Education has changed drastically over the years, with new technologies emerging to change the way we learn. A perfect example of this is virtual reality and its potential to change education as we know it. Virtual reality (VR) has been around since the 1960s, but it wasn’t until recent advancements in technology that VR became more accessible to the general public. These advancements have led to VR being used in more fields than ever before, including medicine, science, travel, gaming, and education.
How are we teaching our students now?
Teachers are always striving to find new, better ways to educate students. One tool teachers have long used is virtual reality; an immersive experience designed to simulate an environment that feels real but isn’t real. Rather than simply showing students a map of North America or demonstrating how oxygen molecules travel through our bodies, it’s possible to use virtual reality as a teaching tool by transporting them into a place and time where they can learn firsthand. For example, many schools already use virtual reality as part of their science curriculum; allowing students to get up close and personal with dinosaurs without leaving their classroom. The future of education will see students learning not just via instruction from a teacher, but also by creating their own experiences in virtual reality worlds. These virtual realities will transform learning and be something every student has access to — whether at home or in school. As well as educational experiences being available from schools themselves, there’ll be no need for kids to step foot on campus once they’re enrolled if classes take place entirely online — again using virtual reality as a platform for these lessons and interactions with other students.
Virtual Reality Solutions on the Market
While there are many applications for virtual reality and education, a few stand out. One is Google Expeditions, which takes students on virtual field trips to anywhere around the world — from a tour of Rome’s Colosseum to an exploration of Mars via a NASA rover. Another example is Microsoft HoloLens, which can create immersive 3D environments, so students can see models or structures they wouldn’t otherwise be able to view or experience. Both options have one thing in common: They take students beyond what they already know and provide them with tools and techniques that go far beyond paper notes or pre-recorded lessons. It’s exciting — and likely not too far off — to imagine teachers using virtual reality (VR) more often in their classes as well. Imagine being able to study under Shakespeare himself, or walk-in Alexander Graham Bell’s shoes as he built his first telephone. The future may soon hold those opportunities at our fingertips. For now, though, educators should start getting familiar with virtual reality’s present possibilities. Whether you opt for VR solutions that you run yourself or sign up your school to participate in programs like Expeditions, there will undoubtedly be benefits to your students. If you want to learn more about virtual realities and how you might use them with your students sooner rather than later, talk it over with other teachers and administrators who will also reap rewards from such integration. At times like these where traditional learning doesn’t fit anymore, going forward together could pay real dividends for both educators and learners alike!
Why do you think it will be successful?
While virtual reality is still a relatively new technology, it has been picking up steam over the past few years. The best way to learn is through hands-on experience. When you can visualize or understand concepts like historical events, human anatomy, and geology, your learning abilities are greatly enhanced. Educators and students alike can benefit from using virtual reality applications as they allow students to become active participants in their education experience by immersing themselves in a simulated environment where knowledge can be gained. The benefits of virtual reality are vast for both teachers and students who are eager to have an all-encompassing educational experience that isn’t limited by geographical restrictions or time restraints.