Virtual Reality For The Classroom
Written by Guest Writer – Elizabeth Moran
UK based company Avantis released their all-in-one virtual reality headset in January 2017. Unlike other VR devices for the classroom, ClassVR has produced a headset with its own internal processor and front facing camera, eliminating the need to add your own mobile device.
Its open platform supports both augmented and virtual reality curriculum content and its other unique features really enable a collaborative approach to teaching and learning.
ClassVR immerses students in a spectacular 360 degree, multi-sensory environment that truly brings interactive learning to the classroom. The inclusive ClassVR Teacher Portal offers pedagogically sound virtual reality content, curriculum-linked activities and lesson plans. It is very easy to navigate and includes a ‘community’ library featuring uploaded content from users across the globe. As a teacher, I love that this platform gives both students and educators the opportunity to create, share and upload their own content.
From a laptop, teachers can control what their students are viewing, but there is an option for students to navigate their own VR experience by using simple ‘select’ gestures or pressing the buttons on the side of the device.
The online support from ClassVR is extremely comprehensive and they offer clear, accessible instructional guides that make the introduction of VR to your classroom a positive experience for all.
In addition, ClassVR is compatible with CoSpaces, an online platform that enables teachers and students to build their own 3D creations, animate them with code and then upload them to the ClassVR headsets to explore in both VR and AR. The process involves a ‘drag and drop’ action to move objects from the library to the project space and then animate them with various coding options.
CoSpaces has a free licence option but they also offer a Pro Package with amazing features and tools to create unique, interactive worlds. My own Code Club CoSpaces has a free licence option but they also offer a Pro Package with amazing features and tools to create unique, interactive worlds. My own
Code Club students have produced extraordinary projects and shared them as resources for use across all our year levels. They have also published their creations globally in the online CoSpaces gallery. It has been an incredibly empowering and engaging experience for these students and has inspired them to be not only content consumers but content creators.
Although the purchase of 16 ClassVR headsets was a significant investment for our school, the impact they have had on our students’ learning has made the decision a worthwhile one. A year on, the level of engagement from students and the sheer joy on their faces when they see the devices arriving in their classroom has not diminished in the slightest. I’d say that’s a pretty powerful indication of how ClassVR has enhanced the learning experience for every one of our students and I’m confident that they will continue to embrace and explore the many possibilities ahead.
“The only source of knowledge is experience”. – Albert Einstein