Virtual Reality — Creating New Experiences in the Classroom
Video games create enormous potentials for education. Tutorial games such as SimCity and Math Blaster have been constantly used in elementary schools.
A recent research by consulting firm McKinsey & Company reveals that an astounding 60 percent of surveyed teachers still “lack the digital instructional resources they need.”
The advent of virtual reality indicates a massive paradigm shift in how educators will perceive and incorporate video gaming experiences. Video games tend to be replications of the real world, but due to the costs of developing quality 3D games, educators are limited only to profitable genres.
Quality educational content can’t even be found on YouTube. This is the educational revolution that VR is about to introduce to classrooms.
Such scenario can found VR user-generated content platforms that support immersive experiences that go beyond games. For instance, MinecraftEdu, which allows students to explore the Great Pyramids of Giza, understand basic electrical engineering principles and more, all in an imaginative, three-dimensional environment.
VR has long been heralded as a potential influential tool in academia. A good VR experience can give participant feelings of actually experiences which can be accompany deeper emotions. It could bring more scared, more surprised and more connected to the experience.
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VR allows students learn while practicing, rather than just hearing. Such conditioning may strengthen a young student’s dream more than a film can. Students can partake in immersive explorations of the Amazon rainforest, allowing budding biologists to identify with the richness and fragility of the jungle.
History students can attend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, surrounded by thousands of people and feeling the scale of the National Mall. Students will more and more engross themselves in simulations of historical events, explore formerly inaccessible places with their friends or visualize abstract concepts without having to leave their classrooms.
Early demonstrations of immersive VR experiences are already found in the hard sciences, from anatomy and biology to the social sciences, like history and literature. With devices such as InMind, Cardio VR, Chemistry VR, and King Tut VR students can take excursions into places they may have never dreamed of seeing in real life.
The “virtual field trips” gives students the opportunity to relate with the subject material first-hand. It can also present undergraduates with virtual lessons or quizzes from the comfort of their hostel. This is an educational revolution waiting to happen.
VR has long been identified as a potential influential tool in academia. In a 1998 study, Educational Uses of Virtual Reality Technology, Christine Youngblut of the Institute for Defense Analyses, discovered that when weigh against traditional classroom environments, students of different backgrounds, ages and across a variety of diverse experiments generally reported positive experiences with virtual reality. Moreover, their virtual lessons were evaluated as either being superior or on par with human instructors and motivation among students were “extremely high.”
This is bringing new dawn in education, where students can learn by experience. It will be driven by virtual reality technology, and powered by UGC content. A huge breakthrough is just coming on board in the imaginative educational content that developers are creating for kids and young teenagers alike. The VR landscape is rapidly evolving — moving from room to the classroom.