Google Expeditions can be a fairly inexpensive way to present content. Students who have smartphones (Android or iOS) can download the Google Cardboard app and Google Expeditions for free. VR glasses can improve the experience but are not required.
Ideas for using VR in class
Do you teach biology? Take them on a tour of a virus or a cell.
Are you a professor in the arts? Visit street art around the world or the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Are you a guidance or career counselor? Bring your students to Berklee College of Music or meet a robotics engineer or female firefighter in NYC.
Astronomy professor? Send your students on the Juno mission to Jupiter or to experience the aurora borealis.
Professors of education can build lessons with your students so they can teach elementary students about animal camouflage or take children on a tour of the Aztec and Mayan pyramids.
Like any augmented reality app, the new AR content in Google Expeditions lets students view and manipulate digital content in a physical world context. The new AR content can be used as components in science, math, geography, history, and art lessons. Some examples of the more than 100 AR tours that you’ll now find in the app include landforms, the skeletal system, dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, the brain, and the Space Race.
To use the AR content available through Google Expeditions you will need to print marker or trigger sheets that students scan with their phones or tablets. Once scanned the AR imagery appears on the screen. (You can actually preview some of the imagery without scanning a marker, but the imagery will not be interactive or 3D). Students don’t need to look through a Cardboard viewer in order to see the AR imagery.
Sign in here: https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/. A minimum of 6 interested teachers. In order to take as many students as possible on an Expedition, we’ll visit schools showing the most interest first.
Here is a taste of what lies ahead:
When viewing on a mobile phone, the user can change the point of view of the video fluidly in 360 degrees simply by moving the device around.
Cast for Education is an app that works on Chrome OS, macOS and Windows. The app is launching in a public beta today and is available as a free download. The difference between Cast and other screen sharing solutions is network-independence.
Unimersiv is in the business of educational experiences — works on both Samsung Gear VR and the Oculus Rift, and takes viewers underwater to explore the Titanic and to one of our closest planets through the “Mars: Curiosity Rover,” app
Discovery VR app. The app works on nearly every single VR platform: Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard viewers using both iOS and Android devices.
Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries.
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives.
keep safety in mindsaving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
In his book, “Experience on Demand,” Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, writes, “No medium, of course can fully capture the subjective experience of another person, but by richly evoking a real-seeming, first-person experience, virtual reality does seem to promise to offer new, empathy-enhancing qualities.” Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries. Those latter activities, he writes, require “a lot of imaginative work,” whereas virtual reality can “convey the feeling” of, say, a refugee camp’s environment, and the “smallness of the living quarters, the size of the camp.”
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty. But within a minute or two, the students became quiet, absorbed in what they were seeing; they realized the “reality of the horror of what was in front of them.” Questions ensued.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives. However, he thinks no one tool or experience will bring results unless it is “nested in a broader framework of a vision and goals and relationships.”
Berger says virtual reality experiences have to be accompanied by work beforehand and follow-up afterwards. Kids, he says, need to be reflective and think critically.
immersion experiences like virtual reality should be “embedded in positive” adult and peer relationships. He adds that ideally, there’s also a resulting action where kids do something productive with the information they’ve learned, to help their own growth and to help others. He mentions an example where students interviewed local immigrants and refugees, then wrote the stories they heard. They published the stories in a book, and the profits went to legal fees for local refugees.
saving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
The Brain Science Is In: Students’ Emotional Needs Matter
What the neuro-, cognitive, and behavioral research says about social-emotional learning
• Malleability: Genes are not destiny. Our developing brains are largely shaped by our environments and relationships—a process that continues into adulthood.
• Context: Family, relationships, and lived experiences shape the physiological structure of our brains over time. Healthy amounts of challenge and adversity promote growth, but toxic stress takes a toll on the connections between the hemispheres of our brain.
• Continuum: While we’ve become familiar with the exponential development of the brain for young children, it continues throughout life. The explosion of brain growth into adolescence and early adulthood, in particular, requires putting serious work into much more intentional approaches to supporting that development than is common today.
new forms of human-computer interaction (HCI) such as augmented reality (AR),virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).
combining AR/VR/MR with cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies (such as machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and chatbots).
Some thought-provoking questions include:
Will remote workers be able to be seen and interacted with via their holograms (i.e., attending their meetings virtually)? What would this mean for remote learners?
Will our smartphones increasingly allow us to see information overlaid on the real world? (Think Pokémon Go, but putting that sort of technology into a vast array of different applications, many of which could be educational in nature)
How do/will these new forms of HCI impact how we design our learning spaces?
Will students be able to pick their preferred learning setting (i.e., studying by a brook or stream or in a virtual Starbucks-like atmosphere)?
Will more devices/platforms be developed that combine the power of AI with VR/AR/MR-related experiences? For example, will students be able to issue a verbal question or command to be able to see and experience walking around ancient Rome?
Will there be many new types of learning experiences,like what Microsoft was able to achieve in its collaboration with Case Western Reserve University [OH]? Its HoloLens product transforms the way human anatomy can be taught.
p. 22 Extensive costs for VR design and development drive the need for collaborative efforts.
Case Western Reserve University, demonstrates a collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and Microsoft to create active multi-dimensional learning using holography.
the development of more affordable high-quality virtual reality solutions.
AR game developed by the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences [Austria] (http://www.fh-salzburg.ac.at/en/) that teaches about sustainability, the environment and living green.
Whether using AR for a gamified course or to acclimate new students to campus, the trend will continue into 2017.
Google Expeditions This virtual reality field trip tool works in conjunction with Google Cardboard and has just been officially released. The app allows teachers to guide students through an exploration of 200 (and growing) historical sites and natural resources in an immersive, three-dimensional experience. The app only works on Android devices and is free.
Flippity This app works in conjunction with Google Sheets and allows teachers to easily make a Jeopardy-style game.
Google Science Journal This Android app allows users to do science experiments with mobile phones. Students can use sensors in the phone or connect external sensors to collect data, but can also take notes on observations, analyze and annotate within the app.
Google Cast This simple app solves issues of disparate devices in the classroom. When students download the app, they can project from their devices onto the screen at the front of the room easily. “You don’t have to have specific hardware, you just have to have Wi-Fi,”
Constitute This site hosts a database of constitutions from around the world. Anything digitally available has been aggregated here. It is searchable by topic and will pull out specific excerpts related to search terms like “freedom of speech.”
YouTube a database of YouTube Channels by subject to help educators with discoverability (hint subjects are by tab along the bottom of the document).
Zygote Body This freemium tool has a lot of functionality in the free version, allowing students to view different parts of human anatomy and dig into how various body systems work.
Pixlr This app has less power than Photoshop, but is free and fairly sophisticated. It works directly with Google accounts, so students can store files there.
uild With Chrome This extension to the Chrome browser lets kids play with digital blocks like Legos. Based on the computer’s IP address, the software assigns users a plot of land on which to build nearby. There’s a Build Academy to learn how to use the various tools within the program, but then students can make whatever they want.
Google CS First Built on Scratch’s programming language, this easy tool gives step-by-step instructions to get started and is great for the hesitant teacher who is just beginning to dip a toe into coding.