The impact of VR tools in education

We are extremely passionate about education at LVR. By learning cultural and geographical history, we better understand the world and our place in it. Without historical education, how do we progress? It is only through understanding our past, as a society and world, that we can evolve. That’s why it’s part of our core mission to integrate our VR content creation into school programs. We want to change the way we all experience history, whether as a student or teacher.

That’s why we were excited when we heard about Google’s Tour Creator. Students and teachers can now use Google Cardboard and Daydream software to create their own story tour guides.

The VR landscape is in constant flux. Every week, innovators around the world make leaps and bounds with the technology. At the beginning of the year, we wrote an article about the introduction of VR tech in schools. Back then, we let the students of Hale primary school use our VR content creation as a history lesson. Now, it seems that in a few short months, the way students view VR has been transformed with the introduction of Google Tour Creator. By becoming the storytellers, the directors of their tours, students are interacting with VR in a new dimension.

Google Tour Creator uses their street view technology for 360-degree images. The tool catalogues these photos into a VR-ready clickable guide. You can add voice-overs and notes to it, as well as additional zoomed-in photos. When students have finished creating their tours, they can upload the final results into WebXR, to be viewed on Daydream, through Cardboard VR headsets, or on any phones, tablets or web browsers.

The tech is still moderately limited at the moment. Students can, so far, only tell personal stories of what they know through the street map views. But as users interact with the technology, the landscape will shift again and we will see a new wave of younger expert storytellers using VR. Google is already planning on developing a feature that will allow teachers to import tours into the classroom/teachers application, Expeditions.

Studies have already shown that VR can deepen the learning experience and enhance empathy in users. There’s no denying, also, that VR enables a more tailored approach to learning. Students that have suffered in the past from the rigidity of textbook learning will undoubtedly flourish with new classroom activities involving VR. It’s impossible to ignore the possibilities that await the day when we integrate VR into the education system. The days of static learning are nearly over… welcome to dynamic and experiential education.