How I Use It
The product comes flat with instructions on how to fold it. Once set up, inset your cell phone, find content and you are ready to go.
Google Cardboard is an inexpensive way to provide students with a decent VR experience. Recently, Samsung has been pushing their VR sets. They’re more expensive and may do more - but for a classroom, cardboard is fine. Cardboard does lack some of the features found in pricey VR sets (there are countless others out there) but it does the job. Like any other piece of technology, it all depends on the content. Without the right content, the VR experience can be flat. The NY Times has done a nice job creating VR material that relates to world events. The NYT VR app as well as others like Discovery VR and Jaunt VR are free and easy to use. I suggest a decent pair of wireless headphones to go along with it, this creates an experience that connects to multiple senses. The apps provide a 360-degree view of the virtual world. Some apps provide quick hits, just a brief look at location or event. Others, like the NYT VP app provide more in depth imagery and information. Both have their merits, but the NYT VR is a better starting point for crafting a VR based lesson. Students can experience the fight for Falluja, an Islamic pilgrimage or a close up of Pluto. All in HD and all captivating. Now, there are a few things. If you wear glasses, Google Cardboard has some issues. There are other VR goggles that allow the user to make adjustments to vision, like binoculars, cardboard does not. To me however, the biggest issues is motion sickness. Yes, you can get nauseous using VR glasses. If you are prone to motion sickness, be a careful. Even worse, if you are like me and suffer from vertigo, Google Cardboard must be used in small doses as it can cause a flair up. This is something to be very aware of when assigning VR to students. Look for content that can be used with or without the Cardboard. Students can see 360 images on a phone, though not immersive, it can provide those who have issues a chance to experience something. Overall a teaching tool and technology that’s just beginning and could be a nice addition to a classroom. It's good, but not yet great. The content is limited, but that is changing and over time more will be available.