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:
- 360 cities
- Kuula – image hosting and Cardboard viewing
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.
11 thoughts on “Tips For Getting Started With 360° Photos And Virtual Reality (VR) Content”
Hey nice article about VR, you have given us some ideas for me to implement this at our school
Thanks for commenting and good luck implementing the ideas!
That is cool
ThingLink Premium accounts have a 360/VR image editor where you can tag your 360 photos with embedded videos, images, sound, etc. There is also an iPad/Android app called Teleport 360 Editor where you can log in with your ThingLink Premium account and be able to either use a photo you took or access a photo from their gallery of images.
Another great resource is my VR in EDU website! http://www.edtechnocation.com/gafe/googlecardboardedu with a 360 camera comparison chart, VR apps & resources, Google cardboard & VR viewer options, and more!
Thanks. I will have a look.
Thanks Sue, I can see how that would take a while! I am interested mainly in High School Science, any Year group really. I am still preservice teacher, exploring using blogs as Class Blogs and Student Blogs. I enjoy reading other teachers’ class blogs and student blogs, and see how they use them in their teaching. Getting lots of good ideas. I have started my own pretend class blog at rieba76.edublogs.org and have assigned students to use their student blogs for their research journal.
Hi Rebecca, thanks for providing some background and sharing a link to your blog! It is coming along well. I completed the update of the list yesterday and have removed any blog that hasn’t been updated in 6 months or has been deleted. The ones highlighted in red are ones I often use as examples of different approaches to class blog. I’ve also organized a new post so others can submit their class blog to the list. Hope the list helps!
Hi Sue, i was actually looking for a class blog and student blog list. The Checkout the classblog list seems a bit out of date. Are you doing this anymore?
Hi Rebecca, I am part way through updating the class blog list. I indicate the date last checked at the top of the sheet. I’ve added all the latest submissions to the list and are currently removing any old blogs that haven’t since Jan, 2017. Unfortunately it takes some time to check the complete list as I need to check each blog individually which is why I’m only part way through the update.
Please confirm which Grade or subject level you are interested in so I can check those for you.