It has been so exciting to see the way virtual reality apps are making their way into K-12 classrooms. They give students a new way to interact with information and Thinglink’s virtual reality app is a great example of this technology in action. One of the reasons I particularly like this tool is how it works with and without a VR headset. This means it’s easy to get started without an additional investment in a set of Google Cardboard.
UPDATE: This app is now called Teleport 360.
There are a handful of great virtual reality apps that I’ve profiled this year including Discovery Channel VR and New York Times VR as well as the VR lessons from Nearpod. I’ve been a fan of Thinglink for awhile and I often share it when leading sessions with teachers looking to make the most of the devices at their school. It’s one of my favorite tools because it let’s students create interactive products that demonstrate their understanding of a topic. In addition to being a great platform for creating something for an authentic audience, it’s also iPad, Android and Chromebook friendly.
- Introduce ecosystems: Students can check out the animals that live in different spaces and places including the tundra and deciduous forests. Students can list some of things that they find as they move around each biome.
- Promote curiosity: Before kicking off a lesson on ecosystems let students spin and tap on the screen to develop questions for a KWL chart. As they move through each environment have your class periodically pause for a stop and jot or turn and talk to share their questions.
- Inspire student creations: Students can use Thinglink to create their own interactive images. Use the Thinglink VR app to help students understand how adding content to a picture can teach others about a topic.
- Explore the outdoors: Taking students on a field trip to more than one biome is a challenge for most teachers. This app can take students around the world to spark discussions, build background knowledge and make text-to-world connections.
Check out the Thinglink Virtual Reality app on the Apple App store. If you’ve tried this app in your classroom or have a great VR story, share in the comments below!
Check out this Google Cardboard for under $10.
Getting Started with Virtual Reality in the Classroom!
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Best, Dr. Monica Burns - Founder of ClassTechTips.com