Wednesday, June 27, 2018

TECH TOOLS: 5 EASY WAYS TO INTEGRATE AUGMENTED & VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE CLASSROOM




AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are unique ways for students to learn and access information. As this technology is becoming increasingly popular, students need to learn how to use these types of outputs and comprehend the information. Let's explore ways that you can easily integrate these tools into your instruction.



What is the difference between Augmented and Virtual Reality?




Augmented Reality = Computer-images added and shown in your real world
Example: Snapchat Filters

Virtual RealityComputer environment that creates a realistic experience that makes you feel like you are in a different place
Example: Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Goggles w/ use of a VR app 








Now that you know the difference between the two, let's explore the different ways that you can get started to use them!



#1- Build Background Knowledge

Before diving into a new topic, it’s important to activate and build students’ background knowledge to increase their engagement. You probably have your go-to’s like I do: Brainpop, Discovery Education video clips or various books.




With the use of an AR/VR app, you can create an almost 3D experience for students to grasp on to and support the work you are about to do in your class. Want all kids to explore the inside of the alarm clock before diving into a telling time lesson? Well, you definitely can with specific AR apps, like JIG. (And you don’t have to go out and find 30 alarm clocks either!)


#2- Learn problem solving through a new tool

Technology is always, and will be changing. I am a huge believer in that no matter what tech tool students are introduced to, they need to be able to logically problem solve how to use it and what to do when a problem arises. {I even created an anchor chart for students to refer to when solving these problems that you can download for yourself here.


Since new AR & VR apps are being constantly created and updated, there are bound to be glitches. This is a great opportunity for students to attack these issues and learn how to adapt to them.



#3-Collaboration

When we had Google Expeditions come pilot their app at our school, my students had a “hands-on” experience about landforms that brought so much excitement!




Google brought in the devices, but students had to work in pairs while sharing one device. As a class, we had a few guidelines that we ALL needed to follow. Then, each group came up with their own set of rules for taking turns and for viewing the scenes.

While I didn’t formally didn’t asses collaboration during this task, this could have been a great opportunity to do so!


#4- Research

Finding information is very easy to do in today’s world. Have you ever thought of using AR & VR as another resource to gain information?


I found these VR headsets at Walmart for $5! Of course, I bought one in my favorite color. 

While there are many playful apps that can be useful when utilizing a makerspace, there are also many nonfiction apps that can be helpful as well. DISCOVERY VR and GOOGLE CARDBOARD have many real-life, 360* that can make fact finding exciting.



#5- In-House Field Trips

Field trips can be expensive and a lot of work for the teacher! But they don’t have to be with the use of GOOGLE EXPEDITIONS. Pick a destination you want your class to “go-to”, be the tour guide and have kids connect to your expedition. Now you are in control how long students can be in each section and can pause all their devices at any time.



No need to worry about collecting money, scheduling buses and weather. Bring the field trip to you!

Integrating AR & VR in your classroom doesn’t have to be scary! Trying these tools in your classroom will bring a whole other level of engagement that you and your students will love.



With the use of any of these apps, I created differentiated response sheets for your students to reflect on after exploring. Place these in page protectors and use them over and over again!




Let me know how this all goes in your classroom! 

Stay MARVELOUS!






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