Discovery VR - http://www.discoveryvr.com/
This month I was asked to do a training for a group of teachers and help them explore virtual field trips. Over the years, I've done multiple classes on this topic and each time I try to begin my pre-training research by pretending to be one of the teachers looking for information. I find a few sites or live locations and I then let the teachers explore them....but this time was quite a bit different.
So, I type in my keywords and begin looking for virtual field trips that might be ones that the teachers may not have looked into before. With so much technology out there, the resources are always changing, so I like to do new research every time. The first site that comes up is something called "Google Cultural Institute" and it literally...blew...me...away! It explored something radically new called "360 Degree Video" which is an interactive view into a video. Picture watching a video on your computer and something goes past the camera and you missed what it was....with 360 Video, you can drag your cursor on the screen and turn your view in another direction WHILE THE VIDEO IS STILL PLAYING!
I have to admit, I actually lost about 2 hours playing around with this site and exploring how this was possible. Take a look for yourself at one of the videos :
I was absolutely amazed by the interaction possible for students and began exploring YouTube for every educational related 360 Video ever made. Needless to say, it wasn't long before I realized that many of the YouTube videos weren't going to work for the teachers as virtual field trips, because of the...ahem...questionable videos that come up during a YouTube search on 360 Videos (Note: Don't do this search at work! lol)
After scratching my head for a bit, I remembered one of my co-workers was doing a refresher course for teachers on the uses for Discovery Education. Within seconds, I had found a sub-section of Discovery Education called Discovery VR. http://www.discoveryvr.com/
Jackpot! Not only was every video educational, but they were also sorted by curricular area, viewable on computer or Google Cardboard and they were completely interactive! (Note: This time I lost about 3 1/2 hours exploring....lol. Here's an example of a video that you can get lost in "On the Board with a Big Wave Pro" ) Click on it and explore.
Students can explore various videos ranging from rollercoasters to 3D robotics to spelunking in the heart of Texas, just to name a few. All videos are 360 interactive, but can also be switched to complete VR if you ever want to view using Google Cardboard or something similar.
So, the next time that you are interested in taking your students on a field trip, take a look at Discovery VR first. You won't regret it, because they are on the cutting edge of Educational VR!
After more than 25 years in both the Corporate I.T. world and the Educational Community, I have many thoughts on what the current/future trends in Ed Tech will be. This is my page dedicated to those thoughts and tips.