Tag Archives: vr

VR Tech Review: King Tut VR

While our reading teachers were enjoying nonfiction selections about the pyramids, we decided to have our students use the King Tut VR app.
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This app takes you into Tutankhamun’s tomb, gives you a view of not only the mask, but the hieroglyphics in the tomb. Narration gives students a chance to realize the meaning behind these symbols.

Visually, this app is pretty nice. Not as fancy as the Nearpod 360 views or Random 42, but it meets it’s purpose and it more polished that other cardboard apps. But the simplification of hieroglyphics make it easier to for the students to see.

This app steers you toward what it is talking about. The kids may not like this, but as an instructor I love that it keeps them on task.

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From a classroom management standpoint, this app made me nervous. The app is not as powerful without the narration. It is very hard to get students to start the app at the same time. The reading teacher and I made the decision to to let the students all listen to the narration at the same time (it was a little loud and chaotic). It went much better than expected. We polled the students on their opinions on it, and they thought it wasn’t overwhelming. They are very good about listening to the ground rules of VR, (butts stay in chairs, listening ears stay on, and be careful with the ipods). The calm narration and quiet background music makes it so this app works with a crowd, but that is not the case for every app. We are lucky to have students who understand that we are feeling out the boundries of this technology and give honest and respectful feedback.

An iPod issue that we learned was with the sleep feature. The iPods were set to sleep after 2 minutes of no interaction with the screen. When we tested it, it would have a black screen just as our teachers got excited about it. To save time, we had our first class to use the app go into settings and set it so it wouldn’t go to sleep.

For more information about the app: https://www.eonreality.com/portfolio-items/king-tut/

Tech Review: Cedar Point VR

Our science classes were studying force and motion, and were looking for something new to add to their lessons. We decided to try Cedar Point’s VR app that previews their roller coaster “The Valravn.”

roller-coaster

The kids loved it! We started by showing them what they would ride. We rode the ride and used information from the ride’s wikipedia page to calculate different aspects of force and motion.

For students (and librarians) who are prone to motion sickness, the google cardboard interface is not as disorienting as higher end models. The kids are good at knowing what works best for them, (to use glasses/not use glasses if they have vision issues or when to stop because it makes them dizzy)

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In other apps, students get distracted by bystanders. This app has you riding the roller coaster by yourself. You are able to see the scenery and enjoy the full experience.

My only complaint is that the ride doesn’t start you facing forward. It is already oriented to start a certain direction. The app starts by looking at the start button, and they don’t realize that they can look around. We adapted quickly, but I felt bad for the kids that were new to VR and didn’t look around.

VR App Review: Random 42

We were lucky enough to get a set of Virtual Reality Headsets and a set of ipods. Now that the ipods are imaged, we’ve begun our foray into education VR.

Our first lesson was an introduction to cells with a learning support science class using Random 42. Students watched the simulation, and we discussed what we saw.

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The Random 42 app is designed for medical professionals, so educators can only access the free demo, but the demo is visually stunning with excellent narration. The demo goes through several situations that are easy to connect to the PA Core standards (we talked about the fact that everything is made of cells, organelles, cells reproduction). We were able to have a great discussion on concepts that are abstract in a method that is concrete.

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From a technical standpoint, this app is not webbased, so it will work even if they wifi is being cranky. If you are going to start with a VR app, I would recommend this one because it is less likely to have technical issues and will wow students and teachers alike.

I understand that this is geared toward the medical community, but I hope that they will expand into education because they have such a solid, beautiful product.