Virtual reality has moved into the classroom, with a host of online resources to allow students to watch 360-degree videos. Young people can search YouTube for these navigable videos and even use a Google Cardboard for a true virtual reality experience.
So how can students create their own virtual reality experiences? Recently I had the opportunity to visit Unarthodox, a special space in New York City that hosts classes designed to promote creativity and self-expression. One of their newest classes focuses on virtual reality and gives participants a chance to create their own videos. I had the chance to ask the folks at Unarthodox a few questions about how to create virtual reality videos.
For our introductory class, we use an entry-level camera. Specifically, the Ricoh Theta S, which shoots 360 degree video at 1080p.
YouTube is definitely a very accessible way to watch 360 videos; however, recent changes to iOS mean that iPhone users are locked out of 360 videos and have to download a separate app. We’re also exploring sharing and viewing through Facebook, but it’s still very early to call any one option the “best.” Everyone wants to be the “Netflix of VR,” but as we’ve seen with the revolution of Hulu, Vimeo, Netflix, Amazon, etc., people will ultimately go wherever the best content is.
With any new platform and technological evolution, there’s a growth in excitement, which translates to motivation. Children are naturally intrinsically motivated, and if you increase the amount of options they have to express themselves and lower the barriers to do so, they’re more likely to accumulate whatever skills they need to create their vision, including literacy skills.
Virtual reality is an exciting tool that can connect to your curriculum. If you’ve tried using VR in your classroom, share your experiences below!
Monica Burns is an Author, Speaker, EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.
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