1. The Exciting Evolution
Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to evolve education as we know it.
It immerses students into their learning like nothing ever has before. It blocks both visual and auditory (if you have headphones) distractions in the classroom and has the ability to connect students to the material that they’re learning in a new and exciting way. To say its revolutionary may be underselling VR learning.
Schools need to begin embracing kids’ enthusiasm for technology used for entertainment, and leverage that into technology for “infotainment.” VR is the key. In order to be successful in a traditional learning setting, however, the VR content must be meaningful, engaging, and navigable so that the learning sticks.
2. The Potential Models
Education standards in many schools must evolve to meet student where they are. Individualizing instruction for each student is the ultimate goal of teaching. Yet in many schools across the country, we’re still applying old school methods: students in rows, memorization, recitation, and regurgitation on tests. Demands on workforce readiness and post-education expectations require education to embrace change. VR has the potential to dramatically shift how teachers and students see education.
This is could help many students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other learning challenges since it is immersive and engaging. The sheer fact that so many school districts now have a set technology budget is all the more reason to implement VR.
3. The Required Shift
It’s not enough to put students in front of a computer and have them perform the same tasks.
If we’re viewing students as individual learners, then we need to allow them flexibility in educational pace, path, and content control. This can all be accomplished through a robust VR curriculum.
4. The Standards For Quality
How to you judge quality VR content? Here are some ideas:
- Curriculum should be rooted in ensuring learning is not occurred in a vacuum.
- Diversity in topics—students should recognize what they’re seeing in VR to establish a comfort level, but also they should experience new things to deepen their knowledge and broaden their horizons.
- Assessments that gauge students’ learning based on what they’re experiencing in VR settings. Learners should be able to demonstrate newly acquired or effectively reinforced skills. An integrated feedback loop so that teachers have access to their pupils’ results is important, too.
- A variety of programming types (e.g., animation, video, interactive games, etc.) that stretch learners’ imaginations and stave off predictability. Students’ senses should be stimulated so that they are fully engaged and immersed in the lessons by compelling auditory and visual components.
- Functionality that allows users to interact by rewinding, pausing, skipping, etc., so that they are learning at their own pace and in control of the content delivery—this is student-centered learning in action.
- Highly capable, reputable platforms so that production pieces are well-supported and can be viewed seamlessly.
5. The Students’ Perception Of Learning
6. The Existing-And Future-Ecosystem Of Learning
A newer trend in schools is the use of flexible learning environments. It emphasized group work where students individually work on things and come together through their group to present their work together, each playing to their own strengths. VR fits in this model because it can easily satisfy the technology-driven portion of the lesson.
STEM and computer labs outfitted with VR technology that support an entire classroom would be even more beneficial. The benefits are exponential: students can work on lessons in VR, teachers can use their expertise and training in a more targeted manner, and overall everyone is learning and engaged. The flexibility is priceless; schools are already seeing big gains in students’ progress in student-centered learning.
Incorporating virtual reality in the classroom will be a work in progress. Quality VR content supports this goal because it will help further instruction and interest in the lesson content, while allowing teachers to pinpoint students’ needs and address them with more individualized attention—this is optimal for both students and teachers… the VR revolution is on the horizon.