Nord Anglia Education
WRITTEN BY
Nord Anglia
24 January, 2022

Exploring the virtual world in the classroom

Exploring the virtual world in the classroom If you've watched the news, you have probably seen stories about Virtual Reality and wondered what you can do with it. As a school, we have wondered the same thing! So, a few years ago we bought some VR headsets to trial them and see how they can be used in education. We had a look at which one was the easiest to use and also reviewed which applications were available on each device. In January this year, the first Year 7 students had the opportunity to start learning how to do 3D modelling in Virtual Reality.

If you've watched the news, you have probably seen stories about Virtual Reality and wondered what you can do with it. As a school, we have wondered the same thing! So, a few years ago we bought some VR headsets to trial them and see how they can be used in education. We had a look at which one was the easiest to use and also reviewed which applications were available on each device. In January this year, the first Year 7 students had the opportunity to start learning how to do 3D modelling in Virtual Reality.

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Students are learning how to create 3D Tigers in ScultrVR and TiltBrush. These tigers will then be printed on the 3D printers and the students will then get to take them home. This is replacing the TinkerCAD and Blender units that we have done in the past. From an educational point of view, this is an evolutionary step rather than revolutionary since it is just a different way to teach a concept that we taught previously. ScultrVR will not replace existing CAD tools but is useful when you are doing rapid prototypes. Each tool is stronger in different situations and our students will have experience with multiple tools so they will be aware of the strengths of each. In addition to this, students have now experienced VR and will have the skills needed in other subjects. Over the coming months and years, we are planning on expanding the use of VR into other subjects.

Right now, students are learning how to use Virtual Reality with the "First Steps" and "First Contact" tutorials. They then learn how to use SculpltrRV and MultiBrush (a version of TiltBrush that supports multiple people at the same time).

Some of the other experiences we are planning on rolling out are:

  • Science

    • Mission: ISS (Take a spacewalk and explore the International Space Station in this Emmy-nominated simulation).
    • Titans of Space  (A densely educational guided tour of the Solar System).
    • Pollinator Park (Imagine what our future would look like if bees and other insects stopped pollinating our Earth).
    • Nanome (Virtual reality software for drug discovery, molecular modelling and rational protein design).
    • Dissection Simulator: Pig Edition.
  • History

    • Anne Frank (A very special view into the secret annexe where Anne Frank and the seven other people hid during WWII).
  • PSHE

    • Home After War (Learn about returning refugees).
    • Notes on Blindness (Experience blindness).
    • The Key (Learn about refugees).
    • Goliath: Playing with Reality (Explores the limits of reality and a true story of mental health).
  • English and MFL

    • VirtualSpeech (provide soft skills training on presentation skills, public speaking, sales pitches, networking, media training and more).
    • Mondly: Practise languages in VR (Practise real-life conversations in 30 languages).
  • Geography

    • National Geographic Explore VR (Set off as a National Geographic explorer to discover two of the most iconic locations on the planet: Antarctica & Machu Picchu).
    • BRINK Traveler (Visit Horseshoe Bend, White Pocket, Mount Morrison, Mount Whitney, Alabama Hills, The Wave, Arches National Park, Death Valley National Park, Antelope Canyon, Crystal Crag, Haifoss Iceland).