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VR Apps for the Classroom

July 12, 2017

As promised, this is the third list of edtech apps that you can use in your classroom.  This week we will look at six VR apps; Solar System VR, Discovery VR, NYT VR, Sites in VR, YouVisit VR and Unimersiv.  While each app has a place in the classroom, it is important to remember that the apps should be used alongside other activities in order to enhance learning and the content, they should not replace it.  If you only have a few student devices and virtual reality headsets and not a class set, you could set up a station activity with have a few devices ready to play the app.  This is a great way to integrate VR (and AR) into the classroom, while also having other activities/stations that focus on reading, writing, analysis and discussions for students.

 

 

Below is an overview of each app, however, if you are interested in seeing them in action, you can enroll in our free AR/VR in Education course here.  You can also download this information as a PDF here.

 

 

Solar System VR

 

 

Cost: Free

Platform: Android, iOs

Creator: One Pixel Soft 

 

Pros

  • Immersive experience

  • No set up

  • Easy to understand and follow

 

Cons

  • Cannot pause the video

  • Planets are not introduced in order

Bottom Line

  • This is a great introductory VR video on the solar system for students

 

WHAT'S IT LIKE?

Solar System VR is a great app for students learning about the solar system.  Once you open the app, you will need to place your phone in a VR headset, plug in earphones if you wish, sit back, and relax.  Since the video plays as soon as you open the app, there is no set up, which makes it extremely accessible for even younger students.

 

IS IT GOOD FOR LEARNING?

Yes, although the app does not go in depth about each planet, it is a good introductory video for students.  There are only two  issues with the app is that could impact learning; 1 - that you cannot pause the video and 2 - that the planets are not introduced in order (starting with Mercury, moving out).

 

HOW CAN TEACHERS USE IT?

Teachers can use Solar System VR as an introductory video to the solar system.  It is a great way to give a brief overview of each planet, along with a visual representation of what each looks like.

 

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Discovery VR

 

Cost: Free

Platform: Android, iOs

Creator: Discovery

 

Pros

  • Immersive experience

  • Can change between normal and VR mode

  • Variety of videos

Cons

  • Files are large and you need a good connection to play

Bottom Line

  • If you are capable of playing the video without it buffering, it is a great resource.

 

 

WHAT'S IT LIKE?

Discovery VR is a great app for students to watch videos on a variety of topics in an immersive setting.  The videos are divided into “series,” with each series containing multiple videos.  

 

IS IT GOOD FOR LEARNING?

Yes, however, the video files are large, and unless you have a strong signal and connection, the video will buffer and pause quite often.   Being able to switch between VR and normal mode is a great option for students who do not want to wear the VR headset, but still use the app.

 

HOW CAN TEACHERS USE IT?

Teachers can use the videos as an introductory lesson to a topic, or they can create a station activity where a few devices are setup to play the video(s) as the students rotate through the stations.

 

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NYT VR

 

Cost: Free

Platform: Android, iOs

Creator: New York Times

 

Pros

  • Immersive experience

  • Can change between normal and VR mode

  • Variety of videos - new videos are always being added

Cons

  • Files are large and you need a good connection to play

Bottom Line

  • If you are capable of playing the video without it buffering, it is a great resource.

 

 

WHAT'S IT LIKE?

NYT VR is a great app for students to watch videos on a variety of topics in an immersive setting.  New videos are always being added, so no matter how many times you use the app, there is always something new.

 

IS IT GOOD FOR LEARNING?

Yes, however, the video files are large, and unless you have a strong signal and connection, the video will buffer and pause quite often.  However, you can download the video and then play it later if needed.  Being able to switch between VR and normal mode is a great option for students who do not want to wear the VR headset, but still use the app.   

 

HOW CAN TEACHERS USE IT?

Teachers can use the videos as an introductory lesson to a topic, or they can create a station activity where a few devices are setup to play the video(s) as the students rotate through the stations.  They can also have students complete current events projects/stay up to date on the news by watching one video every night or week.

 

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Sites in VR

 

Cost: Free

Platform: Android, iOs

Creator: Ercan GiGi