Introducing virtual reality


Lesson objectives

As students are introduced to virtual reality they will:

    • Use the VR headset to view a 360° video

    • Reflect on their experience

    • Collaborate and construct a set of ground rules for their use of VR in the classroom


60 minutes (This will depend on how many headsets there are)



Explain to the students:

    • You will be using virtual reality, augmented reality and 360° videos in upcoming classes.

    • Today you will explore a 360° video of Cocos Island in Costa Rica.

    • You will learn how to set up and use the smartphone, virtual reality headset, and the virtual world.

Ask your students the following:

    • Where have you seen VR used?

    • Have you used VR or 360° video before?

This might be a good opportunity to identify students who can help others.

Demonstrate the steps they take to get set up

    • Unlock and turn on the smartphone and make sure the wifi is connected.

    • Open Ocean School platform.

    • Click on …

    • Demonstrate how to put the headset on with the headphones

If you do not have a 1:1 ratio of devices to student, create small groups and give each student a role. Examples include:

    • The viewer (wearing the headset) describes what they see on the screen to their crewmates.

    • The spotter keeps an eye on their partner to make sure that they don’t bump into anything or get hurt.

    • The recorder writes down everything the viewer is seeing and sharing.

Hand out VR headsets, headphones and smartphones

Assist students with setting up their equipment. (Depending on how many headsets there are, this may take longer than you expect.)

Once the students have their equipment set up, they can begin their explorations.

Tell the students to:

    • Look all around when you are wearing the headset.

    • Describe what you see to your crewmates so they can also be part of the experience.

    • Take turns viewing the 360° video, spotting and recording.

When the students have finished exploring, have one person from each group return the equipment. Expect this to take longer than anticipated, this is new for you and your students.

Hold a group discussion about the experience

After all students have had a chance to experience the 360 video bring the class back together to reflect.

Ask your students the following questions:

  • What did you think about the experience?

  • What did it make you feel?

  • How can we make sure we get the most out of these experiences?

Hold a group discussion to set up ground rules when using VR equipment

Tip - you can use the last reflection question above to begin this discussion!

Here are some suggested ground rules:

    • Only disturb the person using a VR headset to prevent an accident.

    • Take care of your crew! Keep track of the time and keep the VR player from bumping into things.

    • Take breaks! After 5 minutes using the headset, change roles to allow your crewmates a chance to try.

    • Share your experience! Tell your crew or buddy what you are seeing.

    • Keep an arm's length distance from the person using the VR headset so they can move freely.

    • Respect the devices!

      • Be gentle with the equipment.

      • When your turn is up, clean the headset and headphones.

      • Plug in your device to be charged.