Virtual Reality in The Classroom

Virtual Reality in The classroom

In the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage, a submarine and its crew shrink to the size of a human cell in order to go through a scientist’s bloodstream and remove a blood clot in his brain. The film is an intriguing science fiction story that speaks to humanity’s urge to explore regions that are thought to be impossible to access owing to our physical constraints.

Students in elementary schools are already doing precisely that, due to technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Today, students can take virtual field trips to sites like the ancient Roman Colosseum, outer space, and cellular-level passages within the human body.

Let’s look at how the virtual reality classroom can enhance the learning experience.

The Benefits

Before delving into some of the advantages of virtual reality in education, let’s define virtual reality and distinguish it from augmented reality. AR is a smart device application that projects a layer of educational text and lesson-relevant content on top of a user’s actual environment, offering pupils interactive and meaningful learning experiences.

VR delivers a completely digital environment, providing a 360-degree, immersive user experience that seems real. Students in a VR environment can engage with what they observe as if they were physically present.

Other advantages of virtual reality in education include the capacity to encourage students’ creativity and spark their imaginations, in addition to providing immersive learning experiences. This can encourage them to pursue new intellectual pursuits. AR and VR in education also assist pupils who are failing to grasp challenging academic subjects.

Geometry students, for example, can use AR to examine 3D geometric structures from many perspectives; they can rotate a shape to see it from different angles and even study it from the inside. Beyond academics, the benefits of virtual reality in education include cultural competence, or the ability to understand another person’s culture and values—an vital talent in today’s interconnected, global society.

Tools and Ideas for Using AR and VR in Education

Introducing AR and VR tools into the classroom do not have to be pricey. Resources are readily available, ranging from low-cost viewers like Google Cardboard to cost-effective devices that can link to smartphones. Teachers’ resources include apps that are inexpensive or even free, such as 360Cities, which allows pupils to visit cities such as Rome and Tokyo.

Another program, TimeLooper, allows pupils to visit historical sites such as medieval London or World War II. Platforms such as Immersive VR Education and Nearpod enable teachers to create lesson plans that use VR and AR technologies.

These and other materials are critical for integrating immersive education into classrooms. But how can teachers optimize the benefits of VR in education in their classrooms? Here are a few ideas.

The More Room The Better

To realize the benefits of virtual reality in education, students must utilize VR equipment safely. VR users frequently whirl around or march aimlessly, oblivious to their real surroundings. A slip could result in injury.

Educators should make sure their classrooms are spacious and safe for VR explorers. Students should be at least an arm’s length apart and away from any objects in the classroom. When possible, use VR content that students can access while sitting at their workstations.

Monitor and Regulate VR Exposure

According to research on the psychological impact of VR on pupils, VR should be used gradually and under strict supervision in school settings. According to the research findings, as revealed in a recent article, children who abused VR had false memories of having physically visited a place they had never visited. This problem can be addressed by limiting VR education sessions to a few minutes as part of a larger lesson plan.

Time and a Place

VR can bring academic subjects to life, providing students with new insights and perspectives. However, virtual reality cannot replace human contact. Because learning is ultimately a social experience, VR is best employed as an adjunct learning aid.

How can teachers make the most of VR at school? It is subject to change. Because grammar is a highly abstract subject, using VR to teach it in the classroom may not make much sense. VR, on the other hand, may work well for visual and tactile topics, such as allowing pupils to learn “firsthand” about a historical event or iconic monument.

Because the Parthenon in Greece is a tangible structure, students can virtually walk within it to see its architectural elements using virtual reality equipment and software. Many STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects lend themselves well to virtual reality. After all, what child wouldn’t enjoy “seeing” the planets of the solar system?

Classroom Learning is About to Change

From what we can see, the regular subject matter in schools can be taken to a whole new level with the help of an immersive learning experience. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can now get a better learning outcome from the virtual environment as they will be exposed to a more engaging stimulus.

Parents and teachers have always wanted kids to stay away from digital technology, but it turns out that this may soon be replacing the traditional classroom. Virtual reality technology has come a long way from an idea in science fiction to now contributing to active learning in kids. It really is the next step in our future.

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