Counselors for Computing (C4C) Tips to Get Started with VR

vr headset

In response to a critical need for a larger and more diverse technical workforce, efforts are underway on the national, state, and local levels to increase the number and variety of computer science (CS) learning opportunities available to students. Students with an interest in CS and the opportunities to develop CS skills will be prepared to take advantage of the critical and growing needs of the 21st century workforce.

The NCWIT Counselors for Computing “See Yourself in Computing” Virtual Reality (VR) Campaign is one of many efforts to foster students’ interest in CS. Thank YOU for doing your part to direct students’ attention to the creative, world-changing fields of computing! Consider these tips and messages as you share VR with your students, and encourage them to give computing a try.

TIPS TO GET STARTED

*Note: Although we suggest using the VR headsets, these experiences can also be viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.

1. Consider using Google Expeditions.

The Google Expeditions app is another tool students can use to explore virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Read more about Google Expeditions and learn how you can guide students on a group tour.

Try These Expeditions:
*Note: Users will need to download each Expedition.

  • Ara the Star Engineer // View on VR Headset or View Online
    This expedition is based on the book "Ara The Star Engineer." an inspiring, inclusive, and whimsical way to learn about computing from real-life trailblazers.
  • QR Code

  • Explore Career Expedition: YouTube Software Engineer, Angelica Inguanzo // View on VR Headset or View Online
    Angelica created her own career pathway by combining her interest in CS and film.
  • QR Code

  • Passionate Code: App Developer // View on VR Headset
    Apps fuel our modern world and the people who create the apps help us to live our lives. Join Locassa’s inspirational creative-design team as they develop the Android version of their most successful app, iDrated.
  • QR Code

  • Texas A&M Engineering Innovation Center // View on VR Headset or View Online
    The EIC is an environment where concepts become solutions to real-world problems; and, student teams come together to build new prototypes, acquire new skills, and develop new relationships.
  • QR Code

2. Familiarize yourself with the VR “Expressions of Computing” experience. (Closed captioning is available.)

Important Links:


Instructions for Different Devices:

Experience with VR Headset and Smartphone

Smartpone View
  • Download the CoSpaces Edu free app.
  • Using your phone’s camera or a scanner app, scan the QR code on the See Yourself in Computing homepage.
  • Open CoSpaces Edu link.
  • Click Play. The VR experience may take 30 seconds or more to load depending on internet speed.
  • Click the headset icon on the lower, right-hand corner of the experience. This will allow you to view the VR content in split screen through your headset.
  • Remove any case you may have on your phone, then insert your smartphone in the viewer as shown on the inside cover.
  • While viewing, tilt and turn your head and look around. Tap the silvered button on top to interact with the material.

Experience with Phone or Tablet

Phone View
  • Download the CoSpaces Edu free app.
  • Using your phone’s camera or a scanner app, scan the QR code on the See Yourself in Computing homepage.
  • Open CoSpaces Edu link.
  • Click Play. The VR experience may take 30 seconds or more to load depending on internet speed.
  • While viewing, tilt and turn your phone and look around. Use your fingers to tab on indicated buttons or swipe in any direction to interact with the material.

Experience with Computer

Phone View
  • Click the link on the homepage or copy/paste it into your browser.
  • The VR experience may take 30 seconds or more to load depending on internet speed.
  • Click Play.
  • Use your mouse pad to click on indicated buttons. The mouse pad can also be used to move left, right, up and down to interact with the material. Alternatively, you can use the arrow on your keyboard to move.

 

3. Discuss with a counselor, CS teacher, or colleague scenarios in which you can imagine sharing the VR experience with students, as well as opportunities to explore CS.

 

4. Invite students to try VR.

You Might Say:

  • “People who study computer science go on to create all kinds of world-changing technologies, like a drone delivery service. Someone used computer science to create location mapping software to navigate the drone from pick up to drop off.” Or, “How about pulling a book off the shelf and reading it through a VR headset!”
  • “See, right on the headset it says, ‘See yourself in computing. Talk to your counselor or teacher about how to get started.’ Did you know we offer CS? (Elaborate!)”

Or:

  • Share a Careers with Code quiz where students see how their interests overlap with CS. See pages 18 and 19 in this magazine edition: bit.ly/CSplusXQUIZ.
  • Do more! Virtual “expeditions” can help students imagine what it’s like to attend college. For more information about Google Expeditions, see #1 above.

Learn more about C4C and the resources we provide by visiting our homepage: ncwit.org/c4c.

 

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