The base for a thriving society is education.
The transfer of knowledge has been a pinnacle priority for civilisation since the very beginning. People are constantly considering new, different, and interesting ways to improve teaching, as well as strategies to make learning more engaging and effective. As an ever growing society, we have the opportunity to enable better learning with the use of technology – we are in an era of developing digital devices, and that is why VR in education will work.
So, how did futuristic technology become so widely accessible?
So, how did futuristic technology become so widely accessible? Seemingly, it began with the Oculus Rift. A headset released in 2012 connected to a monitor that immersed the user in a 3D realm.
From this, VR has not only adapted the way in which we experience video games, but how we expose ourselves to the entire digital space. This included the new found use of virtual reality in education. 2012 arrived, and VR experienced its first technological revolution.
Headsets began to get smaller, more mobile, and extremely powerful. This technology became vastly more accessible as 5G Cell Phones, then made it possible to access the virtual realm from anywhere.
Before submerging ourselves with all of the facts and stats, we should first discuss why the quality of learning should be improved.
Throughout history, most technologies designed to aid learning have been aimed at allowing us to access information. Before computers, we had an almighty and powerful tool that helped us; books.
Suddenly, the classic paperback became the eBook, and eventually the eBook became its more intelligent and attractive successor, Google. With just a few clicks – thanks to modern search engines – we have now become able to discover the answer to an infinite number of questions.
While knowledge became more easily accessible for more people, we soon faced two problems;
It’s all based on the same format
A lot of people have difficulties comprehending information
Thus, a new and more stylised format of learning would be soon needed. VR in education presented itself as the perfect contender.
What makes VR in education beneficial?
Not only can VR be used to enhance student learning and engagement, but can be used to transform the way educational content is delivered.
Real or imaginary, it works on the premise of creating a virtual world and allows students to interact as well as see it.
By being totally immersed, students become more motivated to fully understand and engage with the educational topics.
In addition to providing students with immersive learning experiences, other benefits of virtual reality in education include the ability to inspire students’ creativity and spark their imaginations.
In an environment where students can quite literally do anything (Virtually). There is no limit on how creative students can get. From solving equations mid air – Einstien style – to painting the next Mona Lisa. Using the all amazing paintbrush tool, students would be able to explore their creative abilities without any limitation, other than their own imagination.
VR improves retention
Furthermore, for students who struggle to understand difficult academic concepts, AR and VR has proven to help significantly.
For example, through AR, geometry students would be able to check out 3D geometric forms from multiple perspectives; they could rotate a shape to see it from different angles and even view it from the inside.
The benefits of virtual reality in education go even further than simply just academics. This form of education includes cultural competence. Involving the ability to understand another person’s culture and values which is an extremely important and valued skill in today’s interconnected, global society.
Ultimately, it’s incredibly difficult to understand or talk about something if you have never seen it with your own eyes. Some students may have never seen the ocean or a metropolitan city, with ClassVR, students would be able to experience it all for themselves.
Both VR and AR would allow students to foster their imagination and follow their passions. Imagine having the ability to show the ins and outs of the International Space Station to the girl who aspires to go into engineering, or take the nature obsessed boy to the heart of the Amazon Rainforest.
Tradition VS New
The way students are educated has remained the same throughout the ages.
The traditional way being fact retention teaching. Studying for tests, sitting in lectures, and trying to visualise history through a textbook constitute the typical classroom experience.
With the launch of VR in education, it has become possible for students to transport from their desks to the amphitheatres of Rome, or landscape which allows them to study predatory animals up close, and allow them to not only see but interact with virtual worlds.
Why VR in Education will work for out of school learning
No one can deny that every student loves a school trip – whether that’s going to a museum, theatre or exploring another country. Unfortunately, for some, it may be difficult to attend these trips due to a disability, lack of funds, transport problems. With VR in Education, students wouldn’t have to miss the fun, as they could experience these trips without travelling!
Because of this, we see the role of the teacher is completely shifted from delivering content to facilitating learning.
According to Adobe “Teachers will be focused on creating conditions for exploring, rather than providing ready-made knowledge”. As well as this, Adobe suggests that there will be 6 major benefits for students to learn in VR:
- Better sense of place: Students can learn about a subject by living it.
- Learning experiences at scale: Educators can create virtual labs to cut costs and increase accessibility.
- Learning by doing: Students can learn by performing tasks instead of simply reading.
- Emotional reaction: Educators make memorable experiences for students to increase their retention.
- Creative development: Technology such as Tilt Brush increases opportunity for students to be creative.
- Visual learning: Educators can increase visual learners’ comprehension of educational content.
As for when, it was predicted that Virtual Reality for education would be a $200 million industry by 2020. Well, it’s 2021. The adoption in education still largely depends on teach-forward professors, or students taking on a greater initiative.
However, despite VR having a high price point making it seemingly unattainable to use in all schools, with the help of a £20 – £100 headset device, such as Google Cardboard, all we would need are the smartphones in our pockets.
Why VR in Education will work, and improve lives.
VR in education is on the horizon, it will change the world as we know it.
The twenty-first-century classroom as we know it will become a technologically advanced place of learning and knowledge. With an incredibly high rate of engagement from students.
A whole new generation of young and bright students will be ready to innovate and change the world, all because they were inspired through VR experiences.