VR for Teaching

Teach Africa with VR

Teach Africa with VR…

…is our moonshot, an inspirational goal to use the amazing power of virtual reality for education in Africa.

At The Virtual Space we have a project to build virtual reality classrooms where the teacher uses high end VR equipment and the students join over the internet with phones. Take a look at VR Schools below for more about this.

There are also free educational smartphone VR apps available, Google Expeditions and others such as those from Mozaik3D.

VR has unique benefits for teaching. Through simulation students can have experiences that would otherwise be completely out of reach. Teachers can teach across a continent.

As of 2020 there are 240 million connected smartphones in sub Saharan Africa. Phones that are capable of participating in VR lessons, either in VR mode or in magic window mode.

This technology can change the world for the better. Your support can help to open doors and expand horizons for 1.3 billion people.

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Imagine…

…students instantly joining a class from anywhere and being IN the class, not just watching it.

VR Schools currently supports:

Up to 15 students and one teacher in a class

Whiteboard and slide shows

Voice, one person can talk at a time, controlled by the teacher

Access classes using a smartphone, Internet connection and Goggles VR headset.

Access classes via smartphone VR, PC, web browser or high end VR.

We are working towards:

Providing video support so the teacher has a virtual video projector in class…

Taking the students on class tours under the ocean… into space… to a nuclear power plant… through the human body…

Interactive simulations of laboratories… workshops… vehicles… scientific equipment…

Virtual reality is a completely new medium

unlike video or anything else

Ways VR is different…

  1. VR is immersive
  2. VR is intuitive

Immersive means that VR feels like a physical space where you are present.

  • Experiences in VR are something you do rather than something you watch.
  • Experiences in VR make use of spatial memory to make them memorable.

Intuitive means that the user can interact in simple ways with the virtual space. If the space is well designed, there is a very short learning curve.

  • Virtual reality is hands-on. High end VR systems give you hands in the virtual world, hands you can use to do things.

Once VR Schools is set up, it is easy to teach in it and easy for students to join a class.

Immersive, intuitive, memorable. Easy to use for teachers and students.

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What else is possible?

High end albeit expensive VR systems like Vive, Windows MR and Oculus provide a convincing illusion of reality. These systems have tracked headsets and controllers that let you interact with the virtual world in a natural way. This opens up fantastic educational possibilities including…

Simulate scarce resources like workshops, laboratories, museums, vehicles, tools and classrooms in software at low or no cost.

Visit unreachable places like inside the human body or the surface of Mars.

Use spatial memory to increase retention by matching environments to lesson material. This makes use of an ancient memory enhancement technique known as a memory palace or more formally, the method of loci. Here is one recent study establishing the importance of location to general memory formation.

Increase the reach of teachers through telepresence and shared virtual spaces.

Invent new forms of creativity like painting in three dimensions or playing impossible instruments.

Watch the video to see some ways that high end VR is already being used to provide intense educational and creative experiences.

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Google has decided to shut down Google Expeditions and Tour Creator on the 30th of June, 2021.

Some details can be seen at https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/10086878

Google says they will be moving most of the VR tours currently in Expeditions to the “Arts and Culture” app. These will be single user VR experiences without the multi-user teacher controlled capabilities of Expeditions.

The removal of Tour Creator and Expeditions means that there will no longer be an easy way to create teacher controlled multi-user VR experiences for use in the classrooom.

The content about Google Expeditions and Tour Creator below is therefore only applicable until June 2021.

Google Expeditions

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Affordable VR for Education!

Get started with virtual reality in the classroom at very low cost with free Google Expeditions and our Google Cardboard compatible Goggles VR virtual reality glasses.

Google Expeditions has over 1,000 panoramic educational VR experiences for use in your classroom.

Expeditions cover a huge range of subjects, chemistry, anatomy, careers, engineering, museums, maths and history.

Google Expeditions is a multi-user system. The teacher conducts the tour and controls the educational virtual reality experience from a smartphone or tablet.

You can create and distribute your own lessons on the free Tour Creator platform. Watch the video to learn how.

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Call Richard +27 (0)83 733 5133