//3 Reasons College Professors and Students Are Building VR Apps

3 Reasons College Professors and Students Are Building VR Apps

Fall is back to school season. And for many college students, it will be their first introduction to the power of Virtual Reality. This past year, we saw a huge uptick in InstaVR sign ups from college professors, administrators, and students. What that means is people affiliated with Universities will be able to benefit from either creating or experiencing VR apps built using InstaVR. Below, we anecdotally relay three reasons for this surge in interest in Virtual Reality.


1. University students are no longer passive learners. VR creation makes learning interactive.

Many schools now have dedicated labs and equipment to allow students to author Virtual Reality. This includes Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), where students across a number of disciplines combined to create their own customized 360 camera rig for recording a musical short. And North Carolina State, where students can check out from the library cameras (Gear 360, Ricoh Theta S) and headsets (Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard). And Brown University, where Adam Blumenthal, Virtual Reality Artist-in-Residence, taught a summer session course on VR to 15 students that resulted in every participant creating their own VR application.

Why VR? Because it’s immersive, memorable, and engaging for students. Passive learning is a thing of the past. Now students are creating learning experiences for other students. Witness the architecture students at German University in Cairo, creating virtual tours of historical buildings using InstaVR, and showing each other visually the unique features of them.

What makes this possible is the drag-and-drop nature of web-based programs, like InstaVR. For art students or architecture students to learn Coding in specialized VR software would take a whole semester. Now, most of the work is in creating the CGI 360 worlds, or capturing the 360 still images or videos. Authoring apps is the easy part.


2. Colleges are investing in technology to lure top students.

15 years ago, campus wide wi-fi was rare and considered a luxury. 10 years ago, you were just starting to see students carrying around smartphones. Now, thanks to web and mobile technology, students are equipped with a vast amount of information and computing power. And to lure top notch talent, schools are investing heavily in technology, including software, as STEM majors become increasingly popular.

Take the University of California, San Diego. Their Computer Science and Engineering Department, very highly regarded, is outfitted with 25 Oculus Rifts, with 10 more on the way. That means classes of up to 70 undergrads can be creating and experiencing virtual reality. Their VR Club now has over 300 members. All of this started with a single $20,000 grant, which the department used for a few 360 cameras and an HTC Vive.

We’ve spoken with numerous higher education clients successfully getting grants for VR, like UCSD did. Foundations are as enamored with the power of VR as we are. And it’s not just limited to STEM — the applicability of VR is so vast, that a wide array of Professors from different departments have come to us to purchase InstaVR Pro licenses for educational use, with funding from outside the department.


3. Distance Learning — online programs at colleges — are becoming increasingly popular. VR is a good fit for these.

State budget reductions and higher expenses are forcing colleges to look for alternative sources of revenue. One of the more popular ways to expand colleges, already at capacity in terms of on-campus students, is to offer online undergraduate and graduate courses. Online programs require a bit more creativity in student-teacher and student-student interaction, since they don’t exist in the same physical space.

VR helps bridge this gap. Professors we’ve spoken with are creating Virtual Field Trips and Virtual Learning Experiences that can be distributed digitally. InstaVR not only provides the platform for authoring the VR apps, but for distribution as well. WebVR allows for embedding 360 media directly into class web pages, and VR can be experienced on just about any iOS or Android phone. This makes distribution of learning materials simple, and as we’ve discussed, Virtual Reality is highly memorable for the students learning via this methodology.

As more schools recruit students for distance learning programs, VR will naturally become a more common way of presenting learning materials to this type of student.



Colleges and universities saw a rapid acceleration in VR adoption over the past school year. From soliciting and receiving large grants to purchase VR software and hardware, to student run VR organizations growing 10x in size, the momentum is building.

InstaVR provides a great drag-and-drop, easy-to-learn VR authoring platform for students and professors. It saves valuable time in the VR app creation process. Our solution is great across a wide array of disciplines — from art to architecture to computer science. If your school is considering adding VR to the curriculum, or augmenting an existing VR program, definitely considering offering InstaVR to students and faculty. Academic licensing is available on classroom purchases of 10+ licenses.

If you have any questions on InstaVR for Education, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Head of Sales, Andrew Woodberry, andrew at instavr.co or +1 925-708-3928.

2017-09-06T16:45:54+00:00 September 6th, 2017|General|