Tuesday, November 01, 2016

10 Virtual Reality Resources that Every Teacher Can Use

10 #VRinEDU Resources for Every Teacher by @EdTechnocation #VR #EdTech
 Are you ready to dive into Virtual Reality in your classroom? Now is the time! There are tons of free and inexpensive content out there: apps, websites, lesson plans, and creation tools. I've created a list of my top 10 Virtual Reality resources that you can use right now in your classroom!

The first 5 virtual reality resources on my list can be found over at the Whooo's Reading Blog in my most recent guest blog post!

6. Google Apps Infused Lessons for Google Expeditions
With Google Expeditions now available on both Android and iOS devices, many schools can now start implementing its use more effectively. A great resource for how you might consider integrating Expeditions into your classroom curriculum comes from a partnership between Google Geo Education and The Janus Group at MoonshotIncubator.com. The first collection of free lesson plans explores the history, culture, and natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands with the use of Google Apps for Education tools and Expeditions. These lessons were designed by teachers, are aligned with common core and ISTE standards, and have been battle tested in the classroom. Check them out at MoonshotIncubator.com/Expeditions.

7. Thinglink VR Editor

The Thinglink VR Editor is probably the best (and only) 360° interactive virtual reality editor for teachers and students. It's super easy to use and viewable with computers and mobile devices. Currently, you can take a 360° image, upload it, and apply a variety of media tags. You can embed YouTube videos, pictures, your own videos, Google Forms, Google Docs, Google Slides, and practically anything else that provides an embed code. They are also working on a 360° video editor as well! Checkout an example I created recently of my school's rooftop garden. Access to the VR Editor requires a Premium Teacher account for $120 per year which gives you the ability to create 10 classes and 1000 students. But you can view Thinglink VR content created by other people for free as long as they are set for public access.

8. Within (mobile app)
In my guest post on the Whooo's Reading Blog, I first recommend a great VR app called NYT VR, which is the New York Times virtual reality app. Another app of the same caliber is Within, containing professionally filmed high quality virtual reality documentaries and movies. Two of their videos I find to be the most heart-breaking, yet powerful stories are "Clouds Over Sidra" about a 12-year-old Syrian refugee girl, and "My Mother's Wing" about a mother coping with the loss of her two children who were victims of a Gaza school bombing. I can only imagine the thought-provoking and deep conversations we can have with our students after placing them in these first-person virtual perspectives of the tragedy that occurs around the world.

9. Google Arts & Culture - Natural History
Google recently announced the release of a new Google Arts & Culture (formerly Google Culture Institute) project called Natural History. This is a partnership with more than 50 natural history institutions containing over 150 pieces of content, including stories, pictures, videos, virtual tours, and 3 amazing 360° virtual reality videos! These 3 videos are my favorite part of this collection! Using the YouTube app and a Google Cardboard headset, immerse your students in a world straight from the history books while they stand beside a gigantic Giraffatitan, swim along side a prehistoric sea dragon, and explore a biodiversity wall of more than 3000 species. I'm hoping to see this collection and it's 360° content grow over time!

10. Virtual Reality in the Operating Room

BBC News Medical Realities from Amplified Robot on Vimeo.

This one definitely isn't for the queasy or light headed, but it demonstrates the real potential of virtual reality. Medical Realities have already filmed several surgical procedures in 360° video and have also LIVE STREAMED a real surgery for medical students around the world! That's amazing and it completely revolutionizes the way we deliver and receive training! This is the direction I'm starting to head in with VR at my school. What I'm really interested in is how students can leverage this powerful VR technology to create content for the world, like training videos. Get the VRinOR app for iOS or Android to see the real potential of VR!

These are my top 10 virtual reality resources...for now! As I'm sure that new and better content will be out there soon and I'll be changing my mind! If you want a great space thats organizing all the educational VR content, check out my #VRinEDU website at bit.ly/VRinEDU and subscribe for free email updates when I add new content!


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