Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2017

CoSpaces Edu

VR design tool sparks creativity for those with the coding chops

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
4-12
Common Sense says (See details)
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Pros: Provides a fully engaging and immersive way to create virtual, 3D worlds.

Cons: Since there's not much support, users will need a strong background in coding to take full advantage of the site.

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

Teachers can use CoSpaces Edu across the curriculum. Students could use it to model their thinking about literature, create infographics, tell stories, or model scientific principles. A virtual museum could be created for sharing student work. To truly build out elaborate projects, students will need some deep coding instruction first.

CoSpaces Edu would make sense in a project-based learning class. Use the lesson plans for ideas to get started and then dive in to the forum to get more detailed help.  

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CoSpaces Edu makes coding 3D virtual reality worlds engaging and accessible. Creating a class and creating new assignments are quick and easy. After joining the class, students use the drag-and-drop library to build a virtual world limited only by their imagination. Images, including 360-degree photos, can be uploaded. The next step is breathing life into these objects. This is accomplished by coding using Blockly (a Scratch-like coding environment) or through JavaScript and TypeScript.

Users can share their work in galleries and remix other gallery projects. Instructors have real-time views of their students' work using a slick dashboard. Viewing the projects using VR glasses is the real standout for CoSpaces Edu. This is accomplished with the accompanying iOS and Android apps.

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CoSpaces Edu can be an excellent learning tool for students with a coding background. Bringing content to life in virtual reality using the programming languages can be highly motivating for students. However, users with limited coding chops may struggle to take full advantage of the platform because it doesn't offer coding tips.

CoSpaces Edu is a solid platform that doesn't onboard teachers or users as well as other coding platforms; building in scaffolded coding projects could help newbies and provide starting points for teachers. It would also benefit from tutorials and built-in help features that could assist beginners in moving to the next level.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students will immediately take to creating the virtual worlds of their imagination; animating and coding the world are a bigger challenge.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Simple VR worlds can be created by dragging and dropping from a library of objects. The real power is bringing these worlds to life by coding in Blockly or JavaScript and TypeScript.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Tutorials, coding basics, and projects are missing from the site. Users will benefit from prior coding experiences.


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Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

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