3 for Thursday

March 10, 2016

1. Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is an inexpensive way to experience virtual reality using a simple viewer that you can build or buy. Once you get everything folded into the right configuration (most kits come pre-folded and assembled) you slip your phone into the front of the viewer (usually held in place by velcro or rubber bands) and run an app designed to work with Cardboard. You can also buy viewers made from plastic or aluminum. First and third grade teachers got to experience Google Cardboard with the Jurassic VR app earlier this week. Currently I have one viewer (on loan from Mrs. Mashburn) and a variety of apps on my phone if you'd like to do some experimentation. Please note that there are instructions for building your own viewer in the first link-just click on "Find a Viewer" and scroll down.

2. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is similar to virtual reality but without the viewer. With AR, users continue to be in touch with the real world while interacting with virtual objects around them. With VR,in comparison, the user is isolated from the real world while immersed in a world that is completely fabricated. A great way to start exploring Augmented Reality is with the Quiver app. To use, you will need to download special color pages at quivervision.com, then use the app to watch your objects come to life. For creating your own Augmented Reality objects, check out an app called Aurasma.

3. Learn More

Check out Kathy Schrock's Guide to Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Classroom to learn more and get ideas for incorporating into an educational setting. Then take a look at this page for additional app suggestions for use with Augmented Reality.

If you decide to build/buy your own Cardboard, explore some of the free apps below for their potential value in the classroom:

  • Google Cardboard: One of the most famous, Google’s app helps set the Cardboard hardware up and then offers some VR experiences to get you started as well. Download it from here.
  • Google Street View: It’s Street View, but in virtual reality. What’s not to like here? Nothing, that’s what! You can download this app from here.
  • Google Spotlight Stories: Created by critically-acclaimed filmmakers, these movies live in a 360-degree world and are truly immersive. Google Spotlight Stories app can be downloaded from App Store.
  • Discovery VR: Explore the world from the comfort of your own chair by using Discovery VR and the magical world of technology. Download from here.
  • VR Cities: Explore some of the world’s greatest cities without having to ever catch a plane or lose your luggage. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Download VR Cities from here.

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About 3 for Thursday

Tech tips and timely topics presented for the teachers of Mashburn Elementary (and anyone they'd like to share with.) At Mashburn Elementary, Our Mission is developing deep levels of Relationships, Engagement, and Rigor.