Virtual Reality has found renewed interest and new avenues of applications in education in recent years. The technology that drives Virtual Reality and its experience has also evolved and become more sophisticated. The interfaces have become more user-friendly, portable, and even less expensive. All these factors combined, make for an ideal environment for the applications of virtual reality in pedagogy.
Mobile handsets and other digital devices have made their way into the hands of students and now even BYOD has gained currency in schools, with these shifts in the school scene, VR which is the closes we could get to immersive learning has become an avenue to be explored with passion.
Let’s take a look at how the applications of VR can enrich the teaching and learning experience
It assists imagination and can be a great way to initiate the students in a new concept
VR can seamlessly integrate technology into education and help students experience the play of the elements of a given concept be it mathematics, biology, physics, or even geography. It works by transporting the learner to an enhanced reality that helps him get out of the distractions and experience focus assisted by technology and powered by the lesson plan. Needless to say that the VR platforms are interactive and articulate the concepts by recruits multiple senses of the learner.
The additive of playfulness makes the lesson taught by the VR much more fun and it also enhances collaborative learning.
The Boundaries are Blurred
The VR in education affords the flexibility to the teachers to teach from different venues while learners can use VR platforms to learn at home as well. The whole concept of flipped classrooms gets a boost with VR and augments the learning by making the lessons self-executable. The physical confines of the classroom and the limited representations of the environment that are used for instruction such as maps or globes can be supplemented by the VR which can make any artifact or scenario accessible to the learner virtually.
VR platforms in particular, and digital technology, in general, has an additional benefit in that it helps the schools pressed for resources and qualified staff in providing a rich learning experience to the learners. All they need is pre-recorded lessons, requisite one-time investment on apparatus and computer with connectivity and they are good to host learners for quality education.
The dividends of enhanced receptiveness
The discussion above has established that VR helps in making lessons more fun and interactive. The VR by virtue of being interesting and accessible to the senses enhances the receptiveness of the learners, as a result, the memory is enhanced and imagination is complemented.
The most complicated and intricate concepts can become more relatable and assimilable just by amplification the details that the VR interfaces provide the learners with. Using VR, entire lessons can be gamified and the engagement of students, not to say their attention span is increased manifold.
Leaders of the Digital industry have long realized the potential of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in education and have invested significantly in the research and development in the area. For instance, Google has created engaging and instructive games for VR platforms that are becoming increasingly popular. Ed-tech Platforms are also exploring VR in education and developing interfaces.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.