Thinking of how to get your students scheduled for a school trip to the Smithsonian to see some old airplanes or some of the sculptures of Sacajawea, why not go ahead and just show them what it feels like to fly in an old airplane or show them the old forests and rapids Sacajawea and Clark climbed in their expedition. Save some money on the Smithsonian trip (sorry, Smithsonian and it can be expensive for students who are far away) and do it all from the ease and comfort of the classroom with Google Cardboard vr.
The benefit of technology is that it helps us to achieve things and go places that would previously have been wishful thinking, and with all the ease of relaxing back in your chair and only the cost of a WiFi subscription. I mean, a decade ago 3-D and virtual reality would have been something restricted only to anime and sci-fi movies starring Tom Cruise.
With the Google cardboard, you have an easy and affordable virtual reality tool to go anywhere and see almost anything, in a completely immersive 3-D experience that is an absolute benefit for any school teacher looking to save on a school trip and then some.
What is Google Cardboard?
The Google Cardboard is the VR headset from Google built from basic cardboard or plastic that immerses a viewer in a video or gives them a 360-degree view of an image in complete 3-D. The technology behind the Google Cardboard, while being revolutionary is so simple to use, it is amazing.
How the Google Cardboard works is to pair with your basic Android smartphone, though you can still use it with iOS devices, using the Google Cardboard app which you can get easily from Play Store. And then, you simply fix your smartphone into the slot in the Cardboard and your virtual reality lenses are ready to use. What makes the device truly inexpensive is that you can simply insert your smartphone into the cardboard and use; there is no need for some expensive ultra modern thingamajig plugged into the headset. The only technology needed is already on your smartphone.
So, why use google cardboard vr in a school classroom?
Well, apart from the reasons already listed about its ability to be completely immersive and serve as a revolutionary learning tool, it is really cool!
Here are some ideas on stuff you can do with the Google Cardboard in the classroom.
Educational YouTube videos
Not exactly a phrase I ever thought I would write out without laughing, until I started writing and teaching about VR educational technology, but there are some educational YouTube videos out there that would be especially beneficial for your students, and they come in 360 3D for that truly immersive experience.
Explore famous places
Remember the example I gave with the Smithsonian at the beginning of this article? Well, you can visit ruins in Egypt, temples in Kathmandu or Jerusalem right from your classroom using the Google Cardboard. All you need to do is search for the videos in the Google cardboard app if available or simply pull out the coordinates using your Google map and you’re gold.
Street views of famous cities
Talking about Paris in a literature class, you can take your kids there without having to worry about a plane fare. Simply using your Google map, open street view and be transported instantly to the location of your choice with google cardboard vr.
Biology takes on a whole new level
Imagine not having to draw a bunch of cells all the time to explain how immunity works, when you can load up a video and take your students through the process of development from pluripotent cells all the way to antibodies in a totally immersive experience! Awesome right? Guess who is also a teacher of the year?
Visualize and tell stories
Not only can you view already recorded videos with Google cardboard, you can also make yours. Take 360-degree photos with the cardboard lenses and test your students on their abilities to write expository essays of their environments. You can also attend that Smithsonian trip alone and come share the pictures with your students and have them experience it all with you.
Partake in a video tour of a famous site
There are several hundred heritage sites all over the world. Imagine being able to visit them without having to pay all of those flight tickets (not to talk of the visas)? You can download an app that takes you on a guided tour of these sites without having to leave your class.
Encourage their creativity
Get the students to make their own videos of the class or school and then share with the other students while writing short essays on what they saw, learned or experienced.
All work and no play, right? There are tons of games you can play with the Google Cardboard. You can use this to build their interaction with the platform and help them become more familiar with using it.
Visit Mount Everest
Who says you have to start at the bottom to see the peaks of Everest in all their glory? With your Google cardboard vr, you can view them in real time!
Go to Mars!
There are practically a ton of VR field trips available for students who want to explore Mars and some other parts of the solar system. What is a more interesting way to start a geography class than an actual visit to Mars? These are just a few fun ideas and activities that you can do at your school or in your classroom with the Google Cardboard.
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