Te Papa is closed until further notice. Te Papa Covid-19 coronavirus information

Kua aukati a Te Papa kia puta rā anō he pānui. He mōhiohio nā Te Papa mō Covid-19 huaketokarauna

Virtual reality classroom resource

Creating virtual reality (VR) in your classroom is easier than you think. With free online tools your students can do it for themselves.

  • Education type Education resource
  • Suitable for Primary, Secondary

How to create VR in your classroom

Four students are busy at work on their computers

Caption

Corinna School students using Tinkercad, Raranga Matihiko programme, 2018. Photo by Kate Whitley. Te Papa (113818)

Sketchfab is a free online platform for sharing 3D designs and virtual reality art. The wonderful thing about Sketchfab is it allows anyone to create their own VR experiences at a very low cost.

All you need is:

  • smart phone
  • cardboard VR viewer.

At Te Papa, we develop opportunities for learners to use technology to create their own responses to the collections and exhibitions. For some of these creative responses students use free 3D design tools such as Tinkercad and SculptGL. We have then been using Sketchfab to turn their creations into VR experiences.

Tinkercad

SculptGL

Jump into VR for yourself

To view 3D models created by students in our Hīnātore | Learning Lab, follow the instructions below.

Sail on a Pacific vaka

=""

Caption

Screenshot of a 3D vaka design created by a student using Tinkercad, 2018. Te Papa

This vaka was created in Tinkercad by a student inspired by our Tangata o le Moana exhibition as part of our Pacific Explorers learning programme. To view it in virtual reality:

  1. Use your smartphone to go to this link: Alpha Waka on Sketchfab
  2. On the model, click on the ‘View in VR’ button.
  3. Put your phone in a cardboard VR viewer and look around.

Go on a treasure hunt

=""

Caption

Screenshot of a VR treasure hunt created by a student using Tinkercad, 2018. Te Papa

This virtual reality treasure hunt was created by a student using Tinkercad. When you view it with a cardboard VR viewer, activate the button to teleport around and find the stars. To view it in virtual reality:

  1. Use your smartphone to go to this link: Nikkos Treasure Hunt on Sketchfab
  2. On the model, click on the ‘View in VR’ button.
  3. Put your phone in a cardboard VR viewer and look around.
  4. Activate the button to teleport around the model.

Experience a VR pou

=""

Caption

Screenshot of a VR pou created by a student using SculptGL, 2018. Te Papa

This virtual reality pou was created in SculptGL by a student in response to traditional Māori carving techniques in the Mana Whenua exhibition at Te Papa. The student created their pou to represent their strengths and their story. They have annotated it using Sketchfab to identify meaning in their creation. To view it in virtual reality:

  1. Use your smartphone to go to this link: Jessica Hutt Intermediate on Sketchfab
  2. On the model, click on the ‘View in VR’ button.
  3. Put your phone in a cardboard VR viewer and look around.
  4. To view the annotations, tap the button on the cardboard when the annotation number is highlighted. Alternatively use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to select an annotation.

Why should students create their own VR?

Real world, tangible outputs help to make learning concrete for students. However, this doesn’t always translate into contemporary practice, can take time that students don’t have, and can require a whole other set of manufacturing skills students haven’t yet learned.

Sketchfab is a gateway tool that puts creative potential into the hands of students. Students can use 3D designs to create their own immersive worlds as virtual reality experiences, complete with annotations and audio.

If the purpose of a learning experience is to communicate ideas, explore design iterations in 3D and share it with others, then using Sketchfab is our favourite tool.

Links

Four children wear cardboard virtual reality viewers on their faces

Caption

Students use cardboard VR viewers in Hīnātore | Learning Lab, 2016. Photo by Michael O'Neill. Te Papa (16511)