Teachers can use Discovery VR by sharing specific videos that align with their class content. You could assign questions and viewing guides for each video and follow up with targeted discussions. Videos could also be used as the hook into a design-thinking challenge. The VR experience is different each time it's explored since users can focus their attention on any part of the 360-degree video. Multiple viewings, especially using a headset, will help students explore the content in a new way and notice more details with each visit to the VR world.
The app is also a great tool for inspiring young writers. Teachers could use the videos to help students develop more vivid story details or inspire new ideas for their writing assignments. Having students describe what they see in the VR videos could be a useful tool for ELLs or speech therapy students. Of course, the app is also great for discussing how the brain processes 2D images into 3D imagery.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: Discovery VR is no longer available.
Discovery VR is like YouTube for 3D videos. The content includes short videos from a wide range of Discovery series including Shark Week, MythBusters, Racing Extinction, and more. Videos can be searched by series, but the sorting options and search features are limited. The videos can be viewed directly on a desktop browser, smartphone, or tablet. Moving those devices around changes the perspective and brings a 360-degree view to users.
The app really shines when used with a VR headset. Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift headsets deepen the level of immersion into the VR universe and create fantastic 3D worlds for users to explore. Some of the best classroom-related content can be found in the Racing Extinction, Innovative Design, and Gold Rush series.
Teachers who enjoy integrating videos into their instruction may find Discovery VR useful. The big difference between using YouTube versus a VR video is that VR works best one-on-one. Discovery VR videos can be projected on a standard LCD screen, but viewers won't be able to move through the VR world at will. That aspect of self-discovery is what makes the Discovery VR content so magical and engaging and may help develop inquiry-based skills.
There is also a limit to the number of VR videos that teachers will find useful for learning in their classrooms. Educators of younger students may not want them browsing videos from series such as "I (Almost) Got Away with It" or "Ghost Asylum." The app would have stronger educational value if teachers could easily link to specific videos or create playlists.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.