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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Google Cardboard - VR

Ever since Google Expeditions came to our school last January I have been searching for ways to purchase a classroom set of glasses. ALL of our teachers loved them and thought it would make learning so much fun for our students. Finally I saw that classroom sets are for sale at Best Buy but for $10,000! I was having second thoughts....

Sometime in the Fall iOS offered the Google Expeditions app. It is AWESOME. You can become a guide with a Google log in. The students become followers as long as they are connected to the same wifi. I did not have small devices for Google Cardboard but I did have a class set of iPads. I decided to try it on those and see how it worked. I loved it! 
Since it went well with a class full of teachers we decided that it would be an extra part of Career Day. Google has several Career Expeditions (about 25!) The 8th grade students guided themselves through careers as a Park Ranger, a Social Worker, Radio Producer, Veterinarian, etc. They really enjoyed having the freedom to look at careers that they were interested in. I'm looking forward to using the iPads and Google Expeditions App in other classrooms as well!
Although it would be nice to have Google Cardboard, the iPads provide an easy way to offer a virtual tour. They do not let you fully immerse yourself in the picture but you can use your fingers to zoom in and out and navigate 360 degrees. Some people actually prefer the iPad to the glasses. You will have to decide what works for your class!