This week I had the chance to lead a virtual reality lesson with a group of second graders. It was absolutely amazing to see the students spinning around and looking side-to-side as they explored the top of a mountain and the bottom of the ocean. On this 360 Thursday I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite resources for virtual reality in education. Whether you’re totally new to this concept or looking for new educational VR apps to add to your toolkit, there are lots to choose from!
Don’t worry, I’ll tell the whole story of my second grade virtual reality exploration in a June post (sign up here to get it in your inbox). And if you want an e-Book for summer reading you can grab my free getting started guide for virtual reality in education by clicking here.
The list below includes virtual reality apps for mobile devices and websites that give you quick access to virtual reality videos for your classroom. Of course, having a headset like the low-cost Google Cardboard is great but most of these virtual reality in the classroom resources work on web-browsers too. If you have a favorite you think I should add to the list, make sure to leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
15 Fantastic Virtual Reality in Education Resources
YouTube 360 Videos
Over the past few weeks I’ve spotlighted some of my favorite 360 video resources on YouTube. What’s great about this tool is that you can see videos from lots of providers all in one place. Many of the YouTube users who post 360 videos are part of larger organizations you’re already familiar with. At the bottom of this post I include some favorites.
This includes The Telegraph which is great for virtual field trips to London or to see news stories brought to life. You can learn more about all of their videos and see some of my favorites by clicking here. I love the Tour of London video that gives students a view of this notable space.
Extreme Field Trips
The image collection from LIFE magazine is fantastic. When I heard they are now sharing 360 videos I was super excited to check out their virtual reality content. You can take students on an extreme field trip to Mount Everest and learn more about a trek in their thoughtfully created videos.
Nearpod is absolute favorite tool for the classroom (I explain why here) and I love their virtual reality field trips. In this post I’ve spotlighted seven of my favorite lessons. These lessons are awesome for K-12 students and cover a range of subject areas.
The folks at Parks Explorer have created a mobile app that lets students navigate through various national parks. If you get my free newsletter you probably know how much I love snapping pictures and capturing 360 video in different outside spots. This app is updating all the time so you’ll want to check out what they currently have in store for viewers.
Although I’ve taken students to field trips to the Museum of Natural History here in New York City, even this video takes it to the next level. Hosted on Vimeo, another great platform for viewing media, I love what their team has created. It’s definitely worth checking out!
I love how virtual reality can change the way we think about current events. Reading about a place is powerful but spinning around to see it from all angles is a totally new experience. CNN has an archive of virtual reality videos for students and teachers to explore. I share some of my favorites on this list.
Everyday the New York Times continues to add impressive content to their virtual reality library! Connected to current events or telling a lost story, it’s powerful and well produced. I give an overview of the tool here and you can see their latest content on their homepage.
In a few posts this year on my Facebook page I’ve shared how excited I am about capturing 360 video with my new Insta360 camera. It is so easy to use and I’ve taken it with me to conferences and school visits all over the place. If you want to make your own virtual reality videos make sure to check out this camera.
Ready to make your own virtual reality headsets for the classroom? Here’s my guide to printing your very own viewfinder with a 3D printer. Of course, getting your students to design their own with a tool like Tinkercad is a fantastic problem solving activity.
A Few More
Here are a few more virtual reality in education resources to check out:
- 360 Video Education Spotlight: BBC on YouTube
- CoSpaces Virtual Reality Creator for Teachers and Students
- 360 Video Spotlight: National Geographic Videos for Your Next Lesson
- Virtual Reality College Tours with YouVisit
- Virtual Reality Discovery Channel App – Virtual Field Trips for iOS & Google
- 360 Video Education Spotlight: White House Virtual Field Trip
Virtual reality tools can transport your students to new places. You might use these resources to help students build background knowledge or strengthen their vocabulary around a new topic. The possibilities are endless, but remember… it’s so important to put tasks before apps. Make sure to identify your goals and use virtual reality to elevate the learning experience for students!
Getting Started with Virtual Reality in the Classroom!
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Best, Dr. Monica Burns - Founder of ClassTechTips.com