VR for schools

VR for schools

Although there is often talk of a “virtual world”, it is usually not as virtual as we are imagined. A 360 video is actually not virtual at all, it is just a performance that seems lifelike. It is as if you are in the middle of it as a viewer, often even in 3D with a sense of depth which increases the immersion even further.

Most topics of virtual reality apps are very close to reality, this applies to passive presentations that you experience and certainly also to interactive VR apps that challenge the user to get to work themselves. VR for schools will play an increasing role in the coming years, so be prepared for this new reality.

Difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

With terms such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and even Mixed Reality, it is not always clear what it is about. That’s okay, even experts can’t agree where the line is. Put very simply, VR stands for a completely virtual world around you where the actual environment is no longer visible.

We speak of AR for objects that are projected for our normal vision, sometimes seamlessly integrated with the environment. Mixed Reality is a mixed bag of techniques and products where the definition is subject to considerable interpretation.

Because virtual reality came onto the market earlier, the development here is also a lot further, which is certainly an advantage for schools at VR.

Get started with virtual reality

Watching a 360 video can have a big impact on a student, an interactive presentation such as a game or virtual tour takes you further into the virtual world. With productivity apps you can really inspire the students to create something new, which appeals enormously to the target group.

Take Oculus Quill or Google Tilt Brush for example, these are two VR drawing packages that let you draw in three dimensions. With the space around you as a canvas everything is possible, besides a creative expression it is also a good exercise in spatial thinking.

Oculus Medium is even a 3D modeling package, a virtual pot with clay that offers the student unlimited possibilities.

Free VR for schools

The main disadvantage that inhibits the use of VR in schools is the price of hardware and software. An Oculus Rift or HTC Vive including PC quickly costs several thousand euros including a handful of software packages to use in the classroom. In addition, the teacher must first follow a course to use this equipment.

Fortunately, there are many cheaper ways to introduce teaching virtual reality in the classroom. For example, there are cardboard smartphone holders that transform a mobile phone into VR glasses.

Quite a lot of free apps can also be downloaded where the quality sometimes leaves to be desired. Among the cheaper options, the 360 ​​videos in particular are worth the effort. You can view it for free on YouTube.

Affordable VR for schools

There is another option between free and (relatively) expensive and those are the all-in-one VR glasses. These are very simply put smartphones in a holder, but without telephone functionality. These devices offer an excellent price / quality ratio, although there are differences.

For 100 to 1000 euros you have the Chinese import gadgets with limited functionality and lifespan, from around 250 euros you can spend a lot more pleasantly in virtual reality with an Oculus GO. The Oculus Quest offers around 500 euros a fully spatial and yet wireless experience.

The Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR are cheap if you already have a suitable smartphone. The software for the portable VR glasses often costs just a few euros or can even be used completely free of charge.