More and more virtual reality products are coming onto the market. From professional VR sets with all the trimmings, to simple games that you can play with a telephone. VR teaching is one of the most popular categories in the various app stores. What is the situation with regard to VR teaching in 2019, and what solutions will we see in the classroom in 2019?

History of VR for young people
After the introduction of the Google Cardboard in 2014, and then the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in 2016, the development of virtual reality went fast. Yet it started much earlier, Nintendo came in 1994 with the infamous Virtual Boy. These were VR headsets with primitive images that gave the youth more headache than pleasure.

Sega already announced in 1991 that they were working on a virtual reality expansion for the Sega Genesis / Megadrive, but it never got any further than an unconvincing product presentation in 1993. It would take until 2014 before low-threshold VR really became popular.

That success was partly due to the Google Cardboard, a cardboard smartphone holder. Although this system can still be used for various applications, in 2019 there are still a number of very interesting possibilities with VR for teaching. Here is our top 5 for 2019:

  1. Oculus Go

Not everyone saw the future of Oculus VR as bright as Facebook took over this startup. But with an average of new VR headsets every year, they are becoming the number one position in the virtual reality sector. Although a Facebook account offers benefits, it is not necessary to use the Oculus VR glasses. In VR education where minors use the applications, they will consider their privacy.  

The Oculus Go is the simplest product in the VR headsets line, and at the same time also the best entry-level VR headset for teaching. The student does not have to walk, turning is enough. It is a wireless system, an external PC is not required.

  1. Nintendo Labo VR

Nintendo has always said that they will not longer be interested in virtual reality, after the Virtual Boy’s failure in recent years.  In 2019 the roles are reversed and Nintendo still follow this trend.

The Nintendo Labo VR kit makes the Switch game console a formidable candidate for VR teaching. Labo is a set of cardboard building kits that you use to turn the game computer into mechanical objects.

The VR kit transforms the screen into VR headsets, the controller makes it possible to draw, shoot or take pictures of fish in the sea. The frog spring game is equipped with a “wind machine”, so that you feel the wind in your face with every jump. Because Lab VR must be held, it is suitable for a younger target group in VR teaching. 

  1. Sony PSVR

In addition to Nintendo, there is also a virtual reality solution called PSVR for the competitor PlayStation. A unique “pass and play” option makes it possible to play the same game with a group. In addition, one player will put on the VR headset, while other players watch on a television screen.

The VR player is opposed to the other players, so the team can “fight” against a monster on television. The VR player is itself the monster in a virtual environment.  These types of games with collaboration between multiple players makes the PSVR suitable for VR teaching. In addition, teaching VR apps with 360 video presentations can also be downloaded.

  1. TeachVR

This is a VR platform from the Netherlands that makes it possible to use and create teaching virtual reality programs yourself. It is a protected environment that is separate from the regular applications and games, which makes it very suitable in terms of VR for teaching.

Because teachers can design new content themselves, it is possible to create customized solutions for the students. These modules can then be shared with the entire network if desired. In contrast to the other solutions, this platform has been specifically developed for teaching.

  1. Google Expeditions

We have already mentioned the Google Cardboard before, that was the “hardware”. Google Expeditions is an application that makes it possible to make virtual journeys with a large group of students. Every student uses a simple smartphone holder, optionally supplied with the necessary VR hardware.

The teacher can act as a group leader and give the children a virtual tour through a museum, a park or even over the seabed. The app is free to use, Google optionally also provides the hardware to give group lessons.

VR for teaching will expand further in 2019, with user-friendly solutions suitable for younger users in teaching environment.