Check that your classroom meets the minimum technology requirements.
To get started with Ocean School, you will need:
Using a modern browser, you can access the Ocean School platform, video assets and Google Classroom materials. To use the VR activities, you will also need headsets and mobile phones.
Note - If you are using Safari on an iPad or iPhone to view a 360° video or VR experience, you will need to adjust your browser settings to allow motion tracking. For more information, see our Troubleshooting guide.
What will my students gain?
Each Ocean School Module is guided by overarching lines of inquiry and media featuring different locations, scientific concepts, and key environmental and social issues.
Ocean School activities inspire discussion and motivate action using a variety of media (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality, micro-documentaries, 360 videos, linear videos).
Our goal is to transport learners to places they could never go, and to encourage collaboration and exploration. Most of Ocean School’s interactive activities, such as the 360 video experiences, can be done solo, while our virtual reality and augmented reality experiences are best enjoyed in small teams of 2-4.
Can I use Ocean School on an iPad?
Yes, you can!
When you open an Ocean School activity on an iPad, it will open in a Google app.
Make sure you have the following apps on your iPad when using Ocean School:
If you are using Ocean School with Google Classroom, then you will also need to download the Google Classroom app.
What are AR, VR and 360° experiences?
Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 360° experiences are all found in Ocean School.
Augmented reality (AR) experiences such as Pokemon Go or Snapchat filters add digital elements to a live view from your device’s camera. Want to watch a shark swim through your kitchen?
Virtual reality (VR) devices such as Google Cardboard transport you to new environments, both real and imaginary. In a VR experience, you decide what you want to see and where you wish to go — swimming with the fishes?
360° Videos (360°) are video recordings where an omnidirectional camera films a view in every direction at once. It’s like being the passenger in a car. You can look all around you, but the driver (filmmaker) decides where to take you.
Which pieces of media use AR, VR and 360?
In your Module guides, the device requirements for each piece of media are indicated using the symbols below.
How do I watch a 360 video?
You can watch our 360 videos using your phone or tablet, or directly in your internet browser.
To watch the video in the browser:
Click Get started.
Click Continue without pairing.
Click Continue. The experience will open in a new tab.
Click and drag with your mouse, or use your touchscreen to look around.
Some of our videos contain buttons. Click or tap a button to use it.
Want to watch video on phones or tablets? It can be easier than sharing a screen.
To watch the video on a phone or tablet:
Click Watch the 360 video on Ocean School.
Click Get started. Now you should see the pairing screen.
On your mobile device, go to nfb.ca/os.
Copy the pattern that you see on the pairing screen. The video should load automatically.
You may see a pop-up that asks you to enable video. Tap Yes. The video will start automatically.
Move or turn your device to look around.
Some of our videos contain buttons. Tap a button to use it.
To watch the video using a VR headset:
If you have a VR headset like Google Cardboard, you can use it for a more immersive experience.
Open the video on your phone or tablet.
Tap the mask icon in the lower right corner.
You may see a pop-up that asks you to enable VR mode. Tap Yes or OK.
The video should start.
Put your phone into the headset.
Turn your head to look around!
Some of our videos have buttons. Look at a button for a second to use it.
Virtual reality headsets are highly recommended to get the most out of the Ocean School experience.
At this time, some VR activities require iOS mobile devices, but this will change as we develop further.
If you do not have access to a classroom kit, check your school’s BYOD policy to see if students are permitted to bring their own mobile and/or VR devices.
Start the VR experience using your computer or tablet. All you need is an internet connection and a modern browser. For the best experience, we recommend using Chrome.
Follow the instructions on the screen to learn how to use the simulator.
Click the goggles in the upper right corner to see the VR view in your browser.
Click and drag to look around.
Setting up VR on phones and tablets
You can ‘pair’ tablets or phones to the VR experience. This will allow you to play with a partner or as a group!
When you make a change on the main computer or tablet, everyone who has paired to the VR will see what happens under the water!
To see the VR on your tablet or phone, you must pair your device.
To pair devices to the VR experience:
Make sure everyone is connected to the same WiFi network.
On the main computer or tablet, go to the VR experience.
Click Start interactive.
Now you should see the pairing screen.
This screen shows a pattern that you need to draw on the other devices to link them together.
On your mobile device(s), go to nfb.ca/os in the browser.
Copy the pattern that you see on the pairing screen.
If you are on a phone, you can now choose whether you want to use the VR view or the 360 view.
Tap VR to use a VR headset like Google Cardboard. Now you will be able to place your phone into your headset.
Tap 360 if you don’t have a headset. We recommend using the 360 view if VR experiences give you motion sickness.
On the main computer or tablet, click Continue.
Follow the instructions on the screen to change the VR scene!
Can I watch a 360 video on my Oculus?
To watch a 360 video on Oculus:
Open the URL in the browser.
Click the VR icon in the bottom right corner to enter 360 mode.
Some of our videos contain buttons. Use your gaze to push the buttons.
Tip: If the video or audio do not play, try updating your Oculus!
How do I know if my phone or tablet supports AR?
Our augmented reality (AR) applications are currently only compatible with IOS.
This is temporary, and these applications will be made available in the browser on any device in the coming months.
What are the WiFi requirements?
You will need to have a minimum connection speed of 5MB/sec.
What can I do if the WiFi is too slow?
Here are some tips to help you get Ocean School into your classroom:
Investigate if your school network can handle the burden of many devices connected at the same time.
Download VR and AR applications in advance. Some applications such as the ROPOS and Phytosurge can be downloaded and used offline. Download the application in advance of the activity, as this can be time-consuming. If you intend to use the students’ personal devices, it is recommended that you have the students download the apps as a homework assignment at least a week before the activity.
Set up a hotspot or classroom network
Why won’t devices connect for collaborative apps like the ROPOS or Phytosurge?
Some school networks are very secure, and may prevent students from connecting devices. If this happens, we suggest setting up a Wi-Fi hotspot or peer-to-peer network. This will not use the data or wifi from one device, but allow information to be communicated between the two devices.
How do I set up a WiFi hotspot?
Some WiFi networks may allow peer-to-peer connections, so that you can connect individual devices together. Ask your school administrator about your network to find out if it allows peer-to-peer connections.
If your school doesn't have a WiFi network, or if peer-to-peer connections aren't allowed on your school network, you can set up your own in a few ways:
Use a router to create a new network
Use an Android or Apple® iOS® phone to create a WiFi hotspot