No matter what age a student is, virtual reality (VR) is an invaluable educational tool. We all undeniably live in a technologically advanced era in which the high-tech inventions that once plagued by old movies and books about the future are now being used practically every day. So why not take advantage of human advancement? The fact of the matter is, virtual reality isn’t just fun, it’s educationally beneficial.
VR can be used in Classrooms and Remotely
It doesn’t matter if your school is in-person, online, or a mix of both; VR can be use to enhance any learning environment. One of the most obvious ways VR does this is by providing visual representations of things that normally wouldn’t be accessible in a classroom. For example, students can explore a foreign country, a jungle habitat, or the inside of a volcano.
Not only can VR open students’ eyes to experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have, but it also increases their interest in the topics being taught and fosters engagement. Whether the student is a preschooler or in college, virtual reality will no doubt keep them more interested. After all, it’s undeniable that most knowledge seekers would prefer to look at an image than read a block of text to learn something new.
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VR Enhances the Quality of Education
Think about it; before virtual reality was developed enough to be used outside of test labs, educational content relied solely on photos and videos for visual examples when hands-on material wasn’t possible or available. With VR in your classroom, teachers have the opportunity to truly immerse students in what they are learning and provide details that were otherwise nearly unattainable.
One of the great ways that VR technology has enhanced education is in medical schools across the country. For students learning about a part of the body that would otherwise be very difficult to explore and dissect in actual reality, VR presents them with an invaluable tool to get a clearer look at the subject in question. Who knows? Maybe VR can help humanity make the next massive medical advancement!
VR Breaks Borders and Barriers
Up until now, students learning about new places and cultures had to rely on textbooks, documentaries, and photographs to experience another world. It’s not highly common for schools to be able to raise the funds to send their students to the location they’re studying, and even video chats with fellow students from foreign countries can only go so far.
With virtual reality, students have the chance to set foot in a new country just by donning a simple headset. By providing learners, no matter their age, with the opportunity to encounter new places and faces is undoubtedly beneficial because it fosters a deeper understanding of people and worlds that are different than theirs. A world with fewer borders is a world that is smarter and kinder.
Plus, virtual reality provides an innovative moment to shatter language barriers. Traditionally, travel to a foreign country requires at least a basic understanding of a foreign language. However, VR technology encompasses nearly every single language on the planet, so a student not speaking a particular language wouldn’t have to be a hurdle in them experiencing something new.
VR Makes Virtual Field Trips Possible
Before virtual reality became a thing, school field trips were usually kept fairly local and affordable. The possibilities were limited to what could fit into the school’s budget and logistical parameters. However, with the invention of VR, the world is the classroom’s oyster. There are countless softwares and companies creating virtual field trips for students of all ages that are easy to use and can be paired easily with curriculums.
Virtual field trips are particularly great for remote learning situations like online school or college. No matter what the story behind the student’s remote learning is, they don’t need to miss out on the opportunity to see a new facet of the world. An online school can also create an important bonding experience by virtually traveling together, whether they adventure through the Amazon or visit the Egyptian pyramids.
VR Provides Unique Training Opportunities
As mentioned above, virtual reality can truly be a vital instrument in the advancement of education and training, particularly for colleges and universities. VR can be helpful specifically in vocational and technical schools that engage in online and remote learning. For example, engineering students learning how to wire the electricity of a modern highrise can gain “hands-on” experience thanks to the capacities of VR technology.
Virtual reality training can also be critical for medical training courses. In situations where in-person training and hands-on contact is inadvisable, VR can provide vital training materials to nurses and doctors without putting anyone’s health at risk. For example, VR training courses in personal protective equipment and medical equipment operation can be done virtually and, as a result, in much higher detail.
At the end of the day, we are fully immersed in a truly digital era. Technological advancements have presented society with both challenges and opportunities that cannot be ignored. Virtual reality, while seemingly frivolous and merely for fun at a first glance, is one of those invaluable tech innovations that can change the future because of its potential to boost education in fresh and exciting ways.
Using VR in education is beneficial for a number of reasons. Not only does it spark inspiration and improve engagement with students, but it is also a convenient way of enhancing remote learning and online class environments. Furthermore, it can provide travel and cultural enrichment activities to students that would’ve been unavailable via traditional methods due to logistical or financial constraints.
VR has also proven to enhance the educational quality in a variety of fields, particularly medicine. Simultaneously hands-on and hands-off, the future of learning via virtual reality is indisputably bright and full of potential. Many VR educational toolkits are becoming more affordable and accessible as technology continues to advance, so don’t count virtual reality out as a beneficial addition to your classroom.