What is it?
Google Cardboard is a virtual reality headset which immerses you in the video or picture so you can see a 360 degree view of an image or video. Put on the headset and you are instantly inside the media. Turn your head and look around to see in all directions.
How do I set it up?
First order Google Cardboard. There are some cheap versions (around 10$) and expensive ones (around $70). I would advise a mid range one. Next download the Google Cardboard App (available on the App store and Google Play). After it has downloaded, load the App and choose what you wish to view. Finally open Cardboard, secure your phone into the device (check it is positioned correctly) and look into the viewer. And it really is that easy!
Watch my video tutorial on how to set up Cardboard:
How do I use it?
10 ways you could use it in the classroom.
The ways Google Cardboard could be used in education is endless (and more and more images, videos and apps are being developed daily). After a long time spent playing around with Google Cardboard, I have come up with 10 simple ideas:
1) View an educational 360 YouTube video. There are lots to choose from – just search. David Attenborough has recently done an excellent one about dinosaurs.
(N.B.When taking a screenshot, this is how it looks. But on Cardboard, each side is for each eye so you don’t see a divide.).
2) Download Google Streetview and explore a place, anywhere in the world. Look for the Cardboard logo to view an area in 360 degrees (there are even underwater ones!). Famous monuments are also covered so maybe ask your students to find one and explore it during a history lesson.
Choose any location that is ready for Cardboard.
3) Go to Google Earth and explore a place from high up in the air. This is absolutely fantastic for Geography, especially when focusing on a country or area. You can really see what it is like. Some of my students (in Bangkok) had never seen snow. It was amazing to show them Everest!
Using Cardboard with Google Earth.
4) Students could download and use the App ‘Google Cardboard Camera’ to take 360 pictures of rooms or places and then write setting descriptions. Look at the image below; it is a Cardboard Camera 360 photo of my classroom:
5) Watch a 360 YouTube video that tells a story. Ask your students to look around whilst the story is being told. The students can then retell the story adding plenty of description.
6) Download ‘Guided Tour’ and choose a famous place in the world. You can walk around and your own tour guide tells you about the place. The students can then write what they found out or do a video reflection. Heritage sites are included and are particularly interesting.
The narrator gives you guided tours of places all around the world.
7) Share some ‘normal’ videos with your students. They can download them to their devices. When they go to Google Cardboard, then ‘Demos’ then ‘Videos’, they can view the videos through Cardboard – the difference being: they turn around to see the videos floating in the air around them!
8) Download ‘Exhibit’ and look at museum exhibitions from all around the world. It’s as if artifacts are right in front of you and you can walk and look around them. Doing a topic on Dinosaurs? Visit a museum with dinosaurs from the comfort of your classroom!
A virtual Vatican mask you can view.
9) The students can use the App ‘Google Cardboard Camera’ to record a virtual tour of the school. Or maybe even a school trip? Then share with other classes. The great thing is that they can narrate the clips as they look at different things. Great for speaking and listening too!
Press the 4 lines next to the record button for narration off and on.
Here’s a handy graphic:
Thanks for reading, please let me know if you have any questions. Can you think of any more ways to use Google Cardboard in the classroom?