K-12 schools are beginning to see the educational value of virtual and augmented reality and are investing in these technologies even though price points are still aimed at higher-end markets.
In the Methacton School District in a Philadelphia suburb, a high school oceanography class recently visited the Great Barrier Reef, while a Spanish class traveled to cities in Spain and Mexico. The students and their teachers were taking part in the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program to test out a virtual reality (VR) platform built for the classroom using Google Cardboard, which requires only a smartphone, an inexpensive cardboard phone holder and an accompanying app.
Chris Lloyd and Layla Lyons, teachers who work as technology integration specialists in the district, said the expeditions were a nice complement to topics that certain classes were working on and the technology itself was fairly straightforward to deploy. “The teachers were excited once we introduced the concept to them at a faculty meeting,” Lyons said. “When it came time to schedule it, everyone wanted to do it.”