Monday, August 1, 2016

Will VR be a Staple in the Art Classroom?

I’m lucky enough to work at a STEAM school.  I know, I know, there are so many variations of
STEM that it can seem a little bit daunting sometimes but I think STEAM is where it’s at.  For the uninitiated, the STEAM brings the Arts into the mix of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  Since I have taught World Language for a big part of my teaching career, hence the señor moniker, I would be remiss to not acknowledge the importance of the arts in education.  As a huge educational technology proponent I have often thought about how technology can impact the creative side of education and the inherent need that most humans have to create new things.  That’s quite possibly the aspect of VR that excites me most.  IMHO, VR has the potential to make our digital interactions much closer to our more natural creative processes.
Since I don’t have touch controllers as of yet (any HTC Vive or Oculus Touch contacts out there that want to get me some samples?  I would be more than happy to demo them :) I can only speak theoretically from some of the developments in this area.  There are two fairly compelling proofs of concept that already exist.

 Google Tiltbrush

Built to work with the HTC vive motion controllers, this simple drawing program lets you draw in 3 dimensions.  There isn’t really any way to describe this any better.  Even watching videos doesn’t do the experience justice.


Oculus Rift has yet to release its Touch Controllers but they have been partnering with a VR sculpting application called Medium.  Some artists recently took to demoing the technology at the Comic-Con conference and it looks amazing.  Could this type of technology work its way into the standard Art classroom?  I don’t see why not, it’s an extremely compelling way to think about designing naturally in 3 dimensions.  It makes me want to start teaching art!

KingSpray Graffiti Simulator

How about graffiti art?  This demo is pretty killer.  I challenge you not to watch the entire 3 minutes of this video oohing and awing and thinking about what you would spray on your own virtual brick walls.