Administrators and policymakers can continue to debate the merits of introducing immersive learning hubs into the classroom.
But behind the scenes, teachers know what will and will not yield meaningful learning experiences in the classroom.
However, 46 percent of teachers don't have a good understanding of immersive technology, so they naturally avoid conversations about classroom VR.
VR head-mounted displays make learning engaging, effective, and fun. However, irrational integration decisions can cost institutions the opportunity to create fairer learning experiences for students.
Administrators need to support their VR integration decisions with wise and practical viewpoints. So, to help administrators make rational decisions about classroom VR, let's look at seven reasons teachers avoid conversations about using virtual reality in the classroom.
Shortcomings in professional development opportunities
Pre-service teachers have concerns about not spending enough time in the classroom. Since meaningful learning experiences require an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and practical experience tackling a wide range of classroom challenges, pre-service teachers may find it difficult to handle realistic classroom situations.
But that can change.
Virtual reality offers an interactive and authentic classroom experience that promotes exploratory behaviour. If pre-service teachers partake in the low-risk training and immersive experiences VR offers, they will be able to easily create fairer learning opportunities for students.
Lack of competency
Teachers who were not exposed to learning through the internet may feel anxious each time they need to use the internet to explain complex terms.
And on the off chance that they do, it is often ineffective because they are not properly trained and may lack the required skills.
Many teachers, 'knowledgeable textbook-wise', cannot often convey information to their students using technology-the same goes for VR in the classroom.
Administrators and policymakers can take the appropriate steps to ensure teachers have the training and skills to effectively use classroom VR, causing teachers to rethink the technology and its impact on education.
We recommend that administrators use virtual reality training tools to train teachers. This simple act can give teachers an edge in making competent VR adoption decisions and enhance their teaching skills.
Like with every other profession, teachers also experience burnout. And we are not just talking about undergraduate teachers here.
In the k-12 space, teachers relying solely on conventional teaching methods are more likely to experience fatigue and burn out 5 times faster than those relying on EdTech teaching tools.
Simple reason: traditional teaching techniques comes with heightened workload and requires more ‘sage on a stage’ teaching time, interfering with teachers’ ability to make learning beneficial for students.
But with the support of virtual reality, teachers get to enjoy a reduced workload while experiencing a swift and intuitive flow of knowledge.
Limited instructional design
The learning requirements in a classroom vary among students.
And since it is a teacher's job to connect the dots-by distinctively addressing the needs of each student and helping them find comfort in learning-they require varying instructional learning materials. Integrating VR today would require personalized instructional materials for multiple classrooms.
Currently, virtual reality remains a costly investment for most institutions.
But with continued advancements in technology, VR in classroom is becoming more-and-more affordable. Therefore, allowing more institutions to take advantage of the instructional design flexibility and personalized instructional materials offered by VR.
Lack of focused attention
When there is an attention deficit, the brain fails to prioritize necessary information, and learners quickly get frustrated.
Virtual reality for teaching improves classroom learning by providing students with memorable and immersive experiences that keep them engaged and attentive, making the lesson fun.
But the thing is, VR is a new tech.
Teachers need to learn about the tech the same way students need to learn a new subject. So, attention deficit does not just affect students, it also affects teachers.
And with very few teachers willing or ready to go through the same learning sequence they subject their students to every day, the question of whether teachers are ready for classroom VR would remain.
Lack of time
Whether in preparing lesson notes or grading take-home assignments, teachers value every minute of their time.
Now, introducing VR into the classroom requires a strong level of commitment and dedication from teachers-especially in the early days of integration.
Where will these teachers find the time to keep up with the VR adoption requirements? Will they have to stop regular classroom activities to participate in practical classroom training? Or will they have to sacrifice holidays?
As long as these questions remain unanswered, teachers will always find a way to avoid conversations about VR classroom adoption.
Cost of training
At the moment, VR classroom tools can be expensive. Therefore, it is important for administrators to conduct a cost/benefit analysis before investing in VR classroom tools and do their due diligence to ensure they are investing in the right tools.
Now, having the right VR tech is one thing; another thing is to ensure teachers are properly trained to use this technology in the classroom.
Many teachers wonder if administrators will focus solely on the cost of the VR classroom tools and deem the cost to professionally train teachers as unnecessary.
Because for as long as questions about the cost of training remain unanswered, teachers will resist the adoption and use of classroom VR.
As an emerging EdTech trend, VR can change the way students and teachers perceive classroom learning.
And with the rapidly declining costs of VR tools, one of the major reasons for not implementing classroom VR tech will soon cease to exist.
However, for now, thousands of teachers are not ready for VR in the classroom mainly because of an unfounded bias for change.
But just as a tractor unflinchingly clears an anthill when the government needs to build new roads, so too will VR learning apps take over the classroom as soon as issues such as cost and design fade.
Are you still on the fence about adopting virtual reality in the classroom? We can answer all your questions regarding VR for learning and students.