Virtual reality (VR) in education is creating a path to new resources to teach and learn. VR works on the premise of creating a 360-degree digital environment and provides immersive and stimulated user experience that feels real.
Why is VR good for quality education?
Before diving into the benefits of Virtual Reality in education, first, we need to understand why we must improve the quality of education.
Before computers, we had books to gain knowledge and retain the facts. In the era of digital technology, books converted to ebooks, and search engines enabled easy learning with just a few clicks.
While the knowledge is more easily accessible now, the current teaching methods are focused on providing too much information and facts in a short time.
As a result, it makes you feel disengaged and bored.
Education has to follow with new ways of technology to keep learning more engaging and effective.
Being immersed in what you are learning will help you fully understand the information with less cognitive load.
The most definite proof that Virtual Reality in education is essential is that the human brain usually remembers 10% of what it reads, 20% of what it hears, and 90% of what it simulates.
So VR can immerse students in a completely different world that can enhance engagement and improve retention.
For example, going trips to places ranging from other parts of the world to explain culture and values to neurons and brain tissues to teach anatomy, all these possible with VR in education will improve the quality of education.
Top Benefits of Virtual Reality in Education:
VR in education helps students who are struggling to understand difficult concepts.
For example, through VR educational apps and headset, biology students can view brain neurons and tissues from multiple perspectives. You can rotate a shape to see it from different angles and even consider it from the inside.
VR can make things in the class exciting, give real-life kind of experience to the students that help new understandings in the classrooms.
Being able to visualize difficult concepts makes students easier to comprehend.
Learning through experience:
VR enables students to learn through experience as students immersed in an entirely different world that simulates real-life.
It’s a well-known fact that students learn best by experiencing, and studies have shown that it increases the quality of retention by 70-90%.
Usually, students are focused on reading instructions rather than using them in practice. Through VR learning, the information is more meaningful, and Students have an opportunity to learn by doing rather than passively reading.
Virtual Field Trips:
VR can be used to engage students in topics related to history, geography by providing a deeply immersive sense of place, and time.
Imagine transporting a student to the high wall of china? Physically no school budget could sustain these trips, but the virtual reality in education can make it happen!
Offering an immersive sense of place and time is much more enriching than just reading about history or geography.
Google Expeditions is one good app that provides such an experience. Each trip comprised of VR panoramas, and trips vary from historical places to Mars.
People all over the world can also visit places that are impossible to attend in person.
Of course, virtual reality will never replace the real experiences of field trips and travels. But, VR enables experiences to happen that are otherwise impossible.
Encourages imagination and curiosity:
Learning with virtual reality boosts imagination and creativity in the students. It helps the students in making decisions and creating their alternate reality using their imagination.
Who wouldn’t want to travel to the Moon, go underwater, or see first-hand how the human brain looks from the inside?
Immersive learning can recreate any environment and gives a chance to explore such spaces in a realistic VR world that would ideally cultivate curiosity in you.
Scalable VR Training:
Institutes continuously have to invest in training equipment for their students, such as science lab apparatus, medical appliances, etc.
With constrained budgets, and all this equipment needs maintaining and updating.
VR training simulator software allows teachers to scale at a far lower cost by only paying for software costs and some relatively inexpensive VR box or VR headset.
Virtual reality can also help students learn practical skills. One of the most significant benefits of training students in this way is that they can learn from realistic scenarios.
When students make mistakes during the VR training, the consequences are minimal as they occur in a safe and controlled virtual world.
VR also allows students to experiment with things they don’t have access to at institutions.
For example, VR can simulate dangerous situations that cannot be experienced in a typical environment like a car crash and much more in a completely safe environment
Improves attention and engagement:
How many times have you heard the word “I’m bored.” from your friends during class? Many times right!
Because every student has a different pace of learning, while some learn from visuals, others learn from simulation.
VR can be very useful in bridging the gap between students’ abilities and new learning experiences.
VR in education offers focused immersion and makes it easy to engage students the whole time, making learning students less inclined to distractions.
VR can be very beneficial, especially if they can get easily distracted from their focus and learning experiences.
Engagement with VR means no distractions. The scenery is beautiful, and engages participation so that every student becomes 100% involved and makes learning fun!
VR allows us to minimize the gap between teachers and students in distance education.
With VR, distance learning tools can put teachers and students together in the same classroom with digital avatars of themselves.
In essence, teachers and students can teleport into the VR world and teach students through their experiences.
Students, anywhere from the world, can enjoy distance learning using VR headsets and VR educational apps.
The applications provide virtual online chat spaces where students with a VR headset can project themselves and interact with lecturers and other students.
How is Virtual Reality used in education?
VR headsets or VR boxes are required to experience Virtual reality training and learning in education.
There are many available options for VR headsets, with cheaper headsets costing as low as $15, up to headsets costing around $400.
Virtual reality headsets and VR apps help students’ specific learning needs, easy to use, and enhances students’ engagement.
Institutes can purchase mobile-based VR headsets from a local supplier or set up a virtual reality lab and provide the VR training experience to students at any time.
Teachers can create a good VR learning experience with a good story. Stories are the best way to deliver messages that are not only heard and understood, but that also spark the imagination and creativity of the student.
Popular VR headsets for learning include:
- Samsung Gear VR
- Oculus Go
- HTC Vive
- Irusu VR headsets
- Google Cardboard box
Virtual reality in education, without a doubt, will bring a positive shift in transferring the knowledge effectively.
VR can also be used to bring in more technological advancements into the students’ learning experiences and help them make a better future for themselves and those around them.
In the Twenty-first-century, classrooms will be technologically advanced with VR technology, which significantly increases students’ engagement and learning.
The future of virtual reality in the education sector is expected to increase during the next few years.
While it might not replace the old-school teaching methods, it can be immensely useful in improving those methods.