Teaching with VR

Last week we had a visit from James Maltby, Learning Technologist at Plumpton College. Plumpton College is based in East Sussex and one of the RAU’s partner colleges. We oversee validation of a number of their postgraduate level courses.

James Maltby demonstrates a pole for the 360 degree camera

James Maltby demonstrates a pole for the 360 degree camera

James is an award-winning learning technologist and educational researcher specialising in blended and immersive teaching. His work embedding virtual reality within teaching has been featured on BBC Countryfile. He has presented research at the Association of Colleges, Blended Learning Consortium, Education & Training Foundation, and JISC.

In 2019, he was awarded a fellowship from the 1851 Royal Commission and the Education & Training Foundation to continue his research into how immersive technology is transforming technical teaching and STEM education. The programme is a a partnership of Sussex training providers in the United Kingdom exploring the effective use of 360°, augmented and virtual reality technologies within the classroom. You can read more about the project at: https://www.teachingwithvirtualreality.com/

Showreel from Plumpton College on Vimeo.

James started our workshop with some nearpod questions that got us thinking about our digital skills. After a brief history of virtual reality (from the Nintendo Virtual Boy released in 1995 to the Google cardboard of 2014 and Oculus Rift in 2016) and the state of current technology he demonstrated some of the learning and teaching videos Plumpton have made (see https://vimeo.com/plumptoncollege). The videos range from countryside tours and forestry visits, to experiencing horse jumping and horse dissection. We were all able to try out the videos using an Oculus Go headset and see the relatively inexpensive tools used to create them – a Rioch Theta 360 degree camera and extension pole.

As a group we discussed quick and easy ways to get started. For example use of Google cardboard or Google streetview apps and embedding in H5P – see below.

RAU grass quad - click to view

RAU grass quad – click to view

We’d like to thank James for visiting us and sharing Plumpton’s exciting content with us. We’re raring to get started!

VR/360 ideas crowd sourced from the group

VR/360 ideas crowd sourced from the group