Educational institutions around the globe are looking to transition from traditional teaching methods. Nowadays, education is making a shift from textbooks to smartphones, where watching-based programs take place instead of reading-based programs. Immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR) are becoming trailblazers in the EdTech industry, promoting a practical, hands-on learning approach and redefining the classroom experience. Immersive VR graphics and animations play a crucial role in making education more interactive, engaging, and fun.
Do you want to learn more about using virtual reality in education and how it can offer a better learning experience?
On Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, XR Guru is conducting a webinar on "What's New in Education: Virtual Reality." Join our webinar to learn more about using virtual reality in education.
1. What is Virtual Reality?
Before learning more about VR in education, it is vital to understand a few basic details about virtual reality. Virtual reality technology creates a computer-generated 3D world where users can interact with objects in the virtual environment. In VR, users feel like a part of a highly immersive, 3D virtual world.
2. Drawbacks in Traditional Education
We must examine how we teach/learn today to understand why we need VR technology to improve the quality of education. In the digital era, the rapid growth of the internet has made information more accessible - with just a few clicks, people can discover answers to all their questions.
However, our current approach to education has two significant drawbacks:
- Difficulties in understanding information: Not all students learn at the same pace. Feeding too much information in a short span can easily overwhelm students. As a result, students become bored, disengaged, and unsure about what they are learning.
- Knowledge retention: Teaching methods are solely focused on providing facts; however, just consuming a lot of information is not education. Being informed is not the same as being educated; learners should understand the subject matter to retain information longer.
Introducing virtual reality technology in the classroom can help educators overcome the challenges of the traditional educational approach and can take the educational experience to another level.
3. How Can Virtual Reality Enhance Education?
Unlike traditional learning methods, in VR-based classrooms, users are not just reading from a book or looking at a computer screen; they are immersed in an interactive 3D environment. Virtual reality can improve education by providing learners with memorable, immersive experiences that would otherwise not be possible. Virtual reality is a great tool to give students an alternate perspective and life-like experience of the things they are studying without ever leaving the classroom. Being immersed in what they are learning motivates students to better understand the subjects they are being taught.
4. How Can We Use Virtual Reality in Education
With virtual reality, we can almost make anything possible in education. VR allows users to experience scenarios they are usually unable to in a conventional classroom setup. Below are some use cases of virtual reality in education.
4.1. Virtual Field Trips
Organizing field trips usually involve a lot of planning and costs a lot of money. Virtual reality field trips are emerging as an alternative to traditional field trips. VR field trips allow learners to explore different locations across the globe and 'teleport' them to places that may be impossible to visit in real life due to various reasons.
For example, schools can use virtual reality applications in history classes to take students on a 'virtual tour' to museums and other historical sites. VR offers "life-like" experiences that may not be possible in a traditional classroom.
4.2. Career Exploration
Nowadays, students are often unsure of what career they want to pursue. With a report suggesting that almost 70% of workers in the US are unhappy with their career choices, it is clear that existing career exploration methods are not effective. VR can help mitigate this problem by helping students experience a "day in the life" of the profession they aspire to pursue. Adopting VR for career exploration can be very effective, as it helps students take a closer look at different professions in an immersive environment and evaluate the pros and cons of these jobs to choose a career that suits them.
4.3. Hands-On Training
Virtual reality applications offer a safe, low-risk virtual environment where students can sharpen their skills. When it comes to high-risk training activities, there is no room for error in conventional training methods; a single mistake can cause severe damage. VR-based training programs greatly reduce the risk factor, allowing trainees to practice their skills and learn from their mistakes without worrying about the real-life consequences.
For instance, VR can be handy in healthcare training, helping medical students practice surgeries and operations in a virtual environment before moving on to real-life patients.
4.4. Language Learning Tool
4.5. Soft Skills Training
One of the best ways to use VR in higher education is to train students soft skills. Several educational institutions around the world are using virtual reality applications for soft skills training, as VR helps learners overcome anxiety and fear of interacting with a real-life audience. With VR, students can practice soft skills anytime, anywhere in a safe, virtual environment and receive instant feedback.
5. Tips to Setup a VR Classroom
Here are a few tips to help educators set up a VR-based classroom and maximize the advantages of VR in education.
5.1. Ensure Sufficient Physical Space
It is essential to ensure student safety while using VR equipment to reap the benefits of virtual reality in learning. VR users are fully immersed in a virtual simulation and sometimes spin around or stroll blindly, ignoring their physical surroundings. A small misstep can lead to injuries. So, teachers should ensure their classrooms are spacious enough to enable safe VR exploration. Students should be at least three feet away from each other and objects in the classroom.
5.2. Moderate VR Usage in Classrooms
According to a Common Sense Media survey, 60% of parents are at least "somewhat concerned" that their children will experience negative health effects while using VR. Prolonged use of virtual reality can cause headaches, eyestrain, fatigue, nausea, and motion sickness. Therefore, it is critical that teachers moderate and supervise the usage of VR in classrooms. Limiting VR-based lessons to a few minutes and taking breaks between VR sessions can address this issue.
5.3. Develop a Plan for VR Learning
VR has the power to spark curiosity and inspire students to find unique solutions. However, if left alone, students may wander off topic. So, instructors should develop an organized plan to optimize the use of virtual reality within lesson plans. It is essential teachers determine goals and set guidelines for learners to follow to ensure progressive learning experiences.
5.4. Decide When to Use VR
Virtual reality can bring subjects to life, offering learners a new perspective and insights. However, using VR to teach relatively abstract topics can be wasteful. On the other hand, virtual reality can work well for subjects that need visual illustrations, for instance, allowing students to get a "first-hand experience" of a historical moment. Virtual reality can also be beneficial in teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) topics.
6. Benefits of Adopting a VR-Based Learning Approach
Integrating VR in learning offers several advantages and has the potential to change teaching and learning as we know it. Here are some benefits of utilizing VR in education:
6.1. Faster Learning:
Immersive visuals and 3D graphics help students learn better and understand the subject matter faster. A study by PwC showed that students in VR-based learning programs learn 4 times faster than traditional classroom learners.
6.2. Better Retention Rates:
A study shows that visual illustrations and participatory learning improve memory retention. Presenting captivating visuals is not feasible in a conventional classroom, but using VR facilitates visualized learning. Immersive VR simulations and interactive 3D visuals help students retain information for a longer period.
6.3. Complex Subjects Made Easy:
VR bridges the gap between the physical world and the real world. Learners often rely on textbooks to grasp information, but VR technology helps educators simulate complex topics like nuclear reactions, open heart surgery, etc. enabling learners to get a clear picture of the subject matter.
6.4. Heightens Student Engagement:
VR takes student engagement to new levels with interactive and gamified educational content. The new-gen kids are excited by the idea of using virtual reality in classrooms. VR completely immerses learners in a computer-generated world, eliminating distractions and enhancing engagement levels. Studies show that VR learners are 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the educational content than classroom learners and 2.3 times more connected than e-learners.
7. Explore New Horizons with VR Learning
Educators worldwide are beginning to understand the potential of virtual reality and have realized that VR is a significant development in learning. A report predicts the global value of VR in the education market will grow from $6.37 billion in 2021 to $32.94 billion by 2026.
With powerful 3D visuals and tools to boost student engagement, it appears VR is the next big thing in the education industry. So, consider investing in virtual reality to offer a better learning experience.
Interested in incorporating VR in your school? XR Guru is an immersive learning hub that facilitates seamless learning for students through AR and VR technologies. XR Guru brings learning, teaching, and content creation together into one easy-to-use platform.
Join Us for Our Next Webinar
Title: What's New Education: Virtual Reality
Improve Learning Outcomes with Virtual Reality!
If you are thrilled by the idea of using technology to enrich education, join our live webinar to learn how to use virtual reality in classrooms and the benefits of a VR-based learning approach.
If you cannot attend, register anyway, and we will send you the recording.
Host: Doug Smith
When and Where:
11:00 a.m. EST, Friday, August 19, 2022
Zoom Link for Registration
Goal: To help educators understand how to use VR in education and how it can help educational institutions enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.
Who Should Join:
- Subject Matter Experts
- Content Creators
- Administrators, and
- Those aspiring to adopt VR technology in learning.
Highlights of the Webinar:
- Learn how virtual reality content can help students learn better
- Learn how to use virtual reality in classrooms
- Learn the benefits of adopting VR in education
- View samples of immersive content
- Learn how to access our free Authoring Tool
- View samples of content you can create in our Authoring Tool
Outcome: Attending this webinar can help you understand how adopting virtual reality in educational institutions can enhance the learning experience.