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virtual reality (5)

I had the opportunity to talk with David Henderson and Jeff Madlock on their podcast EduTechGuys. We talked about our Teach in VR site, it's history, and what it has to offer. I was able to share a bit about one of my favorite Virtual Reality creation applications, CoSpaces. We finished up our conversation by talking about some ideas about some of the potential future applications of VR in education. If you're wondering why I started this site and are interested in me being the one interested for a change, check out this podcast episode.

David and Jeff are doing some great work connecting with leaders in the EdTech community and sharing out valuable info. They not only share out some great info, but also have great personalities, which make their podcast very enjoyable to listen to. If you are looking for a great EdTech podcast with some smart and entertaining hosts definitely check out EduTechGuys! 


Connect with them on Twitter at @edutechguys

Or visit their website at: www.EduTechGuys.com

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Maria Galanis and Andrea Trudeau are friends who have worked together for a long while. Maria started out as a tech coordinator and eventually moved her way up to being an instructional coach. Andrea worked for many years as a teacher in different subjects, then returned to school to become a librarian.

 

“We started our journey last spring, and it was kind of by accident.” Andrea said, explaining how she and Maria got started with VR. The journey began with some foreign language teachers wanting to incorporate some technology into their teaching. As it turned out, Andrea discovered an app that they shared with another teacher who in turn began using it in his classroom. Time continued on, and the use of VR in the school continued evolving.

 

As the teachers in their school became more and more familiar and comfortable with using VR, students began having the opportunity to even start digging into features that even allowed them to do coding. Maria felt this was particularly exciting.

 

“I love how they could just customize and personalize whatever they want to do with their learning.”

 

Their school had the exciting opportunity to get HTC VIVE. Both Andrea and Maria absolutely love using the technology. Andrea explained, “You can interact with it in a way that’s so different from anything I’ve ever experienced. It is amazing. We were very fortunate to get to sets in our school.”

 

However, as much as the ladies love the technology, they feel as though it’s not necessary or even wise to get it when a school has a set budget for technology in their classrooms.

 

Maria said, “In my opinion, I feel you can get a lot out of the Google Cardboard technology...If I had to choose, I’d go with the goggles and devices because there’s a lot of learning levels you can do with that.”

 

Andrea feels the same way, “I agree with Maria, I think you’re going to reach more children that way. If you have just a set chunk of change you’re going to get more kids, because HTC VIVE is one kid at a time. You might have some kids collaborating, but you’re going to have more bang for your buck because you’re going to have more kids involved.”

 

What the ladies are most focused on is how they can help students empathize with the world around them. Many kids can’t travel to see the world, but we can bring the world to them through VR.

 

If you’re new to VR, Maria suggests, “If you’re curious about it, start small! Don’t think it’s a bigger thing than it is. It’s all doable, just try it out.” Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know, start with what you do know and go from there.

 

As Andrea said, “Don’t be scared to just get in and do it.”

 

Connect with Andrea and Maria on Twitter: @andrea_trudeau and @mariagalanis 

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Extremely passionate about education and ways of integrating VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) in the classroom, Sally Eaves speaks of how to convince others of the value of such practices.

“There’s nothing more powerful than sharing stories so I think narrative is imperative for something like that...It’s all about emotional connection.”

Sally recognizes that many people can understand much more quickly through stories. Sharing facts and figures definitely has its time and place, but it’s often sharing stories that really gets across and conveys what AR and VR can do in a classroom.

Many times people have a hard time picturing how AR and VR can actually add to the education experience. If it’s not what they’re familiar with, they have a hard time understanding its importance. But, stories can change that. For example, Sally shared a story about some recent work she was doing with technology in the classroom.

“It’s helping students go back in the past and looking at their city from a completely different perspective, putting themselves in those shoes. But equally helping them to be empowered to go forward and view the trajectory over time and help them make decisions about how they want to change their city. So it’s been a real journey bringing all the subjects together. And I love that! I think it’s a real holistic blended learning approach. And, students are really responding to that.”

Sally wants to share that method as well as others with other educators around the world. She wants to learn from others while also sharing with other teachers what she’s seen as successful. As we learn more and more about AR and VR, it’s so important to work together and collaborate!

Helpful Links and Resources from this Interview:

Sally’s Twitter: @sallyeaves

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Connection with CoSpaces!

I had a great opportunity to connect with Thomas and Manuela from CoSpaces and learn about some of their most recent additions to the program. The feature that I was most excited about was the ability to import your own 360 photos into CoSpaces and augment them using pre-made and created content. This opens up some really interesting possibilities for educational use. I had a few photos from a recent ski trip I took with my Ricoh Theta S and had a great time testing out this new feature with some of the pictures I had taken. I was able to add penguins in the snow and a CoSpaces manekin on the chair lift next to me. Fun stuff! I'm looking forward to augmenting some custom 360's with my 5th graders.

I listed some of the questions we cover in our connection below:

Tell us a little bit about who you are and your role with Delightex?
Why was CoSpaces created? Was it intended exclusively for educational use?
Can you give a simple overview of some of the key features of CoSpaces?
I have had great experience with CoSpaces in my classroom. Are there any other applications/resources Delightex has created?
Can you share any upcoming developments for CoSpaces?
How do you think VR is going to change the educational landscape in the coming years?
Would you be willing to share any resources (documents, websites, images, etc.) that might help other teachers create something like this in their classrooms?

Enjoy the interview! 

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I had the opportunity to connect with Eddie Gonzalez at CUE 2017. He is doing some innovative work with virtual reality in education using sketchup, sketchfab, tinkercad, and other great VR creation apps. If you are interested in connecting with an emerging leader in the VR in EDU community be sure to reach out to Eddie for some valuable ideas. 

Virtual Reality in EDU, Sketchup Sketchfab, Tinkercad - Eddie Gonzalez @EddiesClass #CUE17
Link to Eddie's session presentation. Great info! http://bit.ly/2nAnRKN
www.TeacherTechTrials.com

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