Mr. Microchip Dishes on VR: A Guest Post by @mrmicrochip90

Virtual Reality has finally hit the mainstream market, this tech that once only occupied the realms of science fiction is finally cheap enough to be accessible to consumers. One of the least expensive VR solutions is Google Cardboard, which is literally a piece of cardboard with some lenses attached to it. There is plenty of content to explore on the Cardboard platform, but the equipment needed for the creation of VR content has largely been cost prohibitive to the average VR Connoisseur.

Maxwell I know you touched on both the cardboard and the Theta 360 Cam but LG just came out with their own recently and it’s pretty sweet!

The LG 360 camera is priced at 200 bucks, its capable of capturing 2k 360 video that can be uploaded to YouTube and then viewed through Cardboard. The camera works with both android and iOS and couldn’t be easier to operate! Just hit record and the software handles the rest stitching the images captured by the dual lenses into an interactive 360 video.

What use does an educator have for such a device in the classroom?  Teachers can record their lectures and then upload it for a virtual classroom experience. Another use case for a 360 camera is capturing school plays and productions, so that family members that can’t be there physically can still watch the magic of a child’s first performance.

Have some of your own ideas for what VR in the classroom looks like? Book a flight over to Kansas City and check out the Virtual Reality Hackathon that is being put on by Oculus, the Pulse Design Group, and Google. This event is challenging developers to create Virtual/ Augmented Reality experiences that can benefit educators and students.

Below are the links for the LG 360 Cam and the event being held in Kansas

http://www.lg.com/us/lg-friends/lg-LGR105.AVRZTS-360-cam

https://youtu.be/9tvg3_BydDs?list=PLsIdAtesSJZ4IduY2Vn9lct05sS9nKsEG

http://www.startlandnews.com/2016/07/virtual-reality-hackathon-visualize-next-generation-ed-tech-tools/

 

 


Make sure check out @mrmicrochip90 HERE and on his blog Teaching with Microchips

VR Field trips!

 

I have written a bit about VR in the past HERE, but I wanted to quickly touch on another feature of VR.  Field Trips.

To be honest, the idea of a digital field trip sounds fairly lame at first.  Why not just huddle into a bus and drive down to the farm to learn about where eggs come from?  Good point!  And for that field trip I would most definitely recommend skipping the VR experience and getting the bus ready.  But what about when you want to take your students to explore the coral reefs, or Machu Picchu, or Antarctica, or how about THE SURFACE OF MARS!  I can’t be certain, but I am fairly sure the bus won’t get you to these locations (unless of course you happen to be Ms. Frizzle).  Situations like this are where Google Cardboard comes into play.  Being able to virtually visit a location, explore that location, and receive updated information and facts creates an interactive and memorable learning space.  These virtual experience, while not as potent as visiting the location, help lift the information from pages and into our senses.

Google has put together a project called Expeditions Pioneer that helps teachers create full field trip experiences, including roles such as a guide and student.

Another amazing thing about Google Cardboard: as long as you already have a smart phone, the rest of the device is as cheap as 15 bucks!  These can go up to $120, but the $15 work just as well.  I personally have the device by Viewmaster (roughly $30) and I like it a lot.

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