I have my wife to thank for this one. You see every year at JESS Dubai the school hosts an International Day and this year's event is right around the corner. We have over 40 nationalities represented at the school and the whole community comes together to celebrate diversity, culture and heritage from these countries. Different countries will set up a stall and give students the chance to enjoy food, complete activities and learn about the country from JESS parents. This year my wife is heading up the Scottish team.
She has been organising Scottish-themed activities and this morning she asked me (and I quote) - "Is there any of your VR stuff that I can use?"
Challenge accepted, it only took a matter of minutes to find that Visit Scotland had released a free VR app that was actually really impressive. Take a look -
So with this sorted for her (and after a somewhat lengthy conversation regarding how to use it and which of my many mobile VR headsets would be best) I started thinking about what a great learning resource this was for students learning about Scotland. This type of app delves deeper into the country than a single 360 on YouTube or other such platform. As it's been designed for tourism purposes, it also affords some great opportunities in the English classroom. Students can explore the use of this app for promoting the country. Traditionally students would analyse leaflets and the like for persuasive language but in the modern world of VR, persuasion and marketing take on new forms. Of course there's still some use of the classics -
So I jumped on my PC and started looking for similar apps from other countries. To focus my search, I stuck to the following criteria:
1. It had to be an iOS app (sorry Android folk but I only use Apple when it comes to mobile tech. Most of the apps will be on Android too though I imagine.)
2. It had to be free.
3. I looked for apps that covered whole countries first. If I didn't find anything I tried to look for states or capital cities.
4. I did not use any "multi-country" apps - just ones that are dedicated to a specific location.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a fair selection though I honestly don't think any of them come close to the Scottish effort in terms of production values and attention to detail. I decided to embed the links on an interactive Thinglink map which you can find below or access in full size here.
Throughout the day I have scoured the iTunes store to try and track down as many of these apps as possible but I'm sure that some have eluded me. At the time of writing, Africa and the USA (barring New York) have proven the most tricky to find ones for.
Can you help? Do you know of any other apps like these that could be added? If so please send me a DM on Twitter (@steve_bambury) or message me on here and share the link to the app with me. I will then add it to the map and give you credit below. Thanks in advance to anyone who can add one!
Isabella MacQuarrie for directing me towards the Canadian app Sesqui VR Meridian