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VR in Classroom - Purchasing options

rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
NerveGear
Hello everyone!  

I was hoping for some opinions/advice on the topic of VR in the classroom.  First a little background: my school district has multiple funding sources for Next Generation Learning Environments.  I am a STEM teacher at my school district and recently I have demoed my personal Rift for my Superintendent's office.  They have asked me to coordinate a new VR Program at our district and I have a budget of $200,000 to get the program up and running for this school year.  I am hopeful that everything will be ready by September 1st, but I am realistic and understand that there will likely be some wait time for certain products.  Here is what I plan to purchase:

Three Google Cardboard Expeditions Mobile Labs 
-Nexus 6P ($499 x 90)
-Google Cardboard ($12.50 x 90)
-Google Cardboard Storage Solutions ($4,500)

Two GEAR VR Mobile Lab  
-Samsung Galaxy S7 ($695 x 60)
-Gear VR ($100 x 60)
-Mobile Storage Cart ($4,000)
-GEAR VR App budget

FULL Oculus Rift VR/Computer Lab
-convert one current open computer lab at High School into open VR Lab for all teachers to share
-Oculus Rift VR Headset ($599 x 30)
-VR Computer System ($1449 x 30)
-Monitors (possible we already have 30 extra in district, if not $200 x 30)
-possible to get bundle discounts depending on availability
-Software budget 

I believe it shouldn't be too difficult to purchase the Google Cardboard devices.  I have spoken to a representative of Samsung and they are getting back to me with details on purchasing 60 S7s without a cell service plan.  We will be using our devices on wifi, so cell service is unnecessary.  The Samsung representative seems confident he can fulfill this order by August.  My main concern is the Oculus Rift VR Lab I would like to create.  I believe I can get the VR Computer systems order and installed, monitors, and storage solutions for the headsets all before september.  

The issue is the Rifts themselves.  Everywhere I look they are sold out, and the oculus website says limit 1 per customer.  I need 30.  Does anyone have any idea of a timeframe for when bulk orders can be placed?  I am pretty confident I can get the mobile labs up and running by the first day of school, but I plan to tell my administrators the Oculus Rift Lab will not be up and running until Christmas.  Would this be a good estimate?  Any thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated.  THANK YOU!

Comments

  • Hotdog12Hotdog12 Posts: 44
    Brain Burst
    well whatever your plans are, keep in mind, the rifts won't ever arrive in time! you don't need to thank me. go to best buy
  • rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
    NerveGear
    Hotdog12 said:
    well whatever your plans are, keep in mind, the rifts won't ever arrive in time! you don't need to thank me. go to best buy
    From what I have read, it seems jumping around to 15-30 best buys over the next 6 months will be how I solve this problem.  Unless anyone else has a different idea!  

    I really didn't want to do that ha!
  • CharlieHobbesCharlieHobbes Posts: 555
    Neo
    rlehman said:
    Hotdog12 said:
    well whatever your plans are, keep in mind, the rifts won't ever arrive in time! you don't need to thank me. go to best buy
    From what I have read, it seems jumping around to 15-30 best buys over the next 6 months will be how I solve this problem.  Unless anyone else has a different idea!  

    I really didn't want to do that ha!
    Nobody on the forum can advise you properly, your best bet is to get in contact with Oculus proper and see if they can do anything for you. I'm sure they'll like the idea of you dropping 15+ grand on them and perhaps they like the idea of Oculus in the classroom. The trick is going to be convincing them that you are not trying to get your hands on bulk so you can sell it on in some country where Oculus doesn't ship.

  • rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
    NerveGear
     The trick is going to be convincing them that you are not trying to get your hands on bulk so you can sell it on in some country where Oculus doesn't ship.

    I didn't consider this!  Well, I would be more than happy to have someone from Oculus visit our school, but that would be a dream!  I do plan on blogging about our experiences.  I will shoot them an email and see if they bite.  I just assumed they were too busy right now, and that they wouldn't budge from their limit 1 per customer.
  • CharlieHobbesCharlieHobbes Posts: 555
    Neo
    rlehman said:
     The trick is going to be convincing them that you are not trying to get your hands on bulk so you can sell it on in some country where Oculus doesn't ship.

    I didn't consider this!  Well, I would be more than happy to have someone from Oculus visit our school, but that would be a dream!  I do plan on blogging about our experiences.  I will shoot them an email and see if they bite.  I just assumed they were too busy right now, and that they wouldn't budge from their limit 1 per customer.
    They may not, but then at least you will have tried.
    The trick is finding the correct channel and selling the concept, you may get lucky (no pun intended) and get a deal.


  • rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
    NerveGear
    rlehman said:
     The trick is going to be convincing them that you are not trying to get your hands on bulk so you can sell it on in some country where Oculus doesn't ship.

    I didn't consider this!  Well, I would be more than happy to have someone from Oculus visit our school, but that would be a dream!  I do plan on blogging about our experiences.  I will shoot them an email and see if they bite.  I just assumed they were too busy right now, and that they wouldn't budge from their limit 1 per customer.
    They may not, but then at least you will have tried.
    The trick is finding the correct channel and selling the concept, you may get lucky (no pun intended) and get a deal.


    Haha! I wish!
  • Techy111Techy111 Posts: 6,863 Volunteer Moderator
    Get 30 students to buy a rift each :) just need to hand them the cash !!!
    A PC with lots of gadgets inside and a thing to see in 3D that you put on your head.

  • tommettommet Posts: 107
    Hiro Protagonist
    $200,000?

    Holy crap.  I'm also a STEM educator.  That kind of budget is a fantasy for my district.  

    You from a private school??
  • rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
    NerveGear
    tommet said:
    $200,000?

    Holy crap.  I'm also a STEM educator.  That kind of budget is a fantasy for my district.  

    You from a private school??
    No, public school. We are a small city school in Ohio with 3,000 students. We have an amazing administration that has worked hard to get us funding through grants. 
  • tommettommet Posts: 107
    Hiro Protagonist
    Hah!  3000 = Small.  We're the largest out of 9 in our region and we're less than half that.  Go in on Monday and thank your administration.  To be fair, however, my administration is pretty good - but our governor has done his best to emasculate public schools over the past 6 years and he's pretty much succeeded.  
  • rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
    NerveGear
    edited June 2016
    tommet said:
    Hah!  3000 = Small.  We're the largest out of 9 in our region and we're less than half that.  Go in on Monday and thank your administration.  To be fair, however, my administration is pretty good - but our governor has done his best to emasculate public schools over the past 6 years and he's pretty much succeeded.  
    My first year of teaching I worked for a school district that had over 96,000 students.  Now I'm in a district with 1 high school and 3000 kids from K-12.  For a "city school" we are on the smaller side.
  • agenttoffagenttoff Posts: 325
    Trinity
    Not to sound harsh, but you'd be throwing $200k away on merely a novelty if you go the cardboard / gear vr route. Is the goal of your program to teach software development for VR?  In any case I would suggest trying your damnedest to go with Rifts / Vives if that kind of money is involved.  I feel like it would remain relevant longer.
  • rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
    NerveGear
    agenttoff said:
    Not to sound harsh, but you'd be throwing $200k away on merely a novelty if you go the cardboard / gear vr route. Is the goal of your program to teach software development for VR?  In any case I would suggest trying your damnedest to go with Rifts / Vives if that kind of money is involved.  I feel like it would remain relevant longer.
    I disagree that cardboard / gear VR is just a novelty.  There are pros and cons to each platform.  cardboard/ gear VR allow for the creation of "mobile Labs" whereas Oculus Rift requires a dedicated lab.  We only have room for 1 dedicated VR lab, so to allow for more use of VR during the school days, mobile labs are essential.  

    The goal for VR education is to engage students in learning and give them realistic experiences which will increase their retention of content knowledge.  Google Cardboard with Google Expeditions is great for a quick 3-5 minute expedition, the engagement of students is through the roof.  Then teachers have students put their cardboard down, and pick up their pencils.  Time to discuss/reflect on what we are learning!  Not to mention for the price of 1 oculus rift lab we can purchase three google cardboard mobile labs and 1 gear VR mobile lab. 

    Gear VR has the exact same effect, 360 videos and 360 photos can be, part of the lesson, but students don't have to stay in VR during the entire lesson.  It is likely most teachers will have students take headsets on and off often when using Cardboard and Gear VR.  I believe that a teacher that wants a longer VR experience, Body VR, Apollo 11 or any new content that comes out soon, will want to use the Oculus Rift VR Lab.  

    There are no plans for software development year 1.  We plan to create the course year 2.  Gear VR is a great platform to teach software development with.  Year 3 we will likely send the Oculus Rifts and VR Computer systems to the software development class and replace all stations in the VR lab with Gen 2 devices/computers.

    The mobile VR is just a different kind of experience and I believe there is a place for it in education, and will typically what will be preferred by most teachers unless they have an epic lesson to teach with Oculus Rift.
  • DreamwriterDreamwriter Posts: 1,102
    3Jane
    edited June 2016
    I also don't get the hatred for GearVR - why lump that in with Google Cardboard? GearVR is amazing VR compared to Cardboard, it's very high quality and shouldn't be looked down upon. Really, cell phone VR is the future more than computer VR, cell phone VR has a higher chance of going mainstream, especially with Google now getting into the arena.
  • xi11ixxi11ix Posts: 263
    Nexus 6
    edited June 2016
    I also don't get the hatred for GearVR - why lump that in with Google Cardboard? GearVR is amazing VR compared to Cardboard, it's very high quality and shouldn't be looked down upon. Really, cell phone VR is the future more than computer VR, cell phone VR has a higher chance of going mainstream, especially with Google now getting into the arena.
    I only half agree with this. I do think cell phone VR will be the more popular of the 2 in the future but it won't look quite the same as it does now.

    I think the future there will be VR headsets with cell phone components built in (minus the cell radio) and running a cell phone OS like Android. I don't think VR with an actual cell phone will be the norm in a few years. Using cell phones is only an on ramp to what this will eventually be.

    Imagine buying a Rift except instead of plugging it into your PC it's got a built in Nvidia Tegra running Android.
  • rlehmanrlehman Posts: 9
    NerveGear

    Imagine buying a Rift except instead of plugging it into your PC it's got a built in Nvidia Tegra running Android.
    OMG.  That would be so amazing.  Ultimately having everything built into the VR headset itself would be a dream.
  • xi11ixxi11ix Posts: 263
    Nexus 6
    rlehman said:

    Imagine buying a Rift except instead of plugging it into your PC it's got a built in Nvidia Tegra running Android.
    OMG.  That would be so amazing.  Ultimately having everything built into the VR headset itself would be a dream.
    Yep, it'd be awesome. If you adopt a Vive lighthouse style tracking system you could even do 3D positional tracking without a PC.

    The Microsoft Hololens is already an all in one system. I'm sure we'll see one for VR soon.
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