Spartan Tech Squad, Technology

Creating a VR Haunted House

As a part of our Spartan Tech Squad class, our students recently participated in the Mouse Create October Micro-Project where they were challenged to design their own Virtual Reality Haunted House.  While we have done many projects this year, I believe that our students found this project to be one of the most enjoyable and interesting projects.  The students had no prior knowledge of designing 3D environment but, since it was interesting to them, they were able to learn and master all of the skills to be able to create a creative haunted house.


VR Haunted House: Project Background

(Project information from the Mouse Create Program.)

Outcomes:

  • Use CoSpaces to create 3D environments.

Gear:

  • Computer or Chromebook with internet access.
  • Smartphone (Optional).
  • VR Headset (Optional).

Prep:

  • Learners will create a 3D environment in this activity that is completely viewable and shareable on a computer with internet access.

VR Viewer Setup:

  • Should you decide to view learners’ 3D environment creations on a smartphone, download the CoSpaces app from your device’s App store. Some phones are incompatible with VR programs so check whether the phone you plan to use can fully view user projects in the CoSpaces app gallery before proceeding with students.
  • VR headsets are usually designed to fit most cell phones but check that the phone you intend to use pairs with your particular headset. Here is a list of available VR headsets.
  • Log into the CoSpaces account that houses your 3D environment on the CoSpaces app with your phone, or send yourself a direct link of your 3D environment so you can open it on your phone.
  • Place your phone inside your VR viewer and start each student’s VR experience.
  • Select the two icons on the bottom right of the CoSpaces app screen when within a 3D environment to toggle on the 360° view or VR view modes.

Student Samples:


After our students created their VR Haunted Houses, I had them do a “gallery walk” and use the Google Cardboards to view their creations.  (As a side note, the Google Cardboard worked best on Android phones since the iPhone only had the Cospaces EDU app.)  While doing the gallery walk, it was clear that the students had taken their time to explore and learn about the Cospaces app in order to create a complex VR Haunted House.  Many of the students had uploaded pictures, sounds, and music to make their Haunted Houses more realistic and creepy.

Although the project went well, I always try to reflect on what I would like to do next year.  (It’s the only way to grow, right?!)  In the future, I would like to create some sort of activity for students to write about what they were learning through this process.  Since they were completely unfamiliar with this program, I think it could have been an excellent time for them to write about the problems they encountered, the solutions they found, and how they came to these solutions.  Overall, I would like to have more opportunities for students to reflect on what they learned and expand their literacy skills.

Have you used any VR platforms in your classroom?  If so, what programs have you used, activities have you created, and learning outcomes have you observed?  Share in the comments below!

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