360° Virtual Reality Video for the Classroom

As a teacher who’s keen on using film footage in class, you can imagine my excitement when I first came across 360° video. It was this film that recently caught my attention that made me realise how engaging it could be in the classroom.

*For full impact and effect, before clicking you need to view this blog on Google Chrome or on a current Android OS for full effect of 360 video – see below for details.

What such footage does is place the viewer in a virtual reality environment giving them control on where to look, immersing them in a virtual, three-dimensional world – a superb stimulus for the classroom, don’t you think?

How to Use:

First of all, to be able to move and manipulate the camera angle, you need to be using a recent version of Google Chrome as a browser for a desktop or laptop. This is easy to download and free too.


A 360-degree camera

For mobile technology and tablets, currently only recent versions of Android are able to view the 360 video. Using the gyro-axis on a phones and tablets, will enable to user to turn the device, in-turn changing the aspect within the video. I’m positive this will soon change though, with operating systems such as IOS allowing for users to access this. Stay tuned!

My initial thoughts were that such footage could be really useful in class. Especially seeing the impact first-person GoPro footage had upon writing with my year fives on particular writing projects last year. Fortunately, this technology is becoming more and more popular and accessible to people.

With YouTube now allowing 4K content to be accessed, 360 degree video and 3D video, there can only be a wealth of these types of video to come in the near future.

It is important to add that some of the footage available differs in quality; some being in HD (or less) and some in 4K (which is a recent 4 x HD standard), now available on YouTube.

What I’ve done is handpick some true 360 footage and embed them below for you to try. What do you think?

Google Cardboard

At the start of the year, Lee Parkinson blogged about the use of Google Cardboard (Virtual Reality Headsets) – see here for its impact with particular apps Lee used in class. In my opinion, these headsets would work brilliantly with 360 video too – you can buy them here – and seeing as though maxresdefault (1)more and more 360 video is available, I can see these becoming more popular, especially when Apple upgrades its IOS. For now, most of us will have to make-do with using Chrome on desktops and laptops, however, I think you’ll agree the possibilities for this are rather exciting to say the least.

I’d really appreciate it if you could all add your own ideas and suggestions for how we could use such footage in class. Using this Padlet link, please add any ideas you have or footage you manage to find. Do forgive me, as I’ve painstakingly tried and tried to embed Padlet in WordPress to no avail.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 14.05.45

What does this mean for the future of film-making? 360 degree movies using tripods? One can only imagine…

Other Useful Links & Important Information:

Gizmodo article on YouTube 360 video: http://gizmodo.com/youtubes-ready-to-blow-your-mind-with-360-degree-videos-1690989402

Advice on uploading and viewing some 360 content: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6178631?hl=en-GB

Watch 360-Degree Footage with Google Cardboard: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6239930?hl=en-GB

A website with an abundance of 360 video footage: http://video.360heros.com/

360-degree footage of cities and places around the world: http://www.airpano.com/360-videos.php

Article on YouTube now supporting 360 video: http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/13/8203173/youtube-now-supports-360-degree-videos

I will continue to add further video and ideas after our new baby has arrived and I have more time. Enjoy and thanks for reading – hope it’s useful!

Mr C