There are countless ways that technology opens doors for us. All we have to do is make the most out of it and let it work to our advantage.
Take virtual reality (VR) in the classroom, for example. While it is still an emerging technology, it’s been growing in popularity and use, allowing students new opportunities without even having to step foot outside of the walls of the school.
We’ve rounded up some of the benefits of putting this new technology to work.
Gone are the days when students had to rely only on their imaginations. With virtual reality today, they can now actually see things with their own eyes right from the comfort of their desk at school.
Just think about how educators can now teach about the earth-sun relationship and make it engaging for students. With the opportunity to manipulate the virtual sun and earth, students can easily understand unseen elements like orientation, movement and relative positions.
Those studying anatomy also benefit greatly from the immersive learning virtual reality applications provide. Now they can inspect and interact with lifelike anatomical structures in all angles, in every detail. No more 2D graphics that leave students simply imagining (or even daydreaming).
Virtual reality in the classroom also provides an opportunity to teach life lessons like empathy. The idiomatic expression “putting yourself in someone’s shoes” can now be literally done. VR allows people to mimic real-world conditions or simulate real-world situations, allowing for a chance to view the world from a different perspective. It’s one of those things that can’t really be taught, but has to be experienced. With virtual reality, now that’s actually possible.
Virtual reality is an effective way to allow students to experience all the fun and excitement of a field trip without the expense and risk that comes with leaving the campus.
Now, students can visit the Washington monument as part of a social studies lesson, or take a deep dive into the sea for a science activity without ever needing to take a field trip form home to be signed.
Teachers can plan engaging, interactive lessons without having to go through the process of requesting funding and transportation for a trip off campus. The possibilities really are endless!
Once the VR headset is on, the scenario requires the user’s full attention. No side conversations or buzzing Smartphones can provide any distraction, something that is extremely beneficial for users with additional needs.
Studies show that persons with ADHD have demonstrated increased focus and better performance when immersed in virtual reality for learning. This is because different stimuli posing as distractions are blocked and lessons become more enjoyable when presented in a VR environment.
As an engagement tool, it appealed most to younger students aged 8 to 15. Virtual reality experiences lend themselves well to lessons that will stimulate students’ curiosity and motivate them to take in-depth activities for further learning. You see, VR not only enhances a student’s focus, it can also promote curiosity and wonder.
With virtual reality in education, learning goes beyond the four corners of the classroom. Basically, it offers virtual field trips that are guaranteed to be unforgettable.
Take your students places – in the streets of Paris, to Tokyo, Rome or any place in the world. Go back in time and visit the Pyramids of Giza, the Colosseum, the Ancient Greeks’ ruined buildings, or key sites from the Stone Age period. Just imagine the impression a young student gets from seeing the pyramids in a book versus standing by them and staring up in wonder.
With a virtual field trip, you can take students to a rainforest, to the depths of the ocean; allow them to experience the Northern Lights and even World War II. Classroom VR offers a rich educational experience that’s sure to make a positive impact in student learning and create unforgettable memories.
The capabilities of virtual reality in the classroom are really only limited by the imagination. However, it still has not been widely adopted, especially in the field of education.
Issues with costs, technological proficiency, and network bandwidth are just a few of the barriers to adopting a new system like this. We are confident, though, that in the near future, more and more schools will be taking steps to digitize the student learning experience and we will be here to help!
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