Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies

| By Rinat Levy-Cohen

 

Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) are changing education. Both tools have the potential to create immersive learning experiences and allow for deep engagement. They also promote exploration and a hands-on approach that aids in learning and retention. In addition, VR and AR help with understanding complex concepts.  

Using Google Cardboard you can adopt VR into your classroom very easily. Google Cardboard is a simple cardboard box into which you insert a smartphone. For the virtual or augmented experience you need to download apps to your smartphone that have the content you want to teach. Here are some of the latest VR and AR tools available for classroom use.

Virtuali-Tee

Virtuali-Tee takes students on an augmented and virtual journey into the human body. The app requires one student to wear a specially-made T-shirt while another student uses a smartphone to see a map of various internal body parts like the lungs, virtually on the shirt. The T-shirt can be purchased on Curiscope for $29.99 and the app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.   

TimeLooper

TimeLooper uses augmented and virtual technologies to take you back in time. With this app your students will virtually relive historical events that took place all over the world. Your students will be able to see the sites as they are today as well as see why the events that those locations to become iconic. You can use this app with Google Cardboard for a virtual experience. For an augmented experience, while visiting one of the sites, you can simply align a smartphone against your surroundings to see the different time periods. TimeLooper currently has augmented experiences London, New York, Washington DC, Budapest, Berlin and İzmir. In New York, for example, you can take your students to Ellis Island to experience a Polish family’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play.  

Woofbert

Take your students on a virtual trip to an art gallery. Woofbert gives virtual tours of museums’ art collections and cultural sites all over the world. Their VR collections are aligned with art history curriculum. Users can tour galleries and listen to narrations about the art they see.

Unimersiv

This app includes a large collection of educational VR experiences. You students can learn about the human brain, dinosaurs, and space. You will find educational content for all age groups. You can download the app from Google Play.  

Lithodomos VR  

Lithodomos VR reconstructed Jerusalem during the Second Temple. The app is based on up-to-date archaeological research about Temple Mount. More specifically, this app includes a tour of the area around Jerusalem's Western Wall, where the ancient stone walls of the city's Temple Mount can still be seen. Using this app, your students will be able to see Jerusalem as it looked during the days of Beit HaMikdash HaSheni - before it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. You can use this VR in class and also when visiting the area in person. While there your students can compare what they see with the app’s reconstruction. The app sells for $1.99 on Google Play, and $2.99 in the App Store.  

zSpace

zSpace is an all-in-one desktop virtual reality technology. With this technology your students will learn math, physics, engineering, and biology while manipulating virtual 3D objects such as brains. zSpace is built for pair and group work. It also allows students to “learn by doing” in a virtual environment.