VR opens unprecedented opportunities for schools and colleges. From this article, the readers will get to know why teachers value virtual reality so highly.
Virtual reality makes education more exciting and informative. It can be applied to nearly any sphere of knowledge: from history to ecology, from surgery to astrophysics. Students of all ages adore this technology because it resembles immersive entertainment and not conventional studies. The readers of this article will get to know about the main benefits of VR in the educational process.
How to Use VR in a Classroom
Teachers can either distribute individual headsets among the students or create an immersive classroom. After the school purchases the headsets, they will require very little maintenance. In most cases, they do not need to be connected to computers or other devices. They occupy minimum space, and it is very easy to store them.
In an immersive classroom, kids do not need to wear headsets. The content is projected right on the walls, floor, and ceiling. The students might find themselves in ancient Rome, on Mars, at the North pole, or elsewhere. There are no limits to the imagination of VR content creators.
In primary school, it is better to use the immersive classroom. It might be tricky to explain to small children how to use the headsets. Besides, at that age, it is better to break social barriers. Headsets are more appropriate in secondary school, where students focus on their individual skills.
The Benefits of Virtual Reality
This technology is by no means a passing trend. It is here to stay because its advantages are way too numerous.
It Makes Education More Diverse and Less Boring
When students need to perform the same activities over and over, they become less enthusiastic. For instance, they might turn to papers writers to do this repetitive task for them. But what if the teacher asked them to write a paper three times less often? And they would not need to stick to a uniform structure? Who knows, maybe the assignment would seem more appealing to them.
VR differs a lot from the conventional methods of teaching. It appeals to students’ emotions. They memorize the information absorbed through VR very well. It enables students to get hands-on experience rather than just listen to what the teacher says.
But the educational process cannot consist only of VR lessons. To achieve maximum efficiency, they need to alternate with other formats.
It Saves Money for Both School and Parents
When the class sets out on a conventional field trip, not all parents can afford it. The less privileged students feel deprived and abandoned. With VR, such a situation is impossible. The families of school kids do not need to pay for this technology once it becomes available in the educational establishment.
It Enables Students to Explore Such Places That They Cannot Visit in Reality
When studying Shakespear, teenagers can find themselves in Medieval Venice. They can walk the streets of the city, see the famous balcony and feel the unique atmosphere of the location. It is very different from watching a movie or a theater play because students do not feel separated from the main action. This encourages them to pay maximum attention to every detail.
This is especially important for boys and girls with vivid imagination. They might struggle to remember tips on technical essay writing or chemical formulas. But when they need to think outside the box, it immediately triggers their cognitive abilities.
Virtual Reality Encourages Peer Interaction
During and after the VR session, students enjoy discussing it with each other. Teachers can give them topics for conversation. Students can split into groups, or the whole class can take part in the discussion.
It Gives a Chance to Slow Learners
Some students do not perform too well because they do not like reading textbooks. Yet, it does not mean that they are less gifted or less intellectual than their peers. They just perceive the world differently, and they need to immerse themselves in situations.
For instance, they might fail to memorize the structure of a biological cell. But when they find themselves inside a giant cell, they will grasp everything in no time. Teachers will not need to remind them that they should stay focused deliberately. Their understanding of the cell will be just as good as among straight-A students.
This Technology Works Wonders with Children Who Have Learning Difficulties
Thanks to VR, kids with special needs can learn in a safe and controlled environment. Children with autism can get different skills here that they can later apply to the real world. These include, for instance, the rules of road and fire safety.
An Example of What a VR Lesson Can Look Like
In an immersive classroom, students turn on the time machine and travel to the era of dinosaurs. They see the world map and the regions where these creatures used to live thousands of years ago. The map zooms in, and the students “land” in a particular area.
They watch dinosaurs walk around them. The image is highly realistic, and they can see every tiny element. Dinosaurs hunt, eat and teach their babies to drink water from a lake. Then, the image changes, and students start to examine the bones and inner organs of these reptiles.
They briefly analyze the peculiarities of the surrounding environment. They get to know about the climate and the plants that live in that area. Finally, the time moves fast forward, and the Ice Period starts. Dinosaurs become extinct, and students watch how archeologists search for their bones in the perpetually frozen ground.
During this lesson, the class learns a lot about botany, anatomy, evolution, and geology. They understand how the food chain works and how dangerous climate change can be.
Virtual reality opens fascinating perspectives for education. Those teachers who are already using this technology left overwhelmingly positive reviews about it. Soon, VR helmets will become one of the most important gadgets in schools and colleges. They will not replace the traditional textbooks but complement them. The quicker schools adopt this powerful technology, the more they will gain.