By now, most of the world is well-versed with the concept of mixed reality. However, there has been pronounced interest in virtual reality, which uses technologies to set up a simulated environment. Simply put, virtual reality is an artificially-replicated reality where one can engage and interact with the environment just as they would in real life. Of course, there have been and continue to be plenty of questions about the point of virtual reality, i.e., the purpose it serves. The answer to that question is decidedly subjective and will depend on the context one may be referring to. It is because virtual reality has made inroads into plenty of sectors across the spectrum and offers distinctive benefits and advantages to each one of them. For example, take the education sector; now, one would be right to wonder what this technology offers to education and learning. But you see, the ability to recreate experiences that wouldn’t be otherwise feasible is invaluable to the sector.
Though it is a new concept, virtual reality has already offered a world of benefits to this particular industry. Besides enabling improved and more effective transfer of knowledge and facilitating the better retention of facts among learners, virtual reality has helped with substantially improved levels of engagement and learning. Why? Because it transforms how educational content is provided to learners. As a result, it affords learners the ability to see the virtual world and interact with it. Studies have shown that experts agree that this level of immersion is highly conducive to the learning process. But that’s not all there is to virtual reality in education; here are some other ways to improve this sector.
1. Open up to new technologies: Even though VR has been primarily associated with entertainment and gaming thus far, the fact remains that its potential in the context of the education sector is practically limitless. Besides easing the process and making learning engaging, it also helps broaden students’ horizons. It helps them open up to and embrace other technologies as well.
2. Ability to better explore a topic: You see a traditional classroom set up may have been as old as time, but the truth is that it typically doesn’t involve practical experience with whatever it is that the students may be learning. But suppose they are learning a new language. In that case, a VR-based language learning app can help them learn vocabulary and help them train for speaking and that too in the native accent. Furthermore, with VR, students also visit places, museums, labs, and so much more without ever needing to leave the classroom. This ability to better engage with the areas and subjects allows students better to grasp concepts and lessons than in a conventional classroom.
3. Improve learning by doing: It is not news that learning by doing is among the most effective ways to impart education. Unfortunately, a regular classroom doesn’t afford much scope or opportunity for students to learn in such a manner. Thankfully, this challenge is quickly tended to by virtual reality, conducting experiments, etc. Even though the exercise is virtual, it is still quite potent for ensuring effective education.
4. Foster creativity: As we have discussed thus far, virtual reality enables students to engage with subjects and topics realistically, even through the digital realm. Now, this ability to experience educational content in such a manner and engage with it via various tools can prove to be very encouraging to students, helping them get increasingly creative.
Even though VR in education is still an early concept, it is clear that there is much to be gained from this technology as long as we can make it more accessible to learners all over the world.