Using Google Cardboard to Simulate Virtual Learning Experiences
The reason that many teachers strive for a more virtual experience instead of the traditional talking points is that the interaction makes the lesson more memorable to the students. Concepts and ideas that seem too complicated under time-honored instruction methods are easier to grasp when the students can experience the lessons. This does not mean that you need a VR machine to create a virtual experience either. There are a number of tools that can help you establish a virtual environment that makes lessons more entertaining while making the concepts easier to understand.
One of the biggest problems with edtech is the price tag – it can be incredibly cost prohibitive. However, that does not mean that you and your students have to be relegated to using only the old learning methods. Regardless of your budget, you can use Google Cardboard to create a virtual learning experience that will make lessons feel more relevant.
Google Cardboard is an interesting and very low-cost solution to creating a virtual experience. You can compare it to the Oculus Rift, but without the $600 price tag for each unit. As the name suggests, the product is from Google, and it is made entirely of cardboard. You construct the equipment (fold the cardboard) into the shape of goggles. Download the app you want to use in your virtual reality lesson, and place the phone within the frame, and you can start seeing the world from the app. It helps you feel like you are in the locations being displayed or are experiencing the events taking place.
You do need to control the phone and downloaded apps because there are some things you probably do not want to distract your students (such as the haunted house or dating apps). However, you can make this a highly engaging and entertaining part of lessons when students have completed assignments. There are also different models, ranging from $5 to $69.95 (before tax).
Creating an environment that is more obviously tied to the world makes many of the points you want to make much more obvious to your students. When they cannot understand what is meant by a hypotenuse, a simulation can help them get a vivid idea of the hypotenuse and why it is important. Mobile devices make it considerably easier to bring a virtual approach to any classroom, as long as you are willing to do the necessary research and testing before you present it to your students.