Virtual reality (#VR) technically refers to a computer-generated simulation, in which an artificial environment appears.
This realistic environment is accessible to the user from all directions and offers an immersive experience.
Naturally, educators have seen great potential in this technology and have, to date, made several attempts to successfully integrate it into classrooms and learning modules.
Here in this compilation, we’ll take a look at some of the most successful implementations of virtual reality in education.
1. Bring destinations into classrooms
Perhaps one of the first things that has seemed likely and promising to most educators and trainers is to bring complete destinations to the four walls of classrooms. Instead of disrupting a child’s learning pace with the field trip, they suggest using a virtual field trip.
On average, a regular school trip, that is to say to the park or to the cinema, aims to refresh the minds of young people and engage them in a lighter subject. However, the excessive involvement of the journey kills most of it. In addition, it also requires an additional budget.
Virtual reality, on the contrary, gets the job done in seconds. By using virtual reality tools like Google Expedition, we can take students anywhere. The great part is that it preserves the learning part. In addition, you can do more than one. And even offer children a real life experience since virtual reality allows interaction in landscapes and with objects.
2. Use 3D models
Another great way to effectively use virtual reality within the four walls of the classroom is to bring textual content to life. Reading coordinates or long descriptions requires twice as much information from students as is required for effective VR use.
Virtual reality helps to play 3D textual content in video and audio form, which makes it easier to understand. It also contributes to the memory of the image. Thus, helping students to retain knowledge better.
In addition to image memory, we recommend that you encourage students to take notes regardless of the impact of virtual reality. The notes taken on their magnetic whiteboards and notebooks will keep them attentive and present in the conference.
For example, anatomy students can study the complete skeleton, bones, muscles, and internal structure using apps like Brain VR, 3D Organon VR, etc. Likewise, environmentalists and nature enthusiasts can use apps like Discover VR. It provides full videos about nature, nature, animals, weather and so on!
3. Incorporate fun and mysteries
Virtual reality is already quite fun compared to the current static learning mode. However, for the new generation, constant exposure to this latest technology can make them look dull. And they can deviate from their learning modules.
To keep up the hype and excitement, VR tools and apps also provide room for fun (unparalleled fun, yes!). You could have them play with mysteries like the Darkroom and a Fisherman’s Tale in their free lessons. These puzzle games stimulate cognitive thinking and the nature of handling virtual reality tools will enhance control of hand movements and improve thinking processes.
4. Keep a balance between virtual reality and the current learning model
As mentioned earlier, the current generation may lose interest in experiences beyond the extraordinary when constantly exposed.
Thus, it is necessary to maintain a balance. When you have planned a virtual reality activity, make sure there are a few lessons when the students take out their textbooks to read and write.
5. Maximize hands-on learning
Virtual reality tools and applications also offer a great expanse of hands-on learning, which of course has a lasting impact. It helps the student to learn more about the how and why as if and as could.
Some virtual reality technologies also offer sensory experiences. Although it is a little expensive, it allows students to learn from a simulated real life experience. For example, a manual may not be able to say that the smell of blood when sewing a patient can affect your level of performance and stability. A simulated real-life experience, however, won’t just sort this out. But also indirectly teach the student how to deal with the situation.
6. Distance teaching and learning
During the pandemic, we unveiled another valuable aspect of virtual reality in the education sector, namely distance learning. When presented in physical classrooms has become a point of the problem, virtual reality has bridged the gap and allowed students and teachers to meet in virtual spaces. Here, the learning experience was nothing less than a physical classroom, as those involved could share their presentations, exchange opinions and ideas, discuss things, etc.
Benefits of virtual reality in education
Considering the effective uses above, virtual reality is much more engaging than current forms of learning. It encourages student participation and forces locked minds to come out and think. Previous studies suggest that students spend about a fifth of their class time scrolling or browsing on their (usually distracted!) Mobile devices.
VR solves this problem quite well. With so much going on, it’s nearly impossible for an enthusiastic student to get carried away with anything else. A virtual reality-based learning experience requires constant attention and participation.
Instead, students also discover their hidden abilities and potentials. They master their existing skills. By paying more attention to learning and to themselves, they discover their true potential. Thus, it maximizes the learning performance.
Virtual reality is literally transforming the education industry. We come out of the pages and bring our learning experience to real life, which in turn promotes STEM and STEAM learning modules. Thus, giving birth to more practical minds than ever before.
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, design and everything tech related