Education is the backbone of a thriving society. Civilizations have focused on the transfer of knowledge since the beginning of time. As educators are always looking for new ways to transfer knowledge more effectively, quickly, and easily, they have turned to virtual reality.
Life in the digital era offers an opportunity to enable learning using technology. Virtual technology has the potential to transform how educational content gets delivered. It is already making great strides across the globe.
If you want to know about the achievements made and the challenges that remain, this post is just for you. It sheds light on what you can adopt and the challenges that you will encounter when you go virtual. Letâ€™s dive in.
Virtual Reality Achievements in Education
Firstly, we will cover the good. There is a lot that you can learn from the achievements made by virtual reality in the field of education.
1. Virtual Tools for Real-World Learning
The virtual tools that are available today allow for real-world learning. It means that students from across the globe can come together using VR to solve real-world issues. Many universities are collaborating in different countries to create a more inclusive environment.
One of the ways virtual tools are being used is for offeringÂ language learning. Today, students can learn English virtually from just about any part of the world. It is possible to use virtual tools to create the perfect learning environment no matter where students might be.
Since people are more likely to remember something they experienced as opposed to reading, hearing, or seeing it, according to theÂ Cone of Experience, virtual reality can help boost retention.
The theory was proven correct by a study conducted by Penn State University. It was found that students who utilized immersive virtual reality were able to accomplish tasks much faster as compared to students that relied on traditional computer programs.
2. An Improved Online Classroom
Diving deeper into the achievements made by virtual reality in education, another notable achievement that is observable is an improved online classroom. This has been mostly possible due to the use of an avatar.
Social VR applications help tackle the monotony of online courses. They allow remote students to feel connected. Online coursework can rely on such applications to expand the curricula and boost engagement. It shows just how far virtual reality has come.
The problem in the past has been that students fail to build memories during online classes. The classes might seem like nothing more than data being fed in the dullest way possible. However, virtual reality can provide students with plenty of opportunities toÂ socializeÂ using interesting avatars.
3. Virtual Field Trips
A great achievement made by virtual reality is that it allows for virtual field trips to be taken by classrooms. Some of the biggest universities are offering VR field trips to students for them to experience something new.
The best thing about virtual field trips is that once they have been developed, they can be distributed on a massive scale.Â Discovery EducationÂ has offered millions of students the opportunity to take a virtual field trip aboard an airship.
Similarly,Â Google ExpeditionsÂ offers thousands of educational tours to help teach students through immersive-media.
AÂ studyÂ conducted by researchers at Stanford looked at the impact of VR field trips and found that participants that had explored virtual space were able to form a deeper cognitive association with science-based content and had an easier time retaining and recall cause and effects.
4. Art Education
One of the biggest achievements made by virtual reality has been in art education. Today, museums across the globe have gone global. This provides art enthusiasts with the chance to visit virtual galleries and look at paintings virtually.
For instance, theÂ Kremer MuseumÂ offers students the chance to look at 74 paintings of Flemish and Dutch Old Masters. The museum experience has come to virtual reality so that everyone can see paintings just like how they would in real life.
Finally, virtual reality is also connecting tutors with students in ways never imagined before. Pupils that require extra instruction can receive the help they need using Oculus headsets. Thus, they will be able to study for the SAT, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and so on.
Tutors can hold virtual classrooms and bring students together. They can draw on a virtual blackboard and more.Â Virtual tutoringÂ allows students to get the help they need to excel in subjects that they might be struggling with without hassle. It shows just how far online education has come.
How does virtual reality work?
We know that VR is a powerful tool, but how does it work? Virtual reality headsets typically come in the form of a thick pair of goggles connected to a computer with a set of controllers that allow the user to carry out actions.
That being said, there are also advanced headsets that incorporate eye-tracking without the need for controllers, and even headsets that are standalone consoles without the need for computer connection. There are also more affordable headsets in the form of cardboard goggles that you can connect to your phone.
The magic of VR comes down to the headsets ability to track the user’s head and eye movement and change perspective with you. Headsets are also able to track your body’s movement, allowing you to walk within the simulated environment.
This 3D-tracking functionality isn’t for everyone, as motion sickness is a common side effect of using these advanced pieces of equipment. Thankfully, the controllers can also function as a means of moving around within the environment.
Now, you may be wondering how exactly these simple pairs of goggles are able to completely transform your surroundings. This is done by creating a three-dimensional view. This works well because of stereopsis, which is the ability to visualise a three-dimensional shape from visual information from both eyes. Your right and left eyes see things slightly differently, and both views come together to create the same effect of how we perceive things in everyday life.
Two separate images are shown on either side of the goggles, one for each eye, and these images are displayed at the perfect distance from your eyes to create a sense of depth. We read photos and phone screens as flat images, so they will never have the same effect as a three-dimensional simulation.
Another key component to creating a fully immersive experience is the sound of your surroundings, so no VR headset is complete without the addition of headphones – which are often built-in.