The experience that I had with getting started viewing virtual reality was really good. And if you read that article, you know that it left me wondering whether there were use cases for Virtual Reality in other areas of our lives, especially education. So I went on the hunt for some VR experiences that I’d have loved to have when I was learning.
Space travel with Titans of Space
My journey began with traveling in space to learn just how big our universe is. So there I was, an astronaut on my own spaceship navigating the deep black environment filled with bright stars and planets. The amount of detail that I got to see of the Sun and the rings of Saturn was just amazing. If this was there when I had to remember the planets, I would have been an all-star student.
I also got to learn about other stars that I would otherwise have not come across like VY Canis Majoris which make our Sun look like a golf ball. The experience was great but it was something that you could just do on your own without needing a guide, so I looked for more of a guided experience.
Going on trips with Google Expeditions
I remember back in High School, we would go for trips to the Museum or other important places as a means to enhance our learning. This really depended on a lot of resources and unfortunately, not all schools can afford to take their history class to Great Zimbabwe every year.
For this experience to work, you need at least two people ( a guide and a follower) so I asked one of the team members to help out. I managed to take the team member through a tour of the International Space Station while directing them from my phone and explaining the different things he was seeing in the VR headset. He tells me that it was really mind-blowing and eye-opening.
What I think schools can do
Most schools these days have WiFi but most are under utilizing it in my opinion. Instead, they should buy some Google Cardboards which are very affordable ($2 online) and then they can leverage VR for learning by taking their students on virtual trips to different places on earth. Students will get more exposure to what is out there and access knowledge without being limited by physical barriers.