Go Anywhere with Virtual Reality - Guest Blog Post

Who better to speak to the topic of Virtual Reality in the Classroom than the eLearning Contributor who developed the new training series herself?

Guest Blog Post by Jaime Donally, eLearning Contributor

Virtual Reality (VR) has become more popular as the demand for wearable technology has increased.  The use of this technology in the classroom has deepened learning opportunities and increased student engagement.  The Virtual Reality in the Classroom workshop shows many different apps to create, share, and explore VR in the classroom. 

Using the Sphere 360 app, students can produce their own virtual reality experiences. Exploring collections and viewing locations all over the world has brought a sense of global connectedness. The use of the app lends for several opportunities in the classroom. Create a sphere of a scene and play hide and seek with vocabulary words, find pairs, discover images that start with the letter A, or search for obtuse angles. Consider using the app for preparation on the first day of school with spheres from the cafeteria, library, or playground describing the rules with each of the areas.  Imagine stepping into a sphere with class projects or the school science fair. Describe rock formations, view artwork, or write predictions based on the given scene are just a few ideas to deepen learning using virtual reality without ever leaving your seat.  

Many apps are now compatible with Google Cardboard.  What started out being known as somewhat of a gag has taken the virtual reality world by storm with an inexpensive approach that most can afford. We can incorporate Google Cardboard into our classrooms at 1:1 without breaking the bank. It’s no surprise that Google has approached this technology with the interest of all learners and the educational community has taken notice.  

While the Sphere app is utilizing images, YouTube 360 videos have added another layer of excitement to virtual reality with video. Experience a river rafting exploration in the Grand Canyon, ride roller coasters, view sea life as you scuba dive in Taiwan, watch advertisements made by top companies as if you were in the showroom, wear a wing suit and fly out of an airplane, view a solar eclipse in Svalbard, go into space and experience planets and solar systems as a virtual astronaut, sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, and soar in a hot air balloon all inside the YouTube app or browser. The history of watching videos has changed and it will never be the same. After experiencing 360 degree, I instantly felt disappointed with our “old ways” of watching videos, as I want to choose my own experience.  

As education moves closer to an individual experience for each student, virtual reality is hitting the mark with outstanding use of technology to explore worlds we have never before.  While the educational community is still considering the benefits of VR, students are using this technology for gaming, making global connections, and becoming producers of content. Jump into your own individual experience and discover the future of virtual reality in the classroom with this workshop from Atomic Learning.

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Jaime Donally is a passionate technology enthusiast.  She began her career as a math teacher, and eventually taught grades from Pre-K through 8th grade.  During that time, she used multiple technology resources to engage students and improve learning.  As an Instructional Technology Specialist, she provides staff development and training on all areas of technology integration.  She enjoys encouraging teachers to step out of the bounds of the classroom walls, and embrace new ways of engaging the students. 

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