Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Wearables for Learning! Oh My!

“The whole art of teaching is the only art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.” – Anatole France

Students can experience new cultures, history, and understand the world in better ways with virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearables. Teachers are using these technologies to send learners on virtual field trips or getting students to keep track of their steps, cardio, and health with fitness bands. These technologies help engage learners by providing sensory learning and sparking curiosity and imagination. For your next classes, go beyond getting students to read and learn only from worksheets and books. Integrate virtual reality, augmented reality, or wearables to create meaningful learning experiments for students. Below is a slide presentation (free to download) followed by bookmarks filled with activities and resources.

Get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers and Learning to Go.

Ideas and Resources

  • Yes, you can afford a few wearables or Google Cardboards in your class.
    • Set up stations or a cart that is part of a rotation. Example- reading station then a map exploration station of the place you read about then the Google Cardboard station where you visit the location in virtual reality.
    • Crowdfunding– Many sites will allow you to raise funds for a project by asking people around the world for small donations. Try raisingfunds via Donors ChooseAdopt a ClassroomGo Fund MePledge CentsKickstarterIndiegogoUseedClass Wish and Digital Wish.
    • Grants– You can apply for grants like this teacher did to get her Fitbits. Try WeAreTeachers, GrantGopher, or NaNoWrimo.
    • Pilot programs– Often big companies like MicroSoft or Verizon will want to run pilot programs worldwide and provide your school with tons of their devices.
  • With Google Cardboard you can get students to travel to different countries or sites and introduce them to various cultures using virtual reality.
    • The Google Cardboard app for iOS and Android has different virtual reality adventures to explore nature and the world​​​.
    • Get resources, help and ideas in the Google Cardboard Teacher Community.
    • The NY Times has two virtual reality nature and environment experiences.
    • Teachers can download the free Google Expeditions Android app and take their students on virtual reality field trips around the world.
    • Your students will enjoy the Google Spotlight virtual reality YouTube stories.
    • Explore museums with virtual reality or Google cardboard. Learn more in this article.
  • Get students moving with augmented reality.
    • Apps like AR Soccer require students to work in pairs to kick a virtual ball. Check for other AR  sports students can play in class on your mobile device.
    • The most popular free AR game right now is PokemonGo (iOS/Android). Soon PokemonGo will have a wristband that will vibrate when a Pokemon is nearby.
    • Ingress is another free iOS/Android AR game.
    • Students can learn by coloring and bringing characters to life with Quiver.
    • Students can create their own augmented reality experiences with Layar, Aurasma, and Blippar.
    • For more ideas, check out this awesome AR chart of resources and activities on the Engage Their Minds blog.
  • If your budget can afford it, get students moving with Apple Watches or other wearable technologies like Kapture, the Narrative Clip, the Fitbit, Jawbone, Xiaomi, or the Myo.
  • Check out these hashtags to find more resources- #AR, #GoogleCardboard, #virtualreality, #VR, #AugmentedReality, #Wearables, #WearableTech, and #AppleWatch.


Augmented Reality, by shellyterrell

VR, by shellyterrell

Wearables, by shellyterrell

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

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