What is Google Cardboard?
Google Cardboard is a fold-able cardboard viewer that is used to view virtual reality apps. And what is virtual reality? Virtual reality lets you view the world in 3D!
One of the places you can purchase Google Cardboard is on amazon.com. It costs about $20. Then you download virtual reality apps onto your iPhone or Android device, place your iPhone into the viewer, and you can tour the world in 3D.
Here is a video that explains a little more about Google Cardboard. This video was created in June of 2014 and the app that is presented in the video is now a little bit different, but it is still awesome!
I’ve been taking Google Cardboard into second grade classrooms to coincide with their unit of study on maps. You can take an urban hike using the Google Cardboard app, and on your hike you will visit Venice, Rome, Monte Carlo, Paris, London, Tokyo, Jerusalem, and the Great Barrier Reef!
To preview the lesson, I created a tour using Google Tour Builder. Here is the link to the tour of the Urban Hike. After the hike, I explained the use of the Google Cardboard. Make sure to explain to students to be careful when walking as you cannot see where you are going when you have the viewer up to your face. It would be helpful to clear a space in the classroom for students to use when viewing.
After students had an opportunity to take the urban hike, I gave them paper to write about where they visited. Here is the writing activity on a Google Document that you can share if you have your students on Chromebooks. Since I only had one Google Cardboard viewer, each student was able to view the urban hike for about two minutes. I also printed and laminated pictures of the places they could view on the urban hike to assist them with their writing.
There are many other virtual reality apps that work with Google Cardboard. If you search Google Cardboard, you will get a pretty good list of them, and I’m sure many more are being created! There are roller coaster apps, an app showing Paul McCartnery in concert where you are on stage with Paul and you wear headphones to listen to “Live and Let Die.” I have found apps on the Solar System, and a narrated walking tour in New York City! Here is a great article about the Top 20 Google Cardboard apps.
So check out Google Cardboard! It is lots of fun for adults too! I think I know some people in my family who are going to get Google Cardboard for a gift this holiday season!