way the cameras are facing and angled can make a big difference in the video. The first time we filmed all the footage was terrible and we had to dump it! We reviewed our mistakes with the students and it got better the second time."

The class didn't have permits to close the hike so students practiced kindly addressing strangers and asking them to pause for a minute to allow for a clean shot. If people walk through, when the video is stitched they walk over a seam between cameras and they disappear for a moment, spoiling the whole shot.

Back on campus, Kyler Saiki '20 paused in designing a game on a wide-screen iMac to explain his impression of their work. "Virtually reality is one of the coolest things we have learned in this class. I have always wanted to try it since I first saw it. I am actually surprised that I got to learn it in middle school--it definitely lived up to what people said."

When asked if she enjoyed teaching new technologies Ms. Sills smile grew wide. "For me, the best part is embracing the idea that I'm not the 'all-knowing' person in the classroom. Now, the students and I are learning together. We are more like peers. They know I am learning this with them and that I can help them in the right direction."

By Laura Davis