Tuesday, 26 January 2016

360 degree video

Potential uses of 360° video in Education 

360° video is a relatively new way of creating and viewing video and is a significant conceptual development.
Unlike Google Glass (allowing people to ‘see through someone else’s eyes) this technology is much more accessible to ordinary users. It is more like a ‘Photosphere’ that has been brought to life with moving image and audio combined with the GoPro ‘Point of View’ concept, allowing the viewer to see another person's perspective. You can view a 360° video on a computer or phone, but you can also view via a Virtual Reality headset (that acts as a phone holder). Viewing with a headset makes the wearer feel as though they are actually present in the scene they are viewing and this increases the impact of the viewing experience. The #360 YouTube channel  demonstrates some of the possibilities.

Here are just a few examples I've thought of for how 360° video might be used in Education:
Virtual Tours of cities, buildings, or a university campus (but this would only make sense if there is a requirement to capture something moving (eg a person), otherwise a narrated photosphere might be more appropriate.

Locations that are difficult to access, eg surgical procedures in an operating theatre, geography field trips. This view from the summit of Mont Blanc is an example of this type of video.

Seeing through someone else’s eyes (empathy) eg first person view of other people’s reactions to behaviour, experiencing being a patient in a hospital. These Athlete’s ‘Point of View’ videos  and the series "The Crossing" - an inside look at the ongoing refugee crisis are good examples.

There are currently playback limitations. YouTube only supports playback of 360-degree spherical videos on computers in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera browsers or YouTube apps for Android and iOS. 360° video does not let the viewer control their vantage point. In a VR environment viewers can move within the space, not simply look around so expectations would need to be managed. The availability of cameras is limited and if they cannot film in 4K this can detract from the impact of the experience.

Do you have any ideas for how 360° video could be used with your students? Please email or post here if you have an idea you'd like to try.