Virtual Reality at FCS

This article and video were produced by the FCIT tech interns. We have edited the article for clarity and brevity. 

FCIT offers for classroom using three different VR systems. Listed in order of complexity, we have 22 Google Cardboard headsets that can be used with any smart phone for an easily accessible classroom 3d experiences. We also offer 12 Lenovo Dream Headsets in a cart. Finally, we now have two highly sophisticated HTC Vive VR systems in the tech suites.

Google Cardboard:

These portable, easy to use devices work with any smartphone. Apps we like include Google Expeditions, YouTube360, Google Arts and Culture, and Titans of Space 

Lenovo DayDream:

FCIT proudly hosts a managed set of 12 of these. Offering the above options and many more, Daydream offers impressive visuals. Our favorite feature is that teachers can lead “tours” on Google Expeditions through the Daydreams. 

HTC Vive:

For the most immersive and interactive experience, with the most possibilities we offer  the HTC Vive. While the HTC Vive is more complex than the alternative VR Headsets it is vastly superior in its ability to interact with the virtual environment, and is less complicated than it appears.

 These HTC Vive offerings give a sense of the variety and depth of the offerings. We can get hundreds of programs. These include programs such as: 

Nanome – Science – This app allows students to collaborate in a virtual environment, the students can interact with proteins, molecules, and atoms up close in a way that is impossible in real life.

Becoming Homeless VR – Social Studies / Psychology This story / interactive experience puts students in the life of someone that has been evicted and can no longer afford a house. Students can fully understand and feel what it is like to be homeless, allowing them to empathize with the large amount of people in that situation.

Anne Frank House VR – History- Follows Anne Frank during WWII, allows the students to see what historians believe happened rather than the stories. Includes excerpts from her diary.

Kremer Collection VR – Art- This VR experience allows you to explore a large collection of classic artworks in incredible detail, getting closer than you possibly could in real life.

Hololab Champions – Science- This VR app allows the player to experiment and do challenges involving safely creating chemical reactions, this turns chemistry into a game so that the student can actually enjoy and will want to play this educational game.

Mel Chemistry VR – Science- Mel Chemistry VR has a large variety of lessons from atoms to molecules and everything in between, designed to hold a young student’s attention and help them optimally absorb the information.

1943 Berlin Blitz – History-Helps the student get a more immersive view and helps them fully understand WWII from another perspective.

The Body VR – Science (Already Included)- Enter one of the billions of living cells inside our body and learn how the organelles work together to fight deadly viruses.

Here’s a mashup video made by the tech interns show some of the amazing things the Vive can do.



EdPuzzle should be on your shortlist of essential tools. Why is EdPuzzle essential and so useful?

Simply this, take any video from YouTube or Khan Academy (and other sites) and make it interactive by embedding questions right in the video.

This allows for:

  • self-paced lessons. It lets students move through content they already understand to focus on what challenges them. Students are also able to stop and review content they missed the first time the teacher taught it. 
  • students to ask questions that they too embarrassed to ask in class
  • teachers to easily add images, interactive graphs, websites and comments to a video lesson
  • students to respond to teacher posed questions. There is a useful “big-brother” aspect to this. As a teacher, I can see how many times a student watched a particular segment (or if they watched it at all).  I’ve had students watch segments of a video up to 5 times to answer a particular question. This lets me know if my question is too hard or the concept is too challenging.
  • full integration with Google Classroom.

Take it another step. Tape yourself either during class delivering the content or in advance of class. Now your lesson is archivable and interactive in ways it never was before.

By the way, I rarely go to as I usually use the chrome extension to do my edpuzzling. It gives me all the utility I need and saves me some clicks.

To learn everything you could ever want to know about EdPuzzle, check out its YouTube Channel.


Flipgrid – A Video Tool for the Classroom


Flipgrid is a video discussion platform. It couldn’t be easier for students to use as they simply click a big green + button and begin to talk. As a teacher, I can control how long their responses are supposed to be.

I used the tool this year in two similar but different ways. I have my students journal every couple of weeks usually via a blog or google docs. Instead of a written journal, a couple of times I asked students to do a video journal.

Here is one such example as this student reflects on an in-class simulation. It gets even richer as students begin discussion threads and go back and forth discussing and debating ideas. Below is a screenshot of a portion what I see as a teacher. You can see each video has its own unique shareable url. I can easily comment on any of these posts with a typed or filmed comment. You can also see that “4th wall” of teaching is partially penetrated. These kids are viewing what their classmates have to say. Blake had 11 classmates view his responses. The discussion moved beyond the classroom.

I also used it for quick status reports as my students did a month long maker-space project. Simply clicking through the video responses was a quick and easy way for me to gauge student progress.

Stacy Roshan is a Flipgrid superuser and posts quite a bit on her own blog about Flipgrid. Here are some highlights.



Preview Files in Google Drive

It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best way to find something is to start looking.  Google Drive lets you quickly preview more than 30 file types and quickly flip between files until you find the one you want.

To see a preview of a Google document, right-click on the file name and select “preview.” Once the preview window is open, you can click on the arrows on either side to flip to other files. And right from within the preview, you can watch video files or scroll through multi-page documents.

You can select and copy text from the preview — even for a PDF or Microsoft Word document — or use the zoom buttons to see a file in more detail. Each file preview also gives you one-click access to share, download, print or open a file for editing.

Via: google drive blog