As both augmented and virtual reality become more accessible on ordinary devices, Donally hopes more educators will explore the potential of these tools. Augmented reality (AR) layers and enhances reality. Think using your phone camera to translate a foreign language. Virtual reality (VR) creates its own reality that is disconnected from the real world. It’s possible to use VR, such as a 360-degree view on a phone, without using a headset.
For use in a classroom, Donally recommends setting clear goals and objectives and leveraging whatever technology is already available. One of her favorite activities requires using only one headset for an entire class. The activity uses 3D Creation to play a Pictionary game for math where students build an object in space. It's hard for many students to visualize a 3D object by drawing it on paper. In this case, technology helps students deepen their understanding.
“This is an example of an activity that doesn’t just capture attention or content but bridges gaps we have in the classroom that would be impossible without this technology,” Donally says.
While AR and VR are changing quickly, Donally recommends the resources below for use in the classroom.
Donally calls this “one of the most curriculum-rich AR/VR resources for early elementary students.” The AR and VR books let students interact with activities and come with worksheets and a curriculum that help educators align with content standards.
The kit asks kids to solve a problem by following AR instructions to build a real item. “While the written content will require teacher support, the guided visuals and immersive technology experience support our youngest learners to make powerful connections with the learning objective,” says Donally.
Nearpod is one of education’s most popular platforms for formative assessments. Interactive slides and videos let The free-for-teachers VR-based curriculum can be used on students' devices, in-person or virtually, and for front-of-classroom instruction.
This platform lets students or teachers create and describe a VR field trip or virtual tour using resources from the site. The experiences are available in a full-screen mode that doesn’t require a headset.
Jennifer Snelling enjoys talking to and writing about educators doing amazing work with technology in classrooms. Follow her @JdsnellJennifer. This is an updated version of an article that was published on January 4, 2017.