Jaime Donally
5 ways to move from experience to creation in AR, VR

When jumping into new technology, we all start with an experience. Whether it’s watching a beating heart in augmented reality or jumping out of a plane in virtual reality, we feel the thrill of immersive technology taking our breath away. While the “wow factor” is exhilarating, our students need much more than a temporary feeling. Our classrooms aren’t full of users; they’re full of creators!

Don’t be fooled by the student who can go on a hundred virtual field trips with a smile on her face. She may seem willing and interested to participate in the lesson that’s somewhat untraditional, but watching is not nearly as exciting as actually creating the experience.

Our classrooms are full of students who are eager to share what they know. Why not let your students build their own field trips?

If you’re new to augmented and virtual reality, you’re not alone. The experience you’ve had with this technology was likely created by a professional developer. And while these encounters are essential to understanding how to create our own custom adventures, we need to move our students from experiencing to creating AR and VR.

Here are five creation tools your students can use to begin using AR and VR today.

  1. Google Street View app. Have you ever wanted your students to share where they went over the holiday break? Pictures or videos can give you a small window inside their world, but what if you could stand in their space? Using the Google Street View app, students can capture their own 360-degree images and publish their content in Google Maps. Using the capture tool, students can take photos from every direction around them, and Google Street View stitches the pictures together to make a 360-degree view. The best part of the Street View app is having access to all your 360 images in your camera roll, making it easy to use them in other applications.

  2. CoSpaces app. Designing your own VR world has never been easier. Drag and drop 3D objects into the space using your 360 images as the environment, and view them in VR mode. Then, bring the learning to the next level using Blockly to animate the objects in your scene. Get ready to be wowed by your students as you give them an opportunity to show what they can create.

  3. Storyfab app. Let’s shift gears to creating augmented reality stories using the Storyfab app. Students record their stories in AR and save the video to their camera roll. The student becomes the producer, director, writer and costume designer, and can even join the cast as an actor.

  4. Catchy AR. Do your students love learning new vocabulary words or working on their spelling skills? Be amazed by this interactive new ARKit app. Students can create specific words with 3D letters that float around the room. As a former math teacher, I found great pleasure in the app’s connection to problem-solving, language development and physical activity. (Requires Apple iOS 11 + newer device.)

  5. Orb. Calling all builders! This new ARKit app uses augmented reality to develop maker skills. Students young and old can design and build spaces using 3D objects, such as spheres, cylinders and cones. Let your students develop their story in 3D. (Requires Apple iOS 11 + newer device.)

These are only a few of the classroom-creation apps using augmented and virtual reality. App stores are flooded with new ones every day. Subscribe to my site to get notified of new AR/VR tools in education and catch our #ARVRinEDU Twitter chat each Wednesday evening to build your PLN.

I can’t wait to see what our students create next!

Jaime Donally is a passionate technology enthusiast and author of the book Learning Transported: Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality for All Classrooms, coming in March She began her career as a math teacher and later moved into instructional technology.


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