Before the outbreak of Covid-19, schools had increased their investment in educational technologies. This they did to improve efficiency and enhance learning. Occasioned by the growth in educational technologies over the past 2 decades.
The Lockdown aimed at controlling the spread of the virus. It made many educational institutions use e-learning technologies to continue their academic calendar. As e-learning technologies improve efficiency in learning, Virtual Reality can also improve education. Using Virtual Reality in education provides memorable and immersive experiences for students. In ways that usually would not be possible.
Although it will take a while before enough schools can improve their IT infrastructure to support VR technology, it has an important role in modern education.
The following ways are how VR can be implemented in modern classrooms.
- Virtual Reality headsets. It is the most common way VR is implemented in modern classrooms. VR headsets provide a good level of immersion for students. Through a realistic experience that isn’t easily forgettable. This technology does not need too much space, unlike the immersive classroom.
- Immersive classrooms. It is a room for teaching where images are projected on the walls of the classroom. It creates a virtual environment within the classroom without the use of VR headsets. This helps students enjoy the virtual experience together. It also encourages interaction between them.
Virtual Reality as defined by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the use of computer technology to create the effect of an interactive three-dimensional world in which the objects have a sense of spatial presence.According to Meinhold, It submerges humans into altered environments and processes, intensifies experience and imagination, thereby augmenting research and education.
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If students don't take part in lab experiments, to understand advanced scientific concepts it will be hard. It is the same way VR enhances the ability of students. Understanding complex theories in different subjects is easier. Technical educational fields like medicine and the military. Virtual reality can greatly impact them. For example, medical students find it challenging to understand the human body in 3 dimensions and also how different systems fit together in anatomy classes.
VR anatomy classes solve this problem.
Using virtual reality in learning new skills helps students by offering realistic scenarios to develop their skills. A recent experiment by Google Daydream discovered that people with VR training learn much faster and better than those who learned via video tutorials.
The experiment aimed to teach coffee making. Students were divided into 2 groups, with one group learning how to pull espresso shots by YouTube tutorial and the other by practicing it in VR.
At the end of the training, the group who learned through Virtual Reality made fewer mistakes and quickly pulled their espresso shots than the other group that learned through video tutorials.
Virtual Field Trips
Subjects like geography, history, and literature can greatly benefit from using Virtual Reality in the teaching process. For example, a geography class where you have the opportunity to visit any place in the world will be more enriching than reading about the same place in a book. VR doesn’t limit students to the descriptions or illustrations in a book. It offers an opportunity for students to explore the topic better and observe how things are put together.
Google Expeditions is one of the most popular VR software for this type of field trip. Since the launch of the application, Google has taken more than a million students in eleven different countries on expeditions around the world. Imagine being able to explore the deep sea, outer space, or the Coliseum of Rome without leaving your classroom. Awesome isn’t it?
According to Mathieu Marunczyn - special education tutor at the Jackson School for special needs, Victoria, Australia, Oculus Rift helped spark his student's imagination and offered them visual insights they could never have had. Marunczyn went on to note that meditative virtual reality software that explores outer space, tends to calm his (autistic) students down.
Eliminating The Language Barrier
The language barrier has remained a huge problem in education. To study in a different country, most times you must understand and speak their language. Virtual Reality helps the implementation of different languages within the app. This helps to eviscerate the language barrier for students.
With VR the gap between educators and students is bridged. It is possible through distance learning tools to put educators and learners in the same room with their digital representations.