For the past few years, I've shared ideas to bring ARVRinEDU effectively into classrooms. I often received questions about what device to purchase when getting started with augmented and virtual reality at school. Initially, I shared iPods for both AR and VR options; however, when Apple didn't update the devices for a few years, I stopped recommending them.
Without being overly critical, I'm not a huge fan of the expensive kits currently offered to classrooms. There are a couple of problems I find with the practical application of these devices such as cost, quality, and versatility. The cost of the off-brand devices is difficult to justify, especially when they are used only for AR and VR. For the past two years, I've recommended ARKit compatible iPads, but some districts want students to explore VR with headsets.
When ARKit was released to developers, it was a complete game changer! The way we explore augmented reality is improving, but the limited devices that run this technology are frustrating for classrooms. Until now, classes were restricted to iPads and iPhones to use these apps.
I'm excited to share that Apple has officially released the new iPod Touch (7th generation)! With an A10 chip, the device is compatible with ARKit apps for powerful augmented reality apps, yet small enough to fit into VR headsets. Below is a breakdown on a possible kit you can create for your classroom.
10 Apple New iPod Touch devices
$199 x 10 = $1990
10 Protective Cases
$19.99 x 10 = $199.90 (approximately)
10 MERGE Headsets
$29.99 x 10 = $299.90 (contact MERGE for education pricing)
1 Charging Case (Stationary)
Total kit cost: $2668.58
WOW! That's an excellent price for incredible technology. I'm most excited that these devices offer more than just AR/VR but many other apps to support classroom learning. As district are considering technology budgets for their refresh, consider devices that empower our students with future technology and much more.
If you're interested in a mobile charging station, check out TechTubs! While most of the charging stations are made for iPads or Chromebooks, I predict we'll see more options in the future with the release of the new iPod Touch.
Ready to bring augmented and virtual reality professional development to your conference or district?