Discovery VR

New from Discovery Education are their free virtual reality videos, viewable in three different ways: on your desktop, on your mobile phone, or using Google cardboard. With videos taking you everywhere from space to skydiving and from the ocean to remote regions around the world, Discovery VR can take your students out of their classroom (almost) and into another place through 360° video.

To give you an idea of the kinds of videos available, here’s one you can watch about protecting pandas. You can use the arrows on the video to explore all 360° of the video.

Video: Discovery VR. (2017). Protecting pandas


Like other VR tools, this one was created with the intention of giving K-12 students an opportunity to explore places in our world and beyond that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to see first-hand in a way that feels more “real” than a 2-D image. While this tool can be used as a way of creating a fun and engaging hook to your lessons, you can also use this to provide and experiential element to your teaching of the curriculum, by helping your students to develop a better understanding of the natural world, wildlife, culture, and history. Many of the videos are even narrated, providing valuable information for your students to better understand the content of the videos. Even if you don’t have access to more elaborate VR equipment, Discovery VR is a tool that’s simple to use and can help your students explore the world from a different perspective.


Discovery Education has created this guide for using Discovery VR in your classrooms, with options to view the videos on your desktop, using the mobile app, or using the mobile app+Google cardboard. You can learn more about Google cardboard, including how to make your own, here.

You can download the app to see all of the 360° videos available. When you’ve clicked on the video you’d like to watch, you’ll be prompted to select either “Mobile” if you simply want to watch the video on your phone, or “Cardboard” if you’ll be viewing the video with Google cardboard.

While watching a video, you can move your phone up, down, and side-to-side to explore the entire 360°. And, like we would always recommend for safely viewing something in virtual reality, it’s important to remain seated while watching the video with Google cardboard.


This introductory video will give you an idea of the kinds of places you can explore with Discovery VR:

Video: Discovery Inc. (2016). SXSW 2017: This is Discovery VR.

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