Virtual reality field trips, like Google Expeditions, have transformed how we see the world. Students can visit far flung places, explore how our body works, be transported into the past, and even travel through space using affordable virtual reality apps and headsets. Starting with no more than a piece of cardboard and a phone or tablet, any student can now experience amazing virtual field trips in the classroom or home. Virtual reality headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus RIFT and HTC Vive also offer a more detailed experience. Liven up your classroom or playtime, and get students excited about learning geography, history, and science with virtual reality.
Here are 6 of the newest and more popular apps for taking kids on virtual field trips.
Putting your feet up and watching a series on the Discovery Channel is a nice relaxing way of spending an evening. But now, Discovery have moved into the virtual reality field trips space. Students can leap out of the living room and into the virtual globe. Discovery VR have converted some of their most popular series like Shark Week, the Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, and Secret Space Escapes into short videos. Students can also take virtual field trips to Nepal, Mexico and South Africa, and experience wildlife first hand, or watch how soldiers lived during the American Civil War. To get the best experience, videos are compatible with Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus RIFT, and the HTC Vive.
Ever wanted to visit the British Museum, stand at the steps of the White House, or view masterpieces from the Renaissance period? Now you can with Boulevard virtual reality field trips. This Oculus RIFT app partners with the world’s leading museums to bring history to life through virtual reality technology. Students can experience the art of Grayson Perry, virtually visit famous museums like the de Young Museum of Art, and learn about art pieces using virtual reality. Boulevard also includes learning plans for teachers to integrate into the classroom. This makes it easy for both students and teachers alike to plan and experience virtual reality field trips. Available exclusively on the Oculus RIFT.
Virtual reality field trips are not only limited to the world around us. With the Unimersiv app, students are transported into famous historical places like Ancient Rome, Apollo 11, and the Titanic, and can even journey through the human body. Available on the Oculus RIFT and Samsung Gear VR, the app has lots of visually exciting virtual reality field trips. The company is passionate about using virtual reality for education, and a great feature of Unimersiv is the ability for teachers to create their own course on the app website.
Google Expeditions is easily the most popular virtual reality field trips app, with over one million students blasting off in to the virtual reality space with Google Cardboard. Built for the classroom and groups of students, Google Expeditions is set up for teachers to act like a guide through collections of 3D images. With over 600 expeditions updated throughout the year, from Vikings, to viruses and volcanoes, teachers have a huge range of ideas for google virtual field trips.
Titans of Space is a VR game that explores the beauty of our solar system. Students are brought on a tour through the planets and stars that look down upon us. Interesting facts are given along the way, and Titans of Space is self-paced, so students can make their own way around the game and learn in their own time. At the moment, the game is still under development, but you can access an early version of the game on Oculus RIFT, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and HTC Vibe. With this virtual field trips VR app, students can get up close and personal with space like never before.
Perfect for the geography classroom, Sites in VR gets students right at the heart of famous landmarks around the world. Students can visit all types of buildings from mosques to museums, and from castles to ancient cities in in 360. The app works with all major VR sets, and is a simple way of getting started with virtual reality. Teachers can integrate the landmarks on the app to classes, giving students a more lively and immersive learning experience when travelling through their virtual field trips.
Silvia Gallagher is the Head of Content for AvatarGeneration. Her background is in online learning, virtual worlds, and educational games. In her spare time she likes riding bikes over mountains and playing around with new technology.