Most educational experts agree that Virtual Reality will eventually become a fundamental part of the way that we educate our children. This has often gone down with angst for some teachers, who fear that obscure academics are attempting to replace them with machines. Nothing could be further from the truth and it is impossible to envisage a classroom that doesn’t have an intelligent, responsive and inspirational teacher leading it.
Virtual Reality will facilitate excellent lessons, by excellent teachers: allowing them to deliver information in innovative and unique ways. The rapid advances in Virtual Reality technology over the past few years bring that new world closer than it has ever been before and there are some amazing free apps out there, which allow teachers to harness the power of Virtual Reality in their lessons. VR provides an immersive experience that can help students understand concepts more deeply. There are already many VR apps available that can be used for education. Some of these apps are designed to teach specific subjects, while others are more general in nature.
Here is a run-down of the best free Virtual Reality Apps for education in the modern classroom (in no particular order).
Teaching children about the Solar System is complicated: the sheer massiveness of everything there makes it really difficult to provide any perspective on the distances and size of the objects. Virtual Reality offers the perfect solution to this: allowing them to explore our Solar System, while providing them with loads of useful facts in the process. ‘Titans of Space’ also allows them to appreciate the beauty of the planets and stars, helping you to engender a lifelong love of astronomy.
2. Molecule VR
Molecule VR is the perfect way to help your students visualize the building blocks of life: gone are the frustrating 2D diagrams, the pictures that don’t really look like them and a whole host of other potential misunderstandings. Molecule VR will allow your students to see them in all their three dimensional glory, giving them a better perspective on shape, size and how things are actually structured. It will really help visual learners and help you to present complex concepts in as simpler way as possible.
3. Virtual Speech – Public Speaking VR
Public speaking is becoming more and more important in the modern world: with the ability to nail interviews, deliver exceptional presentations and make friends quickly being fundamental to both academic and business life. Public Speaking VR is the perfect way for you to help your students practice these crucial skills in a non-threatening environment, where they don’t run the risk of having their confidence knocked. It offers a range of practical tips and immersive techniques, which will help you to develop this crucial skill from an early age.
As more and more majestic animals come closer to extinction, we, as educators have to engender love and compassion for animals within the next generation: or we risk losing them forever. Virry Educational is an amazing way to do this, giving the children a series of tasks which encourage problem solving and a love of conservation. Plenty of facts and amazing 360 degree pictures or videos are included into the bargain, making it a brilliant way to teach children about the things we share this planet with.
A picture is often worth a thousand words and can inspire amazing debates within a classroom. Stereogram is a free virtual reality app for education offers over 40,000 amazing historical stereograms, making it the perfect for long lesson debates; quick 10 minute starters, to get your children’s juices flowing; or time fillers at the end of an intense lesson. They also include features that allow you to curate your own lists of images or create your own ones, making Stereogram an amazing new addition to your teaching arsenal.
6. VR Showcase
VR Showcase is like the ultimate school trip, allowing you and you class to explore thousands of incredible destinations, all from the safety and comfort of your classroom. You can take a look at the wonders of places like Machu Pichu; check out amazing cities like Paris or London; and even look around some of the facilities of leading universities like Yale and Harvard. It will really help you to give your kids a new perspective on the world and inspire them to want to learn more about these incredible places.
Anatomyou is another one of the amazing free virtual reality apps for education, which allows you to explore the anatomy of the human body. This makes it perfect for science lessons, sports lessons, medical lessons and many, many more: offering a unique perspective on a subject that can often seem abstruse to children and teenagers. It really will change the way that they perceive the body, letting them get up close and personal in a three dimensional and controlled environment.
Cleanopolis VR is at base a fun Virtual Reality game for youngish children; however, if you look a little deeper it really is educational and informative, teaching them the dangers of climate change and more crucially the ways to solve it. Your students will be tasked with ridding the city of a nasty Carbon Dioxide cloud. Its competitive structure and game like feel means that students really engage with it: giving them hours of wholesome, educational fun.
9. Star Chart
Star Chart cannot be used in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an amazing Virtual Reality tool for schools. When the app is pointed at the sky it will allow the student to identify all the constellations that they can see: both educating them about astronomy and engendering a love for the subject, which may last a lifetime. It’s a nice little fun homework task for your students allowing them to stargaze, with a massive, intelligent star chart tucked away in their pockets.
10. Language VR
We all know how difficult it is to learn a foreign language from a text book and there are countless apps out there to help your students learn in new and innovative ways. Language VR is another great option for the language classroom, offering fully interactive conversations in a variety of different contexts. It also offers cultural functionality, meaning that your students will understand more about the culture of the language they are studying and visual vocabulary input, making the vocabulary that they learn really stick.
These are just a few of the free virtual reality apps for education. Virtual Reality in Education is expanding quickly and new education applications being developed and tested. As this space continues to grow, there are new apps continuously being released. Virtual Reality apps have the potential to change and revolutionize the way that some subjects are taught. If you know of a virtual reality app for education that we should feature, please get in contact with us or leave a comment below.
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First of all thanks for listing our Star Chart app in your article! We really appreciate being called out and included. Secondly we wanted to let you know about our latest educational VR experience: Nuclear: The Periodic Table of Elements (exclusive to Oculus Go & Gear VR)
Some people have described it as Beat Saber meets science… Basically through smashing the subatomic particles that make up atoms you get to combine them to create every element known to man and every physical thing in existence! All by combining three simple particles – protons, electrons and neutrons.
Anyway – again thanks for calling us out!
The Star Chart Team.