Page 27 - Campus Technology, June 2017
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Samsung Gear 360
ment is happening in the fields of entertainment, games and sports, but surprisingly “a lot of interest and energy is being pulled toward the development of medical con- tent and we see the visual fidelity and interactive options
maturing rapidly in virtual medical simulations,” according to Georgieva.
Craig sees a parallel between the emergence of mobile phones and VR and how most students have their own mo- bile devices now. “I have my students using [cell phones] in the classroom as I think they’re an incredibly powerful tool. Many apps are coming from developers, and we’re making very powerful use of them in the classroom. I think the same thing will happen with virtual reality, where the hardware will be produced by outside vendors and the platforms will be developed by content makers or others in the VR communi- ty. Both K–12 and higher education communities are going to adapt those platforms for our learning needs.”
Game engines like Unity and Unreal are often a starting point for creating simulations. However, these platforms can be somewhat complex for non-technical users. Digital Bodies says other platforms may emerge that should make it even easier for educators to get started creating and us- ing virtual experiences.
“Very specifically targeted platforms — things like Labster, which creates virtual chemistry labs — will become impor- tant in specialized subjects,” Craig said. “To be able to put together molecules virtually, as opposed to in real life, en- ters us into this world of simulation where we’re free to play around and make mistakes — and that will be powerful for the learning environment.”
In addition to platforms, there are a lot of apps in the works that will enable users to tag content, add layers and other- wise manipulate VR content. “We are witnessing a variety of mobile apps maturing and likely to see more develop- ment over this summer,” Georgieva said.
ThingLink, for example, recently introduced a school- specific editor for creating 360-degree and VR content. Lifeliqe, Aurasma and Adobe are also working on more interactive tools.
4) 360-Degree Cameras
Newer 360-degree cameras have introduced more user- friendly features, like video stitching and live streaming, which educators can utilize to introduce more video content in course materials.
“I’ve talked to faculty and students and they’ve said [VR video] content is much easier to produce. At the same time, they get to create real stories from that — not just a field trip but more for a storytelling type of experience or project,” Craig said.
He has been using 360-degree video in several of his classes at the College of New Rochelle and has helped a few faculty members experiment with VR content. “It’s interesting for students to begin to explore this area and think about how they might use this as, for example, future nurses or artists who might

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