Virtual or Augmented Reality Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. For instance, if you want to teach your students how to tell stories, you could allow students to reimagine existing stories using virtual reality. You can give students the opportunity to bring their favorite books to class and re-imagine parts of the story or the entire story. For example, they can create an alternative ending to Jack and the Beanstalk and retell their version in virtual reality, by creating a short cartoon. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these virtual reality apps, tools, and resources:

King Tut VR – King Tut VR provides a virtual reality experience of the tomb of King Tutankhamun. This app requires a virtual reality headset. King Tut was a great Egyptian pharaoh in the 18th dynasty. He was buried in a legendary tomb, which you can explore virtually while learning about the art, treasures, and hieroglyphics of the time. This app takes you back in time with a fully immersive environment, which makes you feel like you are actually in King Tut’s tomb.

Lifeliqe – This learning platform educates students with the use of 3-D models, augmented reality, and virtual reality. It includes subjects such as biology, culture, physics, paleontology, geometry, and so on. There are 620 preinstalled lesson plans for different subjects. The interface of this platform is quite easy to navigate. Lifeliqe is available as a website and app with its implementations on iPad and Windows showing the most functionality.

myVRscope™ – is an immersive microscopy Virtual Reality (VR) lab ecosystem, where students and faculty access microbiology content and conduct lab activities on-demand using VR. myVRscope™ leverages a virtual 3D photorealistic compound light microscope for learner activities and integrates the user experience with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab instructor- Dr. Beaker. The product was developed by the Immersive Learning Experience (ILX) team in the Innovation Center of Excellence (ICoE) at Adtalem Global Education- with the explicit design intent to create an ‘intelligent, immersive learning experience’ for on-campus and online learners alike that combines Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Star Chart: Teachers who want to bring astronomy lessons to life will need to use Star Chart. Using augmented reality, students can point their device at the night sky and use the app to identify what constellations they see. Alternatively, you can also scroll around the sky using just your fingers.

Sites in VR: Go to all the exciting places you would like to without any restrictions. The app features Islamic relics, ancient cities, and temples. Historically significant sites in Saudi Arabia, Macedonia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Kuwait, Belgium, France, Africa, and even Mars await you. The app features over a thousand high-quality images rendered in a panoramic 360° view; it provides the all-encompassing, immersive experience.

Algodoo– Algodoo is a physics-based 2-D sandbox freeware from Algoryx Simulation AB as the successor to the popular physics application Phun. Bring your ideas to life withAlgodoo. Use the drawing tool, materials like ropes, lasers, gears, motors and even water to test your funniest ideas in a simulated world. Share your inventions with friends and challenge them to use their creative abilities. The simulated world is based on the latest technologies in advanced engineering simulations and virtual reality simulators used by Algoryx.

Unimersiv: This is a virtual reality educational tool available to students of all ages. It allows students to watch academic virtual reality videos to promote an immersive learning experience. Topics include history, space, and anatomy.

Cospaces– With this app, you can create virtual reality, and you have total control over its personalization. You can choose from different items and personalities to create your characters. The app makes the experience as realistic as possible and unlocks potential worlds of virtual reality. All you need to access your virtual life is the free CoSpaces app and a headset.

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