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Immersive Technology Use in Education


Reality is considered to span a continuum. As technology has advanced, the interpretation and definition of AR, VR, MR, XR .. technologies has evolved. The ongoing evolution of these technologies continues to blur the lines commonly used to distinguish them.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) superimposes virtual content onto or into the real world allowing users to interact, manipulate or otherwise interact with virtual content while continuing to see the “real” environment around them.  The use of AR can allow for additional information such as directions, video, internet pages and more to be available to users through the use of an app on their smartphone (or other AR technologies such as glasses) in the real world. 


Augmented Reality can be used in multiple environments. The classroom is one that is particularly beneficial. AR use may help students become more engaged in the concept/topic at hand. Rather than just looking at the textbook, or watching a video, students can see the topic come to life in a 3D model through the use of the digital device.  


Augmented reality can be used to bring students learning to life. It can be connected easily to specific curriculum expectations across a wide array of subjects.It can be used during a lesson, but can also be used in ways around the classroom that can be accessible to students to refer to when needed; such as a word wall or photo wall.


The use of Augmented Reality may assist in student comprehension or enhance conceptual understanding. By offering 3D visual representation and/or additional information, AR offers educators and students an opportunity to share in an engaging and hands on learning experience.

Primary – Gr K-3

Understanding Life Systems

  • Grade 1 – Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
  • Grade 2 – Growth and Changes in Animals
  • Grade 3 – Growth and Changes in Animals
    • Look at animals and plants in 3D and outline their characteristics – go beyond; outline the similarities and difference between different animals and plants – how they look, what they eat, how they move, where they live, etc. – go beyond; outline the differences between certain kinds of plants and their characteristics. ie) Use the Bugs 3D AR book  

Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

  • Grade 1 → Materials, Objects, and Everyday Structures
  • Grade 2 → Movement                 
  • Grade 3 → Strong and Stable Structure     
    • Look at the specific properties that materials have and how the different materials a structure has determines the purpose it is used for – go beyond; look at how simple machines help to move objects (looking at the AR object, students will be able to look at why/how these machines are able to move objects) – go beyond; look at properties and materials that makes these structure strong and stable. ie) Use the Construction Machines 3D AR book

Understanding Earth and Space Systems

  • Grade 1 → Daily and Seasonal Changes
  • Grade 2 → Air and Water in the Environment
    • Look at a 3D representation of the different kinds of weather patterns that are apparent in the seasons. – Go beyond; Look specifically at how water and air in the environment are a major part of the environment. ie) Use the iStorm AR book  


Junior – Gr 4-6

Understanding Life Systems

  • Grade 4 → Habitats and Communities
  • Grade 6 → Biodiversity
    • Look at how plants and animals are interdependent and adapt to meet their needs based on the resources that can be found around them. Use scenarios, how this plant or animal would change if (blank) was removed. Go beyond; look at how diversity plays a critical role in the health of plants and the ways in which humans can impact this diversity. ie. Use Bugs 3D AR Book
  • Human Organ Systems
    • Explore the human body and look at how organ systems are components of the larger system (the body), and how they work together, and affect one another.  ie. Use 4D Anatomy – The Human Body AR Page

Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

  • Grade 4 → Pulley and Gears
  • Grade 5 → Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms
    • Look closely at gears and how they are an integral part of our everyday life in the sense that they are specialized wheels and axles that can be found in many objects we interact with every day. Go beyond; explore the forces that are within our environment that act upon structures and mechanisms. Look at how these forces can be measured to determine how they would affect a structure and mechanism. ie. Use Construction Machines 3D Book.

Understanding Earth and Space and Systems

  • Grade 6 → Space
    • Look at the various components that are found in Space and how earth is apart of this large interrelated system. Examine the technologies and scientific advances that have enabled human travel to space and we study space. ie. Use iScience AR book.

Intermediate – Gr 7/8

Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

  • Grade 7 → Form and Function
  • Grade 8 → Systems in Action
    • Examine the form of a structure and how it is dependent on its function. Critically examine a structure of your choosing and its purpose. Go beyond; understanding that all systems have an input and an output and how these systems are built to optimize human and natural resources. ie. Use Construction Mechanisms 3D AR book.

Understanding Earth and Space Systems

  • Grade 7 → Heat in the Environment
    • Examine the sources of heat that are found in space and how this heat is produced. iScience AR Book.

Examine that heat is a form of energy that can be transformed and transferred and the ways in which heat has both positive and negative effects on the environment. Examine the sources of heat that can be found on Earth iStorm AR books.

  • The Numberlys by William Joyce
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
  • Idinosaur by Dr Darren Naish BSc MPhil
  • Iscience: Elements, Forces and Explosive Experiments! by Mr Clive Gifford
  • Istorm: Wild Weather and Other Forces of Nature by Anita Ganeri
  • Princesses and Their Pals 3D Popar Toys
  • Bugs 3D Interactive Children’s Book Popar
  • Construction Machines 3D Popar

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is essentially the use of technology to create the illusion of presence in a computer-generated environment that isn’t really there. VR can be used to help students better understand a concept that is being studied by placing them in a simulated environment.


VR can be experienced through a traditional desktop computer (Desktop VR) or through a fully immersive practice that requires the student to wear a head-mounted display (HMD).


VR can offer learners a unique learning experience that they cannot get from looking at a video, slide show or textbook. VR can provide visual and spatial simulation experiences by allowing the student to feel as though they are physically placed within the environment they are learning about. 

Google Play Store VR Apps

360 Videos for Education (You Tube)
Apps for Google Cardboard
​Make Your own Google Cardboard
You Tube on making your own Google Cardboard
Further DIY Google Cardboard Directions
Google Cardboard DIY Template and Bill of Materials 
Google Expeditions
Google Expeditions Lesson Plans 
NEARPOD Nearpod for ScienceNearpod Demo25 Virtual Worlds to Visit  
Edorable  VIRTUAL WORLD TO USE IN YOUR CLASSROOM – Hold online discussions, break into small groups, give a lecture, hold online office hours, watch video, browse the web, hold webinars, or do some role-playing activities. Have fun! Look for ideas at their blog.


Google Cardboard and Smartphone VR are considered “dead” in the industry as a whole. While this is “true” overall, there are still a number of apps and tools you might find useful for K-12 students. As such, I have left this section here and will begin to build another section with apps and tools that are not smartphone VR based. While head-mounted devices (HMD) are currently cost-prohibitive for many school districts, the costs are expected to continue to decline. 

Examples of Resources that could be used:

Virtual Reality for Education – Google Cardboard Resources – these will work with other viewers as well​Science Focus – 28 Best AR and VR Apps and GamesVR CONTENT – 360 VIDEOS ON YOU TUBE
360 Videos for Education (You Tube)VIRTUAL REALITY VIEWERS – (there are lots of different viewers, these are just two low cost examples)
​Google Cardboard
Apps for Google Cardboard
​Make Your own Google Cardboard
You Tube on making your own Google Cardboard
Further DIY Google Cardboard Directions
Google Cardboard DIY Template and Bill of Materials Google Expeditions Lesson PlansVirtual Reality for Education – Google Cardboard Resources – these will work with other viewers as well​VIEWMASTER  -VR Viewer
Viewmaster Underwater
Viewmaster Destinations
Viewmaster Space

Math Curriculum Connections

Elementary School Grades 1 – 8 Science and Technology Curriculum

Primary (Grades K–3)

Science and Technology Curriculum

  • Understanding Life Systems
    • Grade 1 – Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 2 – Growth and Changes in Animals
    • Grade 3 – Growth and Changes in Animals
      • All livings things are linked together. Students can observe how living and nonliving things work in conjunction with one another. For example, take a walk through the Amazon Jungle and see the birds are in the trees; the trees offer the birds shelter. These two things are connected
      • Taking a walk through the African Savannah or the Amazon Jungle and seeing how things are without the introduction of humans. After the VR tour discuss how things would look different if humans were introduced into the environment, what would happen? (Can “take a walk” as a class – instruct students to go to the left, straight, to the right).
      • Take your class on a tour of the Australian Outback, African Savannah and/or Amazon Jungle and have students discuss the differences and similarities between the animals and/or plants in each of the environments
      • Have students select an animal and/or a plant and observe that animal/plant in its natural habitat. Have the student create a booklet that acknowledges where it lives, what its needs and characteristics are.

Junior (Grades 4–6)

  • Understanding Life Systems
    • Grade 4 – Habitats and Communities
    • Grade 6 – Biodiversity
      • Students will learn that living things (including humans) rely on other living things for the energy and resources they need to live. They will also investigate factors that alter various habitats and communities, including those factors that occur naturally and those that result from human action. Have students take tours of any of the destinations of the Destination disk or the Wildlife disk to further examine and review these relationships 
      • When assessing human impacts on habitats and communities, students may be given the task of considering human actions from a variety of viewpoints pertaining to a specific VR disk
      • Allow students to spend a period using the cardboard viewmasters to observe either a habitat of the teachers choice or their own choice. Have students classify the organisms they come into contact with and to expand on the roles and interactions of individual species within the whole
  • Understanding Earth and Space Systems
    • Grade 6 – Space
      • As an opening unit exercise, have students take a tour of space using the Space disk and take a tour of the Solar System to get familiar with objects that are in the sky, looking at their form, movements and interelationships

Intermediate (Grades 7–8)

  • Understanding Life Systems
    • Grade 7→ Interactions in the Environment
      • Students will take a virtual tour of the existing ecosystems using the Wildlife disks. They will walk through the ecosystems on their own, exploring the entire ecosystem while taking notes of what they see (both the biotic and abiotic elements). Once this has been done, they will investigate outside forces that may disturb the balance within the ecosystem. From there students will come up with ways they can make it their personal responsibility of protecting the environment.
  • Understanding Earth and Systems
    • Grade 7 → Heat in the Environment
      • Students will take a tour of any area that they can enter virtually on the Destinations disks or Wildlife disks. While taking the tour, students will need to come up with possible ways in which heat can affect that environment; what would it look like, who would it affect the most, how?, what would change and how?, etc.
    • Grade 8 → Water Systems

You want your students to be makers? You want them to explore the possibilities of new media in all dimensions? With CoSpaces, they can make their own VR experiences – like virtual models, presentations or stories –, share their creations and even explore them in virtual reality. Learn More HERE.

This video shows how to use multiple 360 GoPro’s together to shoot a video 

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