Virtual Reality For Education in 2021

How to Utilize the Benefits of VR in Education

Technology advancement has seen many technologies being adopted by the education sector, and one of them is Virtual Reality (VR). VR education technology is an evolving concept that entails student-friendly features that allow or accommodate unique learning experiences.

“Children are mirrors; they reflect back to us all we say and do,” says Pam Leo. And because of this, students can absorb better and more information in a 3D environment than through explanations and pictures. This is simply because using virtual reality as an education medium is more fun, exhilarating, and pleasant than using the other traditional ways.

As we all know, education is the base of development in society, which is why educators try to find more advance and effective ways to transfer information to students. Combining these reasons with the fact that we are in a digital era full of digital devices and advancement, VR and AR are now the next natural evolution of education.    

Before looking into resources, benefits, and tips of utilizing VR and AR technology, let's first define and differentiate these two terms for easy understanding.

  1. Augmented reality (AR) differs from VR, but both are used in smart devices. AR is used to provide students with interactive and meaningful learning experiences through smart devices. AR projects computer-generated educational contents on tops of users surrounding.
  2. Virtual Reality (VR), on the other hand, provides students with an immersive user experience that feels real by creating a 360-degree digital learning environment. It comprises of computer-generated content.

AR and VR in Education: Resources

Before we look at tips to utilizing these technologies in education, we should first address the puzzle's resources.

Setting up your AR and VR for education is not expensive as most of us think or are led to believe. You don’t have to break the bank to land these devices. There are several budget-friendly devices and platforms to use nowadays, and they work well as the expensive ones.

VR and AR devices are not the only resources needed. A teacher also needs virtual reality apps for educations, such as:

  • TimeLooper: This is an application that allows students to visit places through a historical lens. For example, Berlin, Germany during world war II, and many other sites.
  • 360Cities: This is another application that allows you to visit different historical places during class a session with a 360-degree environment.

These are just a few examples of available VR and AR applications out there. For educators to develop lesson plans with AR and VR technology, they will need to use specific platforms, for example, Immersive Nearpod and VR Education.

We know VR and AR technologies come with several benefits, so what are the benefits, and how can teachers maximize these benefits?

The Benefits of AR and VR in Education

AR and VR technology in education bring about an artificial computer-generated world that students can easily experience and interact with. In turn, it allows the easy and effective transfer of information to students.  Furthermore, having an interactive learning experience can bring a whole new world of exciting learning opportunities. This gives students more ways to learn with potential to  help enhance the learning experience.

What are the benefits of virtual reality education?

  1. Effective Transfer of Information

Effective, efficient, pleasant, and useful information transfer to students is what every teacher looks and hopes for. Therefore, the adoption of this technology has taken time. VR is one of the most straightforward ways to create  learners’ efficiency to learn and gain new knowledge on a dedicated topic or subject.

  1. Improves Student Outcomes

A mixed-reality, which is a combination of both AR and VR technologies, proved to improve students' outcomes. This is according to research cited by EdTech and the American University School of Education.

The study showed that the students in mixed reality biology classrooms had higher scores than other students.  Therefore, this proves that both VR and AR can help improve students' memory retention and recall abilities. The study also showed that VR alone could improve student memory retention but not as much as mixed reality does. The ability to leverage mixed reality is a growing trend and something that will be considered as virtual reality applications evolve.

  1. Boost Student Engagement

One of the essential virtual reality education benefits is that it enhances students’ engagement with their study. There are hard to understand theories for every child, but you are allowing them to see these theories from another better angle by using virtual reality. This, therefore, enhances engagement while improving their understanding and memorizing abilities.

Overall, VR and AR technologies in education has been shown to provide an active learning experience rather than just distribution of passive information. This has great potential since it can help students increase their knowledge area of expertise.

  1. Eradicates Destruction During Study

Destruction has been, and still one of the main challenges when it comes to studying. Imagine having to teach students with ADHD and CDD that struggles with concentration problems. It will be hard to manage them, right? But if you have a virtual reality headset, then the concentration problem may help to reduce impact or help keep it minimal.

For example, using a headset like Rondaful Virtual Reality Headset with Remote Controller is ideal for solving the destruction problem. 

Other advantages of VR in education include:

  1. Potential to bring out student’s creativity by enhancing the power of imagination.

  2. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality creates a memorable visual experience. 

  3. The technology can enhance a quick understanding of complex topics, meaning potential for unlimited applications in education and training. 

  4. VR and AR also provide a platform to enhance learning fun with virtual tours and interactive game-based education.

Tips of Maximizing Virtual Reality in Education

To enhance the benefits of using virtual reality as a teacher, you may want to consider these factors:

  1. Develop a Concrete Plan for VR Learning

    If you leave students to learn independently, you will be limiting success since some students may veer off the topic out of curiosity. But if your spark curiosity and utilize it, the students will gain a lot. This is why educators are expected to maximize the use of VR within lesson plans by developing a well-structured program. This plan should guide students along the right path, which may also involve supervising and moderating the use of VR in the classroom.

  2. Only Use VR in the Classroom When Applicable

    VR should be best used as a supplemental learning tool. You should always know when to use this VR in the classroom because it shouldn't, and it can't replace human interaction.

  3. Ensure You Have Ample Space

    A Learner using VR does need ample space to avoid injuries since they may ignore their surroundings and blindly start wandering around. If possible, students should use VR while sitting on their desks.

Final Thought

Adopting virtual reality for education will give you a better and more advanced learning style, unlike in traditional education. VR and AR are applicable in all education levels; it can be for further studies in pre-school education, elementary schools, secondary schools, and vocational training.

This is a growing concept, and by 2021, 15 percent of students will have access to Virtual Reality classrooms in us. This is according to information published in the EdWeek report in April 2019. Therefore, teachers should prepare to leverage the benefits of Augmented and virtual reality in education.

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