Common Sense


Top Tech for Using Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can help extend what we see in the classroom or bring the outside world in. Whether students are watching videos of current events or manipulating interactive models, AR and VR can add an extra layer of depth to our lessons. As students play, watch, and create, they'll be walking in other people's shoes and may begin to develop empathy in the process. There's so much potential here for creative ways to build social and emotional skills. Check out our picks below to find immersive worlds, 3D models, and tools to create your own AR and VR experiences in the classroom.

Continue reading

Top Picks


PrintPrint list

Quiver Education - 3D Coloring App

Augmented reality app adds some interactivity and learning to coloring

Bottom line: This can make a great occasional lesson supplement, but ultimately the lack of customization and light learning hold it back.

3DBear AR

3D design and augmented reality merge in creative, interactive app

Bottom line: A great fit for classroom or makerspace settings as long as kids have compatible devices.


Impressive, interactive 3D models augment classroom learning

Bottom line: While some models are lower resolution and less appealing, Lifeliqe is still a no-brainer for supplying mostly clear, professional 3D models for deep investigation.


Interactive slideshow tool engages students, promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and offers both teacher- and student-paced learning.


Fire up the warp drive to bring VR field trips to your classroom

Bottom line: With stunning scenes and a flexible delivery method, your students will thank you for journeying together through space and time.


Robots, Arduinos, and drones -- the block coding app to rule them all

Bottom line: Impressive tool for introducing block coding and robotics on a ton of devices.

Discovery VR

Immersive videos let students enter the magical world of VR

Bottom line: VR videos will grab the viewer's attention; just be sure to carefully select the content for your class.


Gorgeous frog anatomy app provides realism without depth

Bottom line: Students can closely examine a frog's anatomy and life cycle in a gorgeous, clean, and reusable way, but teachers will need to supplement the app for a complete lesson.

Google Earth VR

Explore the world with an incredible new perspective and sense of scale

Bottom line: An amazing experience that brings the world to life, despite the heavy investment in VR required.


Break down concepts in a new way with AR models

Bottom line: These 3D STEM models will certainly engage students when added to lessons, but usefulness is limited by a lack of creation options.

WWF Free Rivers

Gorgeous ecology AR model is simple but compelling

Bottom line: The free price tag makes this app a no-brainer for including in any lesson on water resources, though teachers will still need to provide context.

Arloon Geometry

Cool exploration features, so-so quizzes teach kids about shapes

Bottom line: A nice way for kids to interactively explore three-dimensional shapes, but built-in quizzes have limited impact.

CoSpaces Edu

VR design tool sparks creativity for those with the coding chops

Bottom line: This is a well-designed VR playground for experienced coders.


Ambitious augmented-reality tool engages users, promotes coding skills

Bottom line: This dynamic tool allows users to create and experience augmented-reality activities while learning 21st-century skills.

Arloon Anatomy | The Human Body

Explore the human body from the inside out

Bottom line: An interactive 3-D simulation that lets kids dive into the human body and learn about how it works along the way.


Create valuable Pokémon Go-style learning games for iOS devices

Bottom line: A teacher who is willing to learn ARIS can create robust mobile experiences that will resonate with students.

Field Trip

With a few tweaks, nifty augmented reality app can be classroom-ready

Bottom line: Field Trip isn't as searchable as Google Earth, but it's a strong local resource.

NYT VR - New York Times

Immersive 360-degree videos take users inside the headlines

Bottom line: Though there isn't much explicit learning content, there's immense value in the extraordinary opportunity to take a walk in someone else's world.

HoloLAB Champions

Immerse students in a fantastic VR chemistry lab

Bottom line: Students can safely experiment, play, fail, succeed, and learn in this engrossing virtual chemistry lab.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

See related resources