Technology @ High Point, vol. 23

Tech for teaching and learning in our new space

Fill Your Toolbox!

Well-implemented technology gives classroom staff loads of tools for teaching students with a broad range of learning styles. The time investment in learning new technology will make teaching easier and assist students in advocating for their life-long learning. This newsletter PD is intended to help you learn new technologies at High Point a little bit at a time, slowly filling up your teaching toolbox throughout this chaotic school year.

This Week's Tech Feature:

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Meta Quest 2

The Meta Quest 2 is a complex technology, so we won't be covering this device in detail in this newsletter, but this should give you an idea of what this technology can do for students. High Point has 2 Meta Quest 2 virtual reality (VR) headsets. You may know the name Oculus Quest 2, their former name before Meta decided to drop the name Oculus.


These headsets allow the user to be fully immersed in a virtual world. The user can see the world in the goggles and they are able to move about in the world by moving their body. They can hear audio through the headset and they can touch and move items and feel haptic feedback through the 2 controllers. There is a library of games and programs that can be used with the Quest. Some are free and some are at a cost. We do have a budget to purchase these programs, but the purchasing procedure has not been determined yet.... coming soon!


Other school programs have had success with these VR goggles with using calming apps to help students regulate their emotions. Some students benefit from creative activities like painting in 3D. I am also interested in using the VR goggles with Google Maps to allow students to "see" places in the goggles in preparation for visiting them in real life. For example, a student could move between their house and the bus stop to experience the route before doing it for real. This should not be used as a substitute for real community trips but just as preparation or practice before the trip, a way to alleviate anxiety about a change in routine.

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Who is it for?

The Quest should only be used with students 13 years old and older. This is a recommendation by Meta. Younger children have bodies that don't work well with VR goggles. Their eyes are closer together and will not fit the headset well. Their still-developing eyes can be strained while using the device and it could affect their long-term vision.


These VR goggles should not be used with students who have a history of seizures triggered by looking at screens as the VR goggles can trigger the same seizures.


VR should only be used by students who are able to understand simple directions. When using the headset, the user is not able to see anything in their physical environment, so they need to follow directions to "stop walking" or "turn around" so they don't get injured by tripping over or running into items. Students will also need to follow directions within the game.


Always start use of VR slowly with students. Their first session should be no longer than 15 minutes. Monitor them for nausea and headaches. Help them remember that the virtual world is not real life.

Setup Instructions

Place the wrist straps on the controllers around the student's wrists and secure them with the clasps. The controllers can hang from their wrists while they put on the headset. Place the headset on their head and adjust the straps until they are comfortable. The lenses can also be moved left or right to help with focusing the image in the headset. There is a proximity sensor inside the headset that will detect if the headset is taken off and it will turn the headset screen off. It will turn back on when placed back on the student's head.


The power button is a long oval button on the right side of the headset. Press to power on and press and hold to power off and follow the directions on the screen in the headset.


The Quest will guide you to setup a Guardian, which is a virtual "fence" that you will play within. You will be able to select an area that keeps you from running into obstacles in your space. Every time the Quest is powered off and back on, a new Guardian will need to be set.

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Volume can be adjusted using the buttons on the bottom of the headset.


You can cast from the headset to an iPad using the Oculus app. Both devices will need to be on the same wireless network.


We have 2 Quests at High Point. Both headsets can be used at the same time to interact together with some apps. Users will see each other in their headset.


Here are some apps that might be useful to your students:

First Steps- START HERE! Take your first steps in VR and get to know your controllers in this short experience that showcases the power of Quest. A great first app to learn about the immersive potential of virtual reality and learn to use the controllers.

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Wander- Uses Google Street View to allow you to navigate anywhere in the world and see it from street view. Students can view their house or any location they'd like. Many locations are available to view over time so you can see changes. This app allows multiple people to participate at once, so 2 people could travel in the virtual world together. A teacher could guide a student where to go in the environment.

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Tilt Brush-Paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Unleash your creativity with three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light and even fire. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination.

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Ocean Rift- Explore a vivid underwater world full of life including dolphins, sharks, turtles, sea snakes, rays, whales, manatees, sea lions and even prehistoric animals! Swim around each of the 14 habitats using innovative motion controls. Activate the education mode to learn more about the animals you come across. There are over 40 fully narrated information points to discover.

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Nature Treks VR- Explore tropical beaches, underwater oceans and even take to the stars. Discover over 20 different animals. Command the weather, take control of the night or shape your own world. Immerse yourself into the Nature Treks VR experience and escape into a world of relaxation. Each environment has been carefully crafted to influence specific emotional states.

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If you want to try this tech and want help, please contact Jamie Mayo. If you are interested in being the contact person for the Quest, please talk with Jamie, too.

Maintenance

When packing the Quest up, be careful they are not positioned in a way that the lenses can get scratched.


The VR goggles can be cleaned with non-bleach Clorox Wipes on most surfaces. Do not use them on the lenses. Allow the cleaner to dry completely between users to avoid irritation on skin. Lenses can be cleaned with a microfiber cloth as needed.


Charge the VR goggles before each use. To charge from 0 to 100% will take about 2 hours. Headset batteries will last about 3 hours on one charge. Each hand controller requires 1 AA battery. These batteries last quite a long time. You shouldn't need to change these batteries often.

Ideas for Using This Tech in the Classroom