Hi there. I am a Hospitality and Tourism teacher considering buying a few of these VR headsets to use with my students to virtually go on field trips and visit places around the world. I have a few questions about this, however, if there any teachers here who use this product. I want to know if Meta offers an educational discount if I buy through them and and buy 5 or 6 headsets at once? Also, is it difficult to get through a school boards firewalls to set these up so kids can use? (Ontario, Canada educator here) Also, is the software that involves travel and touring engaging or is this really meant more for gaming so the travelling aspect of software development lacking? Any other things I should consider before putting out this kind of money from my school budget to use with my students?
Hey @jodi.mavrantzas, Great questions!
As for your first questions about the discount, Meta does not offer a discount for bulk buying their headsets or for teachers as an educational discount.
As for getting through the schools firewall, I haven't heard from any other teachers in the forums mentioning any troubles with connecting to the internet or getting through the firewall. However, to be on the safe side, I would recommend contacting your schools IT team to see what they think.
As for software that allows for travel, there is definitely a good few apps that are great for this experience! I'm yet to try it, but BRINK Traveler on the Oculus store looks like a great experience for travel that offers bits of information on historical and geological statistics depending on the area you travel too! There are also software like Wander which allows you to teleport to anywhere on the earth and get a street view of where you choose!
As for other important things to take into consideration, the account setup can be a bit convoluted, especially with having them be for a multitude of student. The accounts will need to be set up with a Facebook account and the accounts are going to need to be created for each device, and I've seen other teachers mention that the students can't use their own personal account for obvious privacy and obligations from the school. With that being said, each account will need to have their own Facebook account created by the school in order to function properly. There's also a lot more that can go into creating the Facebook accounts, as the accounts have to be associated to a persons identity so the account doesn't get banned for being a fake account. Also the App Sharing feature would not work as you would want it, causing you to have to purchase the software on each account.
There's a lot that has to go into getting the headsets set up, and please take what I have to say with a grain of salt, as the idea of using VR for education in schools is still very new and may have some kinks that need to be worked through, and I wouldn't want you to go through the trouble if other teachers were unsuccessful in getting the experience and learning capabilities that they were looking for. I would recommend waiting to see if there are any other teachers that see this post and have their opinion with their experience, before making any decision.
I hope this was able to provide you with some useful information! I find this subject very interesting and would love to see this become a mainstream thing in the future. Thanks for bringing your questions to the forums, we love hearing about teachers wanting to use VR for education! I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!