In recent years, technology has advanced at a brisk pace, which has led to the adoption of powerful technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in many industries. Virtual reality technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we teach and learn as it presents an immersive environment to explore things outside a traditional classroom and helps students understand complex topics with relative ease in a short time. A study by the National Training Laboratory shows that retention rates in conventional learning methods were at 10 percent, while VR-based learning had a retention rate of 75 percent. So, it is time we took the educational experience up a notch by incorporating VR for schools and colleges. Here, we make a case for using VR in labs, illustrating how it is being used and the benefits of using VR labs in academies.
In this blog,
What is a Virtual Reality Lab?
- What Is a Virtual Reality Lab?
- Virtual vs. Physical Labs
- Ideas to Use VR Labs for Schools and Colleges
- Benefits of VR 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 and colleges.
1. Virtual vs. Physical Labs
Most schools operate on a modest budget, so they cannot afford high-end equipment, and their physical labs have limited space. Virtual labs are cost-effective for educational institutions, and there are no physical space constraints.
There is also the risk of mishaps in a physical lab. For instance, there can be fire accidents in chemistry labs if the elements are handled without caution. These hazards can be avoided if you opt for a VR lab for your school.
2. Ideas to Use VR Labs for Schools and Colleges
Here are some ways in which you can use VR labs for schools and colleges:
- To Teach Complex Topics
Virtual reality labs can help in visualizing complex theoretical concepts. An engaging, visual environment can make it easier for students to understand complex topics, such as the regular packing of atoms and molecules in a crystal.
- To Teach Biology Efficiently and Humanely
Dissecting animals can be a roadblock for some squeamish students. But with VR labs, students can easily dissect animals in a virtual environment because the VR headsets provide information about the body parts and guides student through the dissecting process.
Virtual reality labs also allow you to examine animals humanely since real animals are not harmed during the exercises. Many animal rights activists and scrupulous scientists are urging state administrations to come up with 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.
- To Prepare Students for ExperimentsWith limited access to lab equipment and time constraints, many students feel unprepared and not confident to handle experiments. As a result, students start to do experiments ill-prepared or waste valuable lab time to read before carrying out an experiment. But using gamified VR content for labs helps impart the required knowledge to your students before starting a new exercise.
- To Assist Remote LearningAmid the COVID-19 pandemic, online education has become the new norm. One of the major shortcomings of online education is the lack of practical training. Using VR-powered labs for schools and colleges can facilitate hands-on learning by allowing students to practice exercises online from remote locations.
- Safe Environment: Students can carry out different experiments in a VR lab without running the risk of damaging a piece of equipment or injuring themselves. This allows students to make mistakes and learn from them without the pressure of wreaking havoc.
- Affordable: VR labs are considerably less pricey compared to physical labs. A single VR lab setup can serve the purpose of an entire institution without burning a hole in your budget. It also eliminates lab or equipment maintenance costs.
- Engaging: Holding the attention of a learner is a key challenge to teachers. Boring lectures and presentations can drastically reduce the students' attention span and motivation to engage in a course. Virtual reality labs help teachers to win the attention of students. It allows students to take part in an immersive learning experience and understand the real-life significance of the lessons.
- Efficient: Visualized learning helps students understand subjects and hone their skills more effectively in less time.
With rapid technological advances each passing day, educators are in constant need of exploring new engaging approaches to tweak their learning process. While VR in education is a relatively new concept, it comes with a plethora of benefits, and it is definitely here to stay.
Incorporating VR in school and college labs is an exceptional, cost-effective way to augment the practical learning experience multifold.
Do you want to implement VR in your school? With curated VR content, optimized lesson plans, and a student-friendly environment, XR Guru is a one-stop solution for your virtual reality learning needs.