Are you an NQT searching for a way to put your stamp on the way education is delivered? Do you wish to incorporate educational technology into your lessons?
Then you’re in the right place.
We understand that teaching doesn’t stop at the school gates. Hours of preparation, planning and marking are put into every lesson, meaning you need the absolute best resources available to assist you in delivering your lessons.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top online teaching resources available to spice up your lessons and make life easier this September. Ready?
Tes is an online teaching resource allowing you to download and print worksheets.
On offer are both paid and free worksheets, suiting the budget of any teacher or school.
With over 1 million worksheets available to cater for early years, primary, secondary and SEND learners, TES offers an excellent range of high-quality resources, with all made for teachers, by teachers.
Tes is also perfect for finding a new job in teaching and conducting courses to help with your teaching – so it’s more than just of the top online teaching resources!
Your pupils will all love to watch YouTube videos, and we can guarantee they will all be engaged as soon as they see the red logo appear on your interactive whiteboard. It’s a fantastic tool in a teachers arsenal to educate children in an easy and different way to usual.
Twinkl provides teacher-created resources to provide lesson planning, worksheets and assessments for teachers to use.
Over 525,000 resources have been created so far, meaning that there are choices in abundance for you to decide which to use in your lessons.
With all resources are tailored to the UK curriculum, Twinkl is truly one of the top online teaching resources around.
Teachers Pay Teachers
Teachers Pay Teachers is a resource available for educators to find the resources, knowledge, and inspiration they need to teach at their best.
Over 3 million resources have been created by educators, so the resources available have been made by people who understand what works in a classroom.
Despite their name, Teachers Pay Teachers offer both paid and free resources, meaning whatever your budget, they’ll be able to cater to your needs.
Seymour & Lerhn
Step back in time and view how our ancestors lived, shrink down to the size of dust mite and visit their microscopic hiding places, or curl up and explore a narrated fairytale story in 360!
With a library of UK curriculum-based educational 360 experiences for school children, Seymour & Lerhn is one of the top online teaching resources available.
Teachers can deliver VR, AR and 360 experiences through hardware schools already own (such as laptops, tablets and smartboards), meaning no expensive VR headsets are required!
A range of content is available, catering for primary, SEND, and early years, meaning no child misses out on experiencing immersive, virtual tours.
The giant building hosted the thousands of global exhibits of The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, the brainchild of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, to celebrate the industrial technology and design of the Victorian age, showcased to more than six million people.
And now, 169 years since the exhibition opened, visitors can step back in time and explore the building once again, using their phone, tablet or PC.
A combination of CGI and 360 photography which overlays the historic building onto the present-day site, allows visitors to switch between then and now.
Users can marvel at the huge scale of the site. People can discover intriguing stories as they navigate: you can find out about the first-ever public toilets and the lady who walked from Cornwall to attend, becoming a celebrity in the process.
The building was regenerated digitally using The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851’s archive of plans and images, as well as The Royal Parks’ historical documents such as old maps.
The Royal Parks was the winning entry to a competition set by Seymour & Lerhn, which invited organisations to put forward proposals for a virtual reality education resource and built the virtual reality tour of The Crystal Palace as the competition prize.
The Great Exhibition opened on 1st May 1851 in London’s Hyde Park to showcase the arts, science and technology of the day, yet nothing remains of the structure now.
So, 169 years later we’ve harnessed today’s technology to bring the Royal Parks’ heritage to life, uncovering the park’s past for everyone to enjoy, especially those who aren’t able to visit in person.
The Royal Parks will seek funding to further develop the project by populating The Crystal Palace with the artefacts of The Great Exhibition.
The Great Exhibition of 1851 ‘Crystal Palace’ was a truly incredible feat of engineering, and we’re delighted to see it brought to life on its 169th anniversary!
With the lockdown continuing, the virtual tour offers a unique way for people to ‘get out of the house’ and explore the history hidden within Hyde Park – all without actually having to leave their homes.
SEND stands for special educational needs and disability, and technology can assist the support which learners receive in numerous ways:
Physical barriers to access
Physical barriers include all things related to obstructing access for getting to a classroom for SEND students.
Examples of ways that schools can improve their access for SEND learners include having automatic doors, electric wheelchairs and lifts available. This allows learners to overcome barriers to learning and gaining access to the education they require to develop their learning.
Here we observe the very early history of VR, as we begin to see the origins of present-day VR use.
You’d have to go back to 1838 to begin the history of VR story, with Charles Wheatstone creating the stereoscope. This device allowed the user to view two separate images for each eye, creating a larger 3D image and a sense of depth in their minds.
Thomas Edison and William Dickinson invented the kinetoscope in 1881. The kinetoscope allowed users to view images at 46 FPS (frames per second), as a piece of film was sent between a lightbulb and a lens to form an image.
Did you know? Thomas Edison first believed that the kinetoscope was a silly toy. However, it was an immediate success deeming him a pioneer of the motion picture.
Link Trainer Flight Simulator (LTFS)
The LTFS created by Edwin Link of the Link Piano and Organ Company in 1929. He’s widely known today as the man who invented the flight simulator and kick-started a multi-billion pound industry.
The machine involved only a plane fuselage (the main body of a plane) that simulated the movement of an aircraft. This aids pilots to experience being inside a cockpit, and also recreated the realistic dangers of air travel by using pneumatic pumps (a mechanism which uses compressed gas to create movement).
William Gruber and Harold Graves’ stereoscopic 3D photo viewer, known as the View-Master, was invented in 1938. The device took stereo photographs, giving the user an illusion of depth by providing each eye with a slightly different image, meaning an image formed in 3D in the mind of the user. According to ViewMaster.co.uk, the device was originally created as an educational tool, however, it developed into other markets such as children’s entertainment.
The View-Master’s potential was recognised by the US Military, as ten’s of thousands of View-Master’s were purchased to aid aircraft identification during the second world war.
Did you know? The View-Master brand name was once recognised by 65% of the world’s population. However, one of the inventors of the product, William Gruber, hated the name! He believed it sounded too familiar to kitchen appliances available at the time!
The History of VR: Late 20th-century progress…
The 1960s to the 1990s bridge the gap between the history of VR and its present-day use, highlighting the technological progress made during this era.
The telesphere mask was developed by Morton Heilig in 1960 and was the first-ever invention of a head-mounted display, paving the way for modern-day devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and Playstation VR. A huge step forward in the history of VR! This was the first of its kind to incorporate stereoscopic technology, stereo sound, 3D imagery, and widescreen vision into a single device. It did, however, lack the ability to be interactive.
The definition of virtual reality: VR is the creation of a virtual environment presented to our senses in such a way that we experience it as if we were really there (According to The Virtual Reality Society).
A year after the telesphere mask was developed, Headsight was invented by the Philco Corporation during 1961. Two engineers from the organisation (Comeau & Bryan) took Heilig’s head-mounted display one-step further, adding interactivity to the device by adding motion tracking. A magnetic tracking system tracked the head movement of the user, which was linked to a remote camera.
The practical use of Headsight included immersive remote viewings of dangerous situations by the military.
Morton Heilig developed his VR offering to the world by inventing the Sensorama in 1962. The Sensorama was a machine that included a stereoscopic colour display, fans, odour emitters, stereo‐sound system, and a motional chair! This provided one of the earliest examples of immersive, multi-sensory technology.
The device was built for entertainment purposes, and dubbed ‘The Cinema of the Future’. Initially, 5 films were on offer, including a bike ride through New York, with the user experiencing the feeling of wind blowing towards them, whilst the aroma of hot-dogs and petrol fumes would be recreated by chemical aromas.
The Sword of Damocles
Soon after the Sensorama, The Sword of Damocles was created by Ivan Sutherland in 1962. This was a head-mounted display that was connected to a computer for the first time, as opposed to a camera. The headset was extremely heavy to wear, so it had to be hung from the ceiling in order for it to be comfortably worn. This lead to the device’s name, as in Greek mythology the Sword of Damocles hung above the King’s throne to symbolise that with great fortune and power, comes great danger.
Airforce Super Cockpit Program
Thomas Furness designed the airforce super cockpit program in 1986, which projected computer-generated 3D imagery into the head-mounted display of the user, infrared and radar imagery, and avionics data to create an immersive, 3D, virtual experience.
Furness is considered one of the pioneers of transitioning simulator technology from real-world imagery to virtual reality.
Virtual Group Arcade Machines
The not-so-distant history of VR (1991) saw the launch of virtual group arcade machines, which used magnetic stereoscopic visors and joysticks. This allowed for multiplayer gaming in both standing and sat-down scenarios.
The gaming console giants of their day, Nintendo and Sega, took the leap of faith by launching their own virtual reality headsets, the Virtual Boy and Sega VR. Like today’s complete immersive experiences, the 1990s VR experience was delivered through a headset. This, however, was where the similarity between VR of the past and present begins and ends.
The ultimate failing of 90s VR was down to the poor technology on offer at the time. The headsets delivered their virtual services with an extremely low-resolution display, meaning low-quality images were formed causing a less immersive experience than the modern VR offering.
It was not just the quality of the images formed which hindered the experience, as the only colours visible on historic VR devices were black and red. This again decreased the overall experience obtained by the headset wearer, adding to why the new technology didn’t take off as it was expected to.
These reasons, along with the devices causing strain and damage to the users’ eyes, no multiplayer compatibility and extortionate costs, meant that 1990s VR was set to fail from the very beginning.
How Oculus kickstarted VR back to life
On the 1st of August, 2012, Palmer Luckey launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds for his virtual reality headset to be created. He hoped to get around 100 VR enthusiasts to back his project, with his goal to raise $250,000.
Within 24 hours of the Kickstarter campaign going live, $670,000 was raised from 2,750 people.
2 days later, $1 million was raised.
By the time the campaign had reached its conclusion, Luckey had raised $2,500,000 to fund his virtual reality headset, known as the Oculus Rift.
The first version of the Oculus was no-where-near perfect, with no position tracking, a low resolution, and reports of motion sickness showing early signs of being familiar to failures of the 1990s. However, despite the first instalments flaws, the $350 price tag attracted 65,000 purchases of the Rift. A Sell out. Oculus could have made more, however, work had already begun on the second version of the Rift.
This offering completely distanced the Rift between the failed projects of the 90s. A higher resolution, added position tracking, and eradication of motion sickness launched the revitalisation of virtual reality technology.
Despite VR headsets being a prominent way to experience virtual reality in the 21st-century, people often forget that headsets are not the only form of VR available.
VR is the use of a computer to create a simulated environment, therefore meaning that VR can be experienced through a number of platforms, including mobile phones, tablets, PCs and interactive whiteboards.
Many sectors and industries are embracing the use of VR in their operations. The first which usually comes to mind is the entertainment sector, with companies such as Oculus and Sony developing VR headsets for gaming use.
The education sector has also benefited from technological advancement and increased accessibility of VR. Here at Seymour & Lerhn, we make VR accessible by offering Fishtank VR. Fishtank VR focusses on shared and accessible experiences, where viewers experience a full 360° environment which can be static, video, real-world, CGI or a mixture of them all.
VR has also begun to be utilised in the construction industry, with EyeSiteView offering property marketing solutions. Virtual tours are available for housing developments to be explored before a single brick is laid.
The museum and heritage industry will also reap the rewards from taking advantage of VR, by employing interaction as a means of communicating information to the general public in a new and exciting way. The increase of involvement from visitors to a museum enhances their overall experience, making interaction one of the main features of museum exhibits.
The history of VR goes back much further than you think… we hope that you now understand VR a little more!
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