What is VR?
Virtual reality technology creates an immersive computer-generated simulation viewed using a cardboard viewer and a cell phone or a high-end VR headset and computer.
As you browse these resources, reflect on the following questions:
- How might I use VR to create engaging learning experiences for my students?
- How might my students use VR to demonstrate their learning?
High-End VR Headsets
With the Digital Action Plan, adult ed centres have had the opportunity to purchase some high-end virtual reality headsets, including the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, and the Acer Windows Mixed Reality. If that’s the case in your centre, or if you’re looking to invest in such a tool, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Cost → These headsets take a very powerful (and expensive) computer to function optimally. Make sure to check the company website for full compatibility specifications and factor these into your budget when making this purchase.
- Installation → With board restrictions on computers, you will need the help of your IT department with the dowloading and installation of the required software. You will also need a decently-sized space (2 m by 1.5 m or 6 ft 6 in by 5 ft) to set up your virtual reality environment.
- Safety → Lastly, be aware that these devices can cause seizures and nausea. They should not be used with minors, pregnant women, those under the influence of drugs/alcohol, or those with serious medical conditions.
This app has tons pre-created augmented reality tours.
Students can explore them at their own pace on their devices or you give a guided tour to your class. (Note that you cannot guide the tour with participants on a public wifi network as a private shared connection is needed.)
YouTube has tons of free virtual reality content! Search “360 video” in your YouTube app and click the little cardboard viewer icon in the bottom right to see them in virtual reality.
Here is one example from Canadian history.
Using a computer, users can create their own interactive VR experiences using Google Street View or their own 360 images. These can then be viewed and shared using the Google Expeditions app.