Creating Virtual Reality Content Using ClassVR
As teachers, we know that creativity is at the heart of everything we do – whether it’s in creative writing, art, music or drama – or even maths and science. However, digital literacy is now becoming one of the most important features of the school curriculum, and being creative in the ways we use new and emerging technologies is a skill that not only serves to fulfil a school’s objectives but, more importantly, gives students the opportunity to develop the skills that they will need when they leave school and enter into their chosen careers.
ClassVR opens up a world of creative opportunities for older students thanks to its compatibility with a wide variety of online and offline tools. Here we will look at just a few ways your students can unleash their potential using ClassVR.
Within the ClassVR portal you have almost certainly discovered the CoSpaces app under your subscriptions. This app is a gateway to one of the most interactive features you have access to as a ClassVR user. We have partnered with CoSpaces to allow the functionality of their fully codeable creative spaces on our headsets and getting started is incredibly easy.
Firstly, visit cospaces.io/edu – you will need to set up a free account to get started (this can be upgraded later, if you like.)
These spaces are a great way to enhance students’ competence with coding and new technology while simultaneously deepening their understanding of core subjects. For example, creating a fully labelled and well thought out model of the island from Lord of the Flies will give students a chance to use their knowledge of the story and their digital literacy skills in tandem to improve their competency in both.
You can read more about using CoSpaces in conjunction with ClassVR here.
When working with older students, one of the key elements of subjects such as Design Technology is the ability to create concepts and designs based around project ideas. This would traditionally include technical drawings and models; however, with ClassVR, schools now also have access to Augmented Reality to see their designs represented in front of them before they are built. Using a combination of Paint 3D and our ARCube students can easily create 3D models and push them to the headsets before holding them in their hands and viewing them from all angles.
Or, if you are exploring chemical compounds or molecular structures in Science, Paint 3D gives you an incredible way to deepen students’ understanding of the core concepts by building models of the substance in question and then viewing them in Mixed Reality. The act of creating new content based on previous learning can be an invaluable way to enhance lessons and improve knowledge retention.
Online 3D Modelling Tools
For schools that are looking to take their creations to the next level there are a variety of advanced 3D modelling programmes that run entirely online. SketchUP is a powerful creation tool that can be used to create detailed models of just about anything. With advanced tools based largely around geometry and structure, SketchUP is extremely useful for developing models of buildings and structures and fits in extremely well with Design and Technology modules. There are various payment models available, including a free plan that allows access to the creation kit and the ability to export models as .gltf files (which can be easily converted to .glb for use on the ClassVR headsets here.)
Similarly, Vectary contains a powerful online suite of tools that allows for the creation and manipulation of 3D models that can be used within the ClassVR headsets (you can even export them directly as .glb files, so you can drag and drop straight from your Downloads folder into the Portal.) This is a great way to develop students’ skills with advanced Augmented Reality, allowing them to edit models down to fine geometric details before testing them using the ClassVR headset and then even 3D printing them.
One of the most exciting things we have on the ClassVR portal is our Community section. The Community allows anyone with access to the Portal to upload a playlist of pictures, videos or models for moderation by our Educational Services team. While this started as a way for teachers to share interesting playlists, it is now growing into a way for classrooms across the world to share 360° images and videos of their local environments, school trips or custom created content with one another.
If you are using a 360 camera it is easy to snap a picture or video and upload it to your headsets, meaning that students have the ability to very simply create virtual reality content.
Users with a full site license can access the Community under the Subscriptions Library.
We are always excited to hear about how users are getting creative with ClassVR – if you have found any new and exciting ways to engage your students’ creativity, we’d love to hear about it. You can find us on Twitter using @ClassVR or #ClassVR or on Facebook at https://facebook.com/ClassVR
Avantis Educational Specialist (UK)