Has anyone tried Google Cardboard yet? I love how it is making VR experiences available for everyone, especially cash strapped educators. Virtual reality is really in its infancy, but the availability of VR tools, like the cheap paper goggles offered by Google and the apps that utilize its simple concept, make it easy for a generation of VR experts to emerge. Plus, it gives classroom teachers the chance to develop some interesting activities.
I have written about some other panoramic experiences and have had a generic version of Google Cardboard headset for about a year, but I recently came across a cool website called Virtual Norge that inspired me to look closer at the educational possibilities of VR and panoramic photo creation. Virtual Norge brings some interesting landscapes, locales, and interiors to life with flawless 360º views. Many have a setting that allows it to be viewed with a VR headset and smartphone. Brush up on your Norwegian and explore some amazing panoramas while inspiring your students. It’s a win-win.
But how are your students going to create their own VR tours? Luckily, it is getting easier and easier each day. There are a bevy of smartphone apps that can easily be searched. Each offer interesting possibilities. The one that interests me the most, however, is the Google Street View app. Students (or anyone, of course) can take 360º photos (don’t forget above and below as well) and render them for use with a VR headset. Janice Mak gives instructions and explores some of the educational possibilities of these cool tools. Please comment on your own experiences with this emerging technology.