Virtual Reality has now reached a point where you can sit around and talk about Pokemon Go around the dinner table with your grandmother, which ultimately makes it a lot easier to talk to those who aren't 'in the loop'.
So, my original plan was to build my own virtual reality and augmented reality device. My hope was to make an affordable device which would enable all pupils to access the learning, without having to resort to relying on pupils using (or even having) their own devices.
So how did I get on?
Well, not as I'd hoped, but I have learnt a lot along the way.
I've lost/misplaced/torn up in despair the costings that I'd originally done, but for all the parts required for what I was looking to do it in terms of a virtual reality unit, it would have been cheaper to purchase a mid-range mobile phone as that would have had most of the required parts.
In terms of building an augmented reality-only device, that was much more affordable, but it would have been a case of dealing with a small, low-resolution screen and the idea of fitting some questionable battery units, it didn't seem like the safest of products to be putting into the hands of pupils (or anyone for that matter).
So, seeing as my initial objective seems like an initial failure, I am fully of the belief that the use of virtual and augmented reality has huge potential in the classroom. The real difficulty is the access to it. I'm not entirely convinced that there is a call/need for widespread use of iPads/tablets/persoanl-laptops in the classroom. The cost (not only of the individual unit, but also of the insurance) is already an off-putting amount, but there is a really questionable educational value of using different pieces of tech of which I'm not entirely convinced.
However, if it was financially viable, then I feel that the use of tech for augmented and virtual reality could be really interesting, useful and exciting.
Imagine you need to give pupils some prep and training ready for some Geography field trip, then you could set up, using tablets that pupils are travelling around the school site and when they scan certain relevant points, then useful information for the task they need to complete appears on the screen.
Perhaps you are in a science lesson and need to example how a practical should run, again you could have information/videos appearing when certain things appear to talk them through the experiment.
Or perhaps you want to join in an build upon the hype of Pokemon Go, you could incorporate that into PE lessons, with pupils completing some sort of Geocaching or orienteering exercise, with pupils working in teams to complete a course in the correct order in the fastest time.
There are so many possibilities, but really the cost is such an off-putting factor that at present it is somewhat of an unachievable aim. Perhaps that will change, maybe soon, maybe a long way off.
I'm hoping to get a few more posts out before the end of the summer holidays, but I'm working on a piece about the vested interests within Education Technology and the benefits and hazards that these may present.
Enjoy your holidays as much as you can, and if you try out any cool stuff with either augmented or virtual reality then let me know (unless you've made an amazing homemade set and succeeded where I failed).