Just a decade ago, Virtual Reality (VR) was a fancy thing in Hollywood sci-fi movies for most of us. However, swift technological advancements in the past few years led to the rise of powerful technologies like VR in the mainstream.
Although VR entered the scene as a user experience enhancement tool in the gaming industry, it has quickly made its mark in other sectors due to its potential to deliver "life-like" experiences.
Education is one of the fields that benefit immensely by incorporating VR technology. Virtual reality in education makes learning simple, fun, and practical by providing an immersive learning experience. In this blog, we will take a look at 10 current use cases of VR in education.
1. Virtual Field Trips
Virtual field trips are a widespread application of VR technology in the education industry. It enables students to explore different locations on earth and 'teleports' them to places that may be infeasible to visit in real life due to various reasons.
For instance, many schools have started using applications like Google Arts & Culture in their history classes to take students on a 'virtual tour' to museums and other historical sites. This provides a "near-life" experience that may not be possible in a traditional classroom setup. Imagine being on a virtual trip to the Great Wall of China or Mount Rushmore!
2. Remote learning
Growing internet connectivity has made the world a small place, and now it is easy to connect with people around the world. Virtual reality facilitates students to learn from the comfort of their homes and also offers an authentic classroom experience. Now, VR may seem a tad bit expensive, but VR has immense potential and can replace conventional learning methods in the near future.
3. Practical Training
Virtual reality simulations offer a platform to practice and support students to enhance their practical skills. One of the advantages of using VR for training is that VR presents a safe environment where students can polish an unfamiliar skill without worrying about inflicting damage to a person or a property. The risk-free environment encourages students to explore new techniques and learn from their mistakes.
4. Medical Training
Another important aspect of using VR in education is medical training. Many medical colleges and hospitals are significantly investing in VR to train their students to sharpen their skills in handling different scenarios such as surgeries and other complicated operations.
There is no room for error in conventional training methods, but VR facilitates safe medical training by eliminating the risk of harming a real-life patient. It helps doctors and nurses to perfect their skills without feeling the burden of harming a human being.
5. To Teach Students with Special Needs
The use of textbooks or other traditional methods can be unfruitful for children with learning difficulties. Implementing VR in education can act as an assistive technology for students with special needs. Virtual reality has the potential to minimize the effect of a person's disability and helps them experience immersive learning.
With VR, any child can explore different environments and interact with the subject matter that would normally be difficult in real life. Virtual reality in education sparks the imagination of students and gives them visual insight.
6. To Teach Anatomy and Dissection
Many animal rights activists and scientists are urging state administrations to introduce cruelty-free methods to teach biology. For instance, in California, a bill was introduced in 2019 that bans the dissection of real-life animals in schools.
Using VR in education can act as a solution as it enables you to examine animals humanely since real animals are unharmed during the exercises.
7. Game-Based Learning
In traditional education, students often tend to be distracted during boring lectures or while reading a textbook. An element that keeps the learners hooked is missing in conventional teaching approaches, and as a result, it affects student engagement and exam scores.
But VR can change the way we learn with interactive gamified content. Game-based virtual reality content can take student engagement to the next level and help them understand complex concepts with relative ease, resulting in better grades.
8. Virtual Reality Labs
Virtual reality labs provide an engaging simulated learning environment to carry out experiments and help students understand concepts and theories with hands-on learning. Students can explore and do different simulated experiments in a safe environment. Virtual reality labs also create opportunities to access advanced equipment that might not be usually available in schools.
9. Collaborative Learning
Injecting VR in the learning process has the potential to enhance collaboration between instructors and learners, both in online and classroom-based education. Virtual reality promotes social learning and encourages students to communicate verbally or through actions with teachers and fellow students. Using VR, learners can also collaborate with people on the opposite ends of the earth to discuss theories, engage with immersive content, and learn from each other.
10. Aid to Learn New Languages
Students can learn a language through videos, online courses, or one-on-one classes. They have to read, listen, and speak the language every day to get a grip of the language; this may not be easy for everyone. However, one of the effective ways of learning a new language is via immersive lessons. VR-based learning applications are gaining prominence now, and with the aid of these applications, learners can connect with people around the world and play interactive games to hone their language skills.
Virtual reality is making serious inroads in several industries, and VR is the new buzzword in the EdTech industry. There are some challenges involved in implementing VR in education, but the plethora of benefits that come with it tips the scale in favor of VR-powered education. Considering the aggressive technological advancements and a decline in the cost of VR equipment, it is safe to say that there has never been a better time to invest in VR education.
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