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May 3, 2023, 2:08 AM

9 Benefits of Virtual Reality in Education Driving the Future of EdTech

9 Benefits of Virtual Reality in Education Driving the Future of EdTech

Technology in general is improving access to educational opportunities that were otherwise impossible for some to reach. Currently 4.59 billion people around the world use and have access to the internet, and 93% of them do this via mobile devices. The reach of technology is only going to grow, giving access to billions more people with beneficial information that will improve their lives.

Virtual reality is the rising star of education technology. Where before we used textbooks and worksheets to prove our understanding of critical concepts, we now use Chromebooks, tablets, and the IoT to prove this same understanding. As we advance even further into the Age of Information, the method with which we learn and prove ourselves will gradually become even more technology based. Virtual reality is one of these spoken of technologies that will enhance EdTech opportunities and create an educational experience that will drive innovation in and for the future.

Here are 9 benefits of VR technology that prove that it is the future of EdTech.

1. Virtual Reality Learning- The nature of virtual reality is that it is vastly more immersive than traditional learning methods. The headsets and tailored environments enable the user to remain completely focused on the subject matter and gain a deeper understanding of the information. Combining this with the physically immersive nature of the technology, VR tech can allow students to create their own world, or experiment within the confines of a safe space, which can help solidify critical concepts and help develop 21st Century skills that are so important in today’s emerging work environments.

2. Virtual Tours- Students no longer need to take hours of their day, and teachers no longer need to spend hundreds of dollars on educational experiences that may or may not prove to be worth it. Instead, students can go on virtual field trips to places outside of their home city or country to experience certain aspects of life or art in other places. Students can visit the moon, conducts dangerous chemical experiments, and learn more about the history of our world with deep concentration methods all in the same day without leaving the classroom.

3. Special Needs Education- Virtual reality has a great benefit of helping cross boundaries and creating opportunity for everybody to excel, including special needs cases. Learning disabilities, blindness, deafness, and other disabilities can be mitigated by using different applications within the software to change visual contrast, and sign language capabilities, to name a few. VR can also help with autistic users, enabling them to experience social situations that are foreign to them and help them with a form of exposure therapy that allows them to gain the experience within a safe setting. In this situation, they can then use the skills they learn in the VR environment in the real-world environment to help in their everyday life.

4. Virtual College Tours- College is incredibly important to a great deal of people. The experiences you can gain in college, and the education obtained can be the determining factor in a life of success, or battling years of job-related issues. Part of the process of choosing a college is visiting the campus to tour the on-site amenities and get a feel for their specific campus culture. However, not everybody has the funds available to make multiple trips across the country, or to new places to see the campus for themselves. Some colleges offer virtual tours of their campus using virtual reality technology. This allows students to gain the understanding they need, while saving their money for college supplies that are actually necessary.

5. Virtual Reality in Medicinal Education- Virtual reality is making it possible to gain a greater understanding of the human body at an atomic level. For children, who understand things better when they can see the subject they’re working with, microscopic education can be a difficult concept to grasp. Virtual reality uses modeling to display the body at every level, like how The Body VR allows users to view anatomical structures with guided interactions in a 3D environment. This can also be especially helpful to students at a medical university training to become medical professionals.

6. Driving Deeper Learning- A major benefit of virtual reality is its ability to give students a deeper understanding of subject material and internalize information in order to remember it longer. Virtual reality helps develop new memory pathways in the brain that are necessary for long term memory storage. The repetition of learning in this manner not only makes the process fun, but also helps create these pathways that lead to a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.

7. Enhanced Distance Learning- The pandemic that began in 2020 drove students to learn from homes, and forced teachers to get creative in the way they present subject material. Having to sit in on Zoom calls and wait in a virtual classroom to talk about what they read or did put a huge strain on the learning environment. Virtual reality takes that strain away by making distance learning fun. It creates a gamified environment that makes students want to be there. In addition, the students can collaborate on projects, gain valuable feedback within the virtual environment from their teacher and fellow students and have an overall better educational experience.

8. Career Determination- A big part of education is to figure out what a student wants to do when they grow up. The learning of various subjects, career fairs, field trips, etc. are all there to train them to be adults, and to give them options to succeed in the future. While learning about certain career fields is a benefit in itself, nobody really knows what they want to do until they’ve had experience in that area. Virtual reality gives people the opportunity to test out different career fields in practical ways that show them what a particular job will be like. This experience can eliminate jumping around different career fields and lead to greater job satisfaction.

9. Vocational Training- Training is an integral part of employee onboarding that, if skipped, can lead to difficulties along the road and reduced employee retention. Virtual reality is an effective and sometimes easier and more engaging way of training employees for the job. This sort of education gives employees the proper and accurate on the job training necessary to do their job well. Similar to primary and secondary school education, it helps deepen the understanding of certain processes and helps each person remember the key factors of their job and gain qualities of an efficient worker.

As you can see, virtual reality has a variety of use cases across age groups and disciplines that help develop critical skills within that niche. Because VR is not confined to one single group and in fact helps eliminate boundaries, it can instead be used to carry information to everybody. Minus its inherent cost, it’s accessible by everybody, enabling the future of education with the information they need to succeed. VR technology has gained greater momentum in the last few years by proving the be an efficient tool in various industries, and the value it has in EdTech will help students and teachers participate in more engaging and beneficial learning environments.

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