Virtual reality has potential to provide greater student learning experiences but is still in the early stages of adoptions in schools.
Here are our tips and resources to help you get started with 360° Photos and Virtual Reality (VR) content.
What are 360° Photos?
360° photos is a photography technique where you capture the entire surrounding of a location instead of just one angle. Also known as VR (virtual reality photography), 360 panoramic photography, 360 virtual tours and photosphere.
A 360° photo consists of a series of images stitch together. When the photo is uploaded to a site that supports embedding 360° photo the viewer is able to explore the image with the same view as someone that was there when the photo was taken.
Here’s an example:
You explore this image on your:
- Computer – using click and drag.
- Phone – titling to change angles.
- Cardboard Viewer – for virtual reality experience.
Take 360° photos
Virtual reality has the potential to provide students with greater learning experiences but is still in the early stages of adoptions in schools.
There are numerous ways to take your own 360° photos. You don’t need expensive equipment and complicated software. The easiest way to get started is using Google Street View (available for Android and iOS) on your smartphone. You can also use photo sphere mode in the stock Android camera or surround shot mode on Samsung phones (open your camera app then tap on Mode > Download > and download surround shot).
The apps on the smartphones all work the same. Pick an interesting spot where you want to capture a 360° photo, open the app on your smartphone and move your smartphone around to pass over the circles until all images are taken.
- How you hold your smartphone and move affects the quality of your 360° photo.
- Watch how to create a photo sphere video to learn how to hold and move when taking 360° photos on smartphones.
- Start with shooting outdoor nature scenes as there is less chance of stitching errors compared to shooting architecture or areas with geometrical lines.
- 360° photo taken on smartphones are reasonable quality; providing an easy, cheap option to explore how you can use this technology with students.
- Kathy Schrock’s Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in the Classroom page includes her VR Camera kit and a link to an article that reviews 360 cameras for those researching camera options.
To share your photos online you need to upload it to a site that supports embedding 360° photo.
Edublogs and CampusPress users can embed 360° photos and videos in posts and pages using the VR Viewer plugin. This embeds the 360° photo in a viewer where your readers can explore the image in their browser, via Google Cardboard or using VR headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Google Daydream. Detailed instructions are here.
Other hosting sites include:
Using With Students
Check out the following resources for ideas on using with students:
- A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Virtual Reality In Education
- Everything You Wanted To Know About How We’re Using Virtual Reality With ELLs, But Were Afraid To Ask
- Virtual Reality By EdTechTeacher
- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in the Classroom
Leave a comment to share your tips for creating 360° photos or using with students.