Showing posts with label DIY Virtual Reality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY Virtual Reality. Show all posts

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Five DIY Virtual Reality Projects for Students

Google’s VR Tour Creator offers an excellent way to create virtual tours that can be viewed in your web browser and or in the Google Expeditions app.

Google’s Street View imagery is the backbone of the VR Tour Creator. To start creating a tour you have to identify a location using the built-in connection to Google Maps. Once you’ve identified a location you then add a scene to your tour. At a minimum each scene will include a Street View image and the text description that you add to it. You can add images within the Street View image of the scene. Those images are called “points of interest.” Each point of interest can have its own description.

Google’s VR Tour Creator lets you add audio to each scene and point of interest. The audio has to be recorded outside of the Tour Creator and then uploaded to the scenes or points of interest. Any MP3 file will work in your tour. Vocaroo.com and TwistedWave.com are a couple of simple tools for creating an audio recording.

Completed tours can be shared publicly or privately. Your tours can be viewed in your Google Expeditions account provided that you created the tour with the same Google account that you use for Google Expeditions. With your tour in Google Expeditions you can guide students just like you can with any other tour that is available in the Google Expeditions app.

5 VR Creation Projects for Students
  • Virtual reality tours based upon students’ favorite books. (On a similar note, VR to illustrate stories that students have written.)
  • VR tours about places students study in geography / history lessons.
  • VR tours to illustrate examples of math and science used in the design and construction of landmarks. 
  • VR tours to illustrate examples of types of landforms, rocks, waterways, and bodies of water.
  • VR tours to illustrate examples of an animal’s natural habitat and range.
VR Tour Creator Tutorials

Tour Creator basics.

Adding points of interest to tours.



How to Share Your Tours With Students


How to Use Your Tours in Google Expeditions

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Four Ways to Create Your Own VR & AR Experiences

Observing and interacting with augmented reality and virtual reality content is nice, but after a while students will get bored with the pre-made commercial content. You can combat some of that boredom by putting students in charge of picking the AR and VR experiences that are of most interest to them while also being relevant to the topic at hand. You can further engage students by having them create their own AR and VR experiences to share with their classmates, with you, and with the world at large.

Here are some options for creating your own virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. These are listed in order of easiest to learn how to use to the most difficult to learn how to use.

Cardboard Camera
Cardboard Camera is a free iOS and Android app offered by Google. The app lets you take a 360 panoramic image that you can share to view in Google Cardboard viewer or similar VR headset. The app will capture any sounds including your voiceover present while capturing the image. Those who use Cardboard Camera on Android can save their VR images in Google Photos where they can be cropped and edited with basic image filters.

Cardboard Camera for Android is available here. Cardboard Camera for iOS is available here.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to use the Cardboard Camera app:



Google Street View App
The Google Street View app for Android and iOS offers more than just a way to view interesting places around the world. The free app includes a camera function that can be used to capture 360 photospheres. When you tap the camera icon in the app it will guide you through taking a series of pictures that will be automatically stitched together to form the photosphere. The completed photosphere can be shared with others in a variety of ways including direct sharing via SMS or email, posting on social media, or by contributing to the Google Maps community.

The Google Street View iOS app is available here. The Google Street View Android app is available here.

Metaverse Studio
Metaverse Studio is a free service for creating your own augmented reality learning experiences. With Metaverse you can create interactive, augmented reality games and challenges for students to complete on their phones or tablets. Metaverse Studio is a block programming (sometimes called visual programming) interface similar in concept to what you will find in the MIT App Inventor and Thunkable. This means that you don't write code. Instead of writing code you create your augmented reality experience by selecting commands and selecting pieces of media from a menu. Put the commands together in the proper sequence and your augmented reality experience can be used on any iOS or Android device.

Mastering Metaverse Studio can take quite a while. That’s not because the service is hard to use. It takes a while to master because there are so many command and logic options that you can employ to create an augmented reality application.

Metaverse does offer an extensive set of tutorial videos. The first of those can be seen below.

Patches from Vizor
Patches is a free program that you can use to develop animated virtual reality experiences. Patches offers animated characters, animals, buildings, and common objects that you can place inside a virtual reality scene. Just drag and drop objects and animations from the selection menus to the Patches design canvas. You can create and customize your VR scenes as much as you like by changing object positioning, color schemes, and even the speed at which an animation moves. You can preview your VR scenes within the Patches editor. Completed projects can be viewed in a VR viewer by just enter the link assigned to your project into your mobile phone's browser.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Introduction to AR & VR in Education

Worlds Are Colliding: Introduction to AR & VR in Education was my first presentation of the day today at the 2019 MACUL Conference. This presentation has been updated a bit since I gave it four weeks ago at a conference in Vancouver, B.C. The updates weren't so much about the slides (although there were a few of those) as they were about what I chose to focus on during the presentation. This time I put more emphasis on the DIY tools that teachers and students can use to create their own virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Take a look at the slides here or as embedded below.


I do offer hands-on workshops on this topic. If you'd like to have me facilitate one at your school, please get in touch with me here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Now You Can Use Your Own VR Tours in Google Expeditions on iOS

A couple of weeks ago I published a video about how to use your own virtual reality tours in the Android version of Google Expeditions. In that video I mentioned that support for doing the same in the iOS version of Expeditions was coming soon. As of today the wait is over. As Google announced on Twitter about an hour ago, you can now use your own VR tours in the iOS version of Google Expeditions.

To make your own VR tours to use in Google Expeditions you will need to use Google's VR Tour Creator in your web browser. To learn how to use the VR Tour Creator, watch this video.



In the following video I demonstrate how to use your VR Tour Creator tours in Google Expeditions.



Watch this video for an overview of how to lead students in Google Expeditions.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How to Use Your Own VR Tours in Google Expeditions

Google's VR Tour Creator is probably my favorite new tool of the last year. I love being able to make my own virtual reality tours and share them with others. Recently, Google added support for VR Tour Creator tours to the Android version of Google Expeditions. This means that you can create your own VR tour then play it back and share it in Google Expeditions. You can even lead other people on your tour through Google Expeditions. In the following video I demonstrate how to use your VR Tour Creator tours in Google Expeditions.


To learn how to use the VR Tour Creator, watch this video.


Watch this video for an overview of how to lead students in Google Expeditions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Vizor 360 is Now Free for All - Create Interactive 360 Imagery

Vizor offers great tools for creating interactive 360 imagery. I've previously covered their Patches program for creating animated VR because that was the free service that they offered. Now their core product Vizor 360 is available for free too.

Vizor 360 lets you upload a series of pictures and then stitch them together. After you have stitched your pictures together to create a 360 image you can then add interactive elements to it. Those interactive elements can be links to websites, audio, and additional text and image overlays. A completed project can be viewed and interacted with in a web browser and or a VR headset.

Applications for Education
Vizor 360 could be a great tool for students to use to create interactive imagery of places that they have visited as part of a class or school field trip. Adding interactive elements to the imagery enables students to link to Google Docs they've created about the imagery and or to include audio of themselves talking about the imagery.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Best of 2018 - How to Use Google's VR Tour Creator

This week is a vacation week for the vast majority of readers of this blog. As I do at this time every year, I'm going to republish some of the most popular posts of 2018. Here's one from May.

A few hours ago Google announced the launch of their new VR Tour Creator. This free tool lets everyone create their own virtual tours to view in Google Cardboard and or in the Chrome web browser. Tours are created by selecting locations in Google Maps and then selecting 360 degree Street View imagery. There's also an option to upload your own 360 degree imagery.

This afternoon I made a couple of tours with the VR Tour Creator. The process of creating a tour in the Tour Creator is straight-forward one. Watch my video embedded below to learn how you and your students can create virtual reality tours in Tour Creator.


Updated videos since this post was originally written:

How to Include Narration in a VR Tour:

How to Add Points of Interest in a VR Tour:

How to Share VR Tours With Students:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

How to Share Your Google VR Tours With Students

Over the last few weeks I have received a lot of emails from readers who had made virtual reality tours in Google's VR Tour Creator but then ran into difficulty sharing those tours with their students. To answer those questions I made the following video that demonstrates how you can share your VR tours with students.


Learn more about how to use Google's VR Tour Creator by watching this video that I made earlier this year.



Google's VR Tour Creator is one of the tools that I feature in depth in my Teaching History With Technology course. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

5 VR Projects for Students

Google's VR Tour Creator is one of my favorite media creation tools. Since its launch in May of this year I have shown it to hundreds of teachers in-person and even more in videos and webinars. I love it because it empowers students to make their own virtual reality experiences rather than just consuming virtual reality content. Here are five ideas for VR creation projects for students.

5 VR Creation Projects for Students
  • Virtual reality tours based upon students’ favorite books. (On a similar note, VR to illustrate stories that students have written.)
  • VR tours about places students study in geography / history lessons.
  • VR tours to illustrate examples of math and science used in the design and construction of landmarks. 
  • VR tours to illustrate examples of types of landforms, rocks, waterways, and bodies of water.
  • VR tours to illustrate examples of an animal’s natural habitat and range.
Google VR Tour Creator Tutorial Videos

Tour Creator basics.

Adding points of interest to tours.


Learn more about how to use VR tours in social studies by taking my online course, Teaching History With Technology

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Virtual Reality Book Tours

In 5 Multimedia Projects for Social Studies Classes I included the idea of having students make their own virtual tours of historic and interesting landmarks. The concepts used to make a virtual tour of historic landmarks can be used to create virtual tours based on the books that students read. This is easier to do with books that use the names of real places (cities, states, countries), but it could be done with books that have fictitious locations.

Make a VR Book Tour With Google's VR Tour Creator
  • To make a VR book tour with Google's VR Tour Creator start by having students select a handful of key points, including their locations, in the books they're going to make tours about. Have students write a few sentences about each location and its significance in the book.
  • If you want your students to include audio in their tours, have them record that audio and save it on the computers they are going to use to make their tours. Vocaroo provides an easy way to record and download spoken audio. Click here to learn how to use Vocaroo.
  • Your students can use the imagery that is built into Google's VR Tour Creator and or use images that they have taken or images that they find online at places like Photos for Class. Images that they find or take themselves can be layered into each stop in their virtual tours.
  • Now your students are ready to start putting together their VR book tours. This video provides an overview of the basic steps needed to make a VR tour. To add audio to the tour, follow the steps outlined in this video. And watch this video to learn how to layer-in pictures that students take or find online.

Make a VR Book Tour With Patches
If you want your students to make VR tours of books that feature imagery places (like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) then you should take a look at using Patches.

Patches is a free online tool for creating virtual reality scenes. Patches offers animated characters, animals, buildings, and common objects that you can place inside a virtual reality scene. Just drag and drop objects and animations from the selection menus to the Patches design canvas. You can create and customize your VR scenes as much as you like by changing object positioning, color schemes, and even the speed at which an animation moves. You can preview your VR scenes within the Patches editor. Completed projects can be viewed in a VR viewer by just enter the link assigned to your project into your mobile phone's browser.

Monday, June 25, 2018

How to Create a Virtual Tour That Includes Audio Narration

One of the many things that Google announced to coincide with the ISTE conference was the addition of an option to add audio to virtual reality tours created with Google's VR Tour Creator. This is an update to the VR Tour Creator that was launched just a couple of months ago. This update lets you add audio to each of the scenes and points of interest within your VR tours. Watch my new video to learn how you can create a VR tour that includes audio.


As is mentioned in the video, you need to record your audio in a program outside of the VR Tour Creator, save it as an MP3, and then import it into the tour. I used Vocaroo to record the audio used in the demonstration.

Applications for Education
Making their own VR tours could be a great way for students to show what they have learned about places they studied in a geography lesson. Think of making a VR tour as an alternative to a traditional PowerPoint presentation. Students can share their tours with their classmates to view in virtual reality viewers like Google Cardboard.

Monday, May 14, 2018

How to Add Points of Interest to Virtual Reality Tours in Google's Tour Creator

Last week Google introduced the new Tour Creator for making virtual reality tours. I published a tutorial last week that shows you how to create a basic tour. Today, I made a new tutorial that shows you how to include featured points of interest within each scene in your tour. Those points of interest can include image overlays and text explanations. As is demonstrated in my video, adding an image overlay lets you highlight a detail within a scene.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How to Use Google's New VR Tour Creator

A few hours ago Google announced the launch of their new VR Tour Creator. This free tool lets everyone create their own virtual tours to view in Google Cardboard and or in the Chrome web browser. Tours are created by selecting locations in Google Maps and then selecting 360 degree Street View imagery. There's also an option to upload your own 360 degree imagery.

This afternoon I made a couple of tours with the VR Tour Creator. The process of creating a tour in the Tour Creator is straight-forward one. Watch my video embedded below to learn how you and your students can create virtual reality tours in Tour Creator.