With summer quickly coming to an end, there are still so many uncertainties when it comes to schools opening back up in the fall. Depending which city you’re in, some schools have decided to go completely virtual for the first semester of school, and heading back to the classroom in the winter. Others have opted to test out a half-and-half format, allowing some students to attend school (while maintaining proper social distancing) and others staying at home for virtual school. However, as the Coronavirus situation is constantly evolving, we all must continue to stay flexible and adaptable to any circumstance that may come our way.
During the period when countries began closing borders and locking down cities, VR played an important role in both connecting educators with their students, and providing a platform for immersive learning. Not only was it relatively easy to access, but this mode of education gave students the opportunity to get as close to hands on experience while learning at home. So today, we have compiled 5 awesome back to school VR applications that can supplement their school curriculum and help students excel in their subjects - let’s get started!
Biology & Science
Thinking back to when you were in secondary/middle school, did you ever struggle with learning about the different cells and their roles? Perhaps you remember the black and white diagrams on your biology tests where you couldn’t tell the difference between the plant cell’s cytoplasm and mitochondria. Unfortunately, teaching about cell structures and functions is just as hard. Teachers often run into the difficulty of trying to explain and show students novel information that can be really difficult to picture. However, VR platform Cellscape provides another solution.
Cellscape provides students the opportunity to interact and get up close with the microscopic world to learn the ins and outs of what exactly makes up all life on the planet. Compared to reading textbooks, learning about biology using VR allows users to take a trip inside a cell for a better understanding of what it does, how it works with other cells, and why it’s important. Plus, having this level of comprehension not only helps students have a better understanding of the fundamentals, but with this foundation, they can also begin to ask better and more complex questions.
“Virtual reality can be a game-changer in allowing students to develop a solid, intuitive sense of many of the most confounding aspects of science.”
Tyler DeWitt, Biology Teacher
When it comes to learning an instrument, one of the most common options parents look into is the piano. However, finding the right piano teacher for your child’s needs can be really difficult. Especially if your child has no clue how to play the piano, being able to see and mimic how the teacher is playing the piano is key to helping them get started.
Among the other immersive piano apps like Virtual Piano, one app that can help your child get started with playing actual songs is VRtuos. The app works by calibrating your physical piano with the app and providing users the ability to play on a real piano while learning a new piece of music in its display. The speed of the lesson/songs are adjustable, allowing beginners to learn at their own pace. And when they start to feel more confident, they can slowly bump it up until they’re playing at the normal speed. One experienced piano player was able to pick up the Tetris theme song in just 30 minutes - you can see him play here.
Learning about history from a textbook can be really dry, boring, and uninteresting. Especially when the events happened hundreds of years ago, it’s very easy to disassociate and not realize that history is only written because they are real events that affected real people. However, imagine when you were at school, would it have been easier if you could actually experience and live out that part of our world history for yourself?
Hold The World is a program hosted by the one and only Sir David Attenborough where he takes viewers through an interactive journey of some of the most interesting periods of history known to mankind. This immersive experience captivates the users senses and captures their senses, making learning both informative and entertaining.
“It is breathtakingly beautiful.”
Sir David Attenborough, Hold The World
We couldn’t talk about back to school VR applications without talking about Yulio! Over the years, our partners at Ryerson University have been using our platform in a variety of ways. From their summer school programs to undergraduate courses in architecture and interior design, Yulio has been the tool to give students the opportunity to take their first steps inside their own projects.
Both professors Jonathon Anderson and Vincent Hui have recognized the true power that comes with giving their students the ability to see what they’ve created first hand. Not to mention how this leading technology gives their students a head start in getting familiar with technology that will be a part of the future of architecture and design. So if you’re a student in Architecture Science or Interior Design, learning about this technology now can help set you up for success in your upcoming courses and beyond.
“It’s transforming the way in which they put their portfolios together, applying for jobs, presenting their work to clients, being able to make decisions on the fly, and ultimately, take them to the next level of technological innovation.”
Jonathon Anderson, Assistant Professor of Interior Design at Ryerson University
Just for Fun
While it’s important to get focused for back to school, it’s equally as important to make time to have some fun and decompress after a long day. One app that will get your blood pumping and keep you entertained is the Supernatural VR app.
In an experience that is sort of a Beat Saber Peloton mix, Supernatural is an exercise app where you crush blocks coming towards you to the beat of the music. While it functions much like other VR rhythm games, users can select curated workouts, choreographed sequences, and actual human instructors who will keep things fun and exciting while getting a really good workout in. It was even used by one person to help him keep moving when recovering from COVID-19. So if you want an app that is just like Beat Saber but something the whole family can use, definitely give Supernatural a try.
We hope you enjoyed our list for back to school VR applications that will keep kids entertained and learning.
If you’re in architecture or interior design, learn all about what Yulio can do in taking your hard work to the next level - click here. To hear more stories from our VR champions and how they have been using Yulio, click here.