I kind of get a chuckle over this because a few years back I was sitting down for a job interview and the very much older gentleman who was part of the interview board asked me where I thought educational technology was headed. My response was that we would see a shift towards more virtual learning experiences (i.e. virtual field trips and the implementation of virtual reality). Well he looked at me like I was bonkers and (shocker!) I didn't get the job.
Well, this morning I was perusing around the web and came upon the article below. Now, I about had a nerd attack back before Christmas when I saw that View Master was releasing their own Virtual Reality viewer. So, naturally I got one (errrr I mean the kids got one...yeah that sounds better). It is AMAZINGGGGGG!!! We opted to buy the Space experience pack and it is out of this world good (cheesy yes I know). You actually feel like you are on a Space Shuttle or exploring the planets. The graphics are dynamic in my opinion. And the coolest part is that you use your cell phone for the viewer and insert it into the VR case.
But I digress, back to where we started. In this article teachers are now using Google Cardboard (which is the google version of the VR Viewer see here) in the classroom to enhance and/or blow the top off of their teaching. Imagine students being able to experience in 3D rushing down the Amazon or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. The New York Times is featured in this article because they now have their own app. I tried it here at school but without my View Master it's not as cool. I will definitely be giving it a try once I get home. This is definitely something to check out for your classroom!
Virtual Reality App: Free VR Experience
So there is a huge learning curve with any new piece of equipment and Chromebooks are no exception. Several teachers have expressed some concerns about their new little friends, and I am slowly but surely trying to find answers to most of them. This video goes over how to gain access to PowerTeacher and YouTube. As you come across little tricks or tips I encourage you to share them either here or by email.
Hi! My name is Allison Barton, a former elementary school teacher turned Technology Integration Specialist at Greenville High School in Greenville, South Carolina. I have been teaching for 11 years and have relied on technology during that time to excite, engage, and educate my students (both young and old). I also enjoy very much sharing my knowledge about technology with other teachers.