Day 4 - ARVRinEDU Device + Kit Ideas
In the past few months, I’ve received a large number of requests for device recommendations. I’m assuming many of the requests are coming from additional funding due to the pandemic, and I’m thankful that schools are thinking about ways to innovate their lessons. I often request to meet briefly on the exact objectives of the organization before making a recommendation to better understand what is already available and what is missing to accomplish their goals.
Regardless of the circumstances, I tend to come back to some of the same recommendations because many schools discount the benefits of these common devices. Most organizations want to buy the latest headset or glasses that they believe will really capture learners. Most often, I don’t recommend the high-end devices because they tend to be the most difficult to implement and limit the students from engaging in a variety of immersive experiences, not to mention the additional hurdles they must overcome. We try to make devices intended for individuals fit into our classrooms, and as a result, we run into many problems.
On the other hand, we have access to mobile devices that run some of the most current AR and VR technology. Although Merge has some virtual reality experiences to use with their viewer, most of the experiences work best without being in a headset. I have device and kit recommendations below to support your immersive journey.
iPad (9th generation) $309 education pricing
The latest iPads include the A13 bionic chip delivering fantastic AR possibilities. I believe these devices are the best option for AR/VR and many other digital resources for the classroom. Some schools insist on wearing a viewer for a more immersive experience. I’ve listed a kit idea with this option below.
iPad Pro $749
If you found a significant budget for your immersive project, I’d recommend purchasing ONE of the iPad Pro. Not only does this device have the latest technology, it includes the LiDAR scanner which will allow the scanning of 3D objects to be used in immersive spaces. It’s unnecessary to have this device for a whole set, but one of these devices can give you access to the latest LiDAR technology.
Alternative Kit Option
I initially built this kit to deter schools from purchasing Expedition kits due to their limitations and extreme costs. I receive many requests about ways to use these kits now that Google has shut down many of their AR/VR applications, including the Google Expedition app.
10 Apple iPod Touch devices (A10 chip-functional today with most AR technology)
$199 x 10 = $1990
10 Protective Cases
$20 x 10 = $200.00 (approximately)
$49.99 x 10 = $499.90
10 MERGE Cubes
$19.99 x 10 = $199.90
1 Charging Case (Stationary)
Total kit cost: $3050.66
You’ll notice I didn't include VR headsets. While I absolutely love my Meta Quest devices (formerly Oculus Quest 1 and 2), they often add more problems than benefits in a classroom. A few of those problems include management, sanitation/cleaning practices, space and obstacles, bandwidth, tech support, etc. There are rare exceptions that would make this device practical for the classroom.
As you move forward with an AR/VR device purchase, successful implementation hinges on setting a clear goal and inviting all those invested into the planning.