I have to admit that when I read Katie’s post last week, I had a moment of panic when she suggested asking us about using virtual reality in your courses because I felt like I didn’t know much about virtual reality. I made sure to start exploring the links that she shared and found that I knew more than I realized, but there’s still much more to explore! Virtual reality is all around us these days. In this post, I’ll share my virtual reality learning journey with you and include direct links to where I found these resources, all of wall of which I found by exploring the links in Katie’s post, A Little Friday Alliteration: Formative, Free and Fabulous.

First of all, there’s a difference between Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). There is even mention of collaborative reality and mixed reality, but the two main technologies referenced in the resources that I explored are VR and AR; hence, the video below provides a brief explanation of the difference between AR and VR. You may be surprised that you’re already using AR or VR on your phone, computer, or TV when you’re accessing certain news, social media, movies, and other common activities, like shopping.

From “Get Started with Augmented and Virtual Reality for Learning” in OER Commons

Cool, right? Well, what I thought was even cooler was that there are simple ways of using VR and AR in your courses? I’ll highlight a some examples:

The video below includes VR/AR that can be used for teaching Astronomy, Biology, Anatomy/Physiology, History, Speech, Foreign Languages, and more!

From “Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality in Education” in OER Commons

Here’s an Earth Science simulation that allows students to adjust Factors that Affect Air Quality and automatically graphs the results over time; another interactive Physics simulation for teaching the basics of Forces and Motion; and an Economics video below about the US debt…That is A LOT of money!

Found in How Big Is the US Debt? : Virtual Reality Experience in OER Commons

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the VR/AR world, consider using EON Reality, a free app that allows you or your students to add 3D effects to PowerPoints. I’m excited to try this one out!

Are you using AR or VR in your teaching? Do you have questions about using it in your courses? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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