Virtual Reality is viewed as one of the most important breakthrough technologies over the last decade. Although it originated in the mid-twentieth century, its massive deployment is really taking off now. VR has been transforming all major industries, including the education system. The application of VR in learning is seen as a global trend that is going to change the way we learn and develop.
These are five basic ways of how VR technology is transforming education across the world.
1. Student Engagement
The appeal of VR in education is tied to its ability to greatly increase student engagement in the learning process. Starting from pre-school education, many educational institutions now introduce VR technology into classrooms, which has a positive effect on student attention. Unlike dry reading, a VR-based learning environment gives students an opportunity to learn by activating several senses, such as hearing, sight, and touch. Multi-sensory learning stimulates thinking as the learner’s brain has to process information from multiple channels at a time. Therefore, VR experiences do not force students into tedious learning that is so typical for conventional education but rather help them to stay continuously focused on the lessons.
2. Hands-on Experience
The reason why VR in education is becoming more popular day by day is that it provides an immersive environment where students are able to gain true-to-life experiences. Virtual science laboratories are a good example of how many educational establishments help their students develop the necessary skills and knowledge in their field. VR labs are remarkable for their ability to let students apply their knowledge in practice right after they have studied the theory by doing exactly what they would have to perform in reality. VR headsets are designed in a way that learners can get tactile feedback through gloves which generate the right tactile sensations to recreate real-world experiences. Moreover, VR technology enables teachers to set a perfect example of what students should learn to do. VR increases the role of visual elements in education and thus makes students more involved in learning processes, which eventually leads to higher academic performance and a lower dropout rate.
3. More Entertainment
VR in learning also changes learning styles, often making them more interactive and playful. Many virtual classrooms, especially those intended for primary students, involve gaming practices that maximize student engagement. VR educational games allow for student-student or student-teacher interaction in the classroom, which helps to retain student interest and more importantly invite them to compete and aspire for better results. VR learning experiences also encourage learners to improve their social skills as they are expected to communicate with each other when looking for solutions together. VR education does not seem as much as complex as a traditional one, but yet, it shows higher progress in student learning irrespective of their age. The extreme rise of VR software development will further incite the growth of the VR gaming sector that is likely to become a prevalent form of VR education in the near future.
4. Effective Training
With its ability to provide real-life experience and recreate complicated situations in virtual space, VR technology is of great value in various training programs. Certainly, this technology has already become a popular tool employed in various organizations for teaching employees and raising the level of their expertise. However, the most critical application of VR for training purposes takes place in healthcare and military education. The introduction of virtual reality tools in these fields has become a revolutionary milestone that now allows trainees to test themselves in stressful or dangerous situations without putting lives at stake. In fact, trusting the fortunes of critical patients to interns may not only result in emotional breakdown for young specialists but also can lead to loss of life. The same refers to military training, as sending novice soldiers to dangerous missions without urgent necessity is not a reasonable approach in the Digital Era. Modern solutions offer an amazing opportunity for trainees to use a 3D environment for testing skills and gaining crucial practical experience under supervision of their educators with minimum risks.
5. Distance Learning
Covid-19 pandemic was a bolt from a blue no one was properly prepared for. The turmoil it brought to almost every industry has ruined the well-established social bonds and forced leaders to introduce emergency measures to avoid collapse. When speaking about education, the existence of digital content, video conferencing platforms, and VR solutions appeared to be the main factors that ensure an uninterrupted educational process. The idea of distance learning is not new at all and VR technology has been widely employed in this approach to guarantee engaging experience for learners. At the same time, the global lockdown that hammered the world only proved the utmost significance of 3D-based solutions for both students and educators engaged in distance learning. The use of VR-headsets and immersive 3D-environment is not only a great opportunity for them to gain valuable knowledge but also a good point to maintain a positive mindset in their daily routine.
With all these advantages in mind, VR coupled with the IoT allows for effective and safe learning. VR-based education creates true-to-life experiences going through which students can develop the required skills and knowledge without losing their interest throughout the studies.
Foto: The use of IoT and virtual reality in education seem to improve the learning process for both teachers and students. With the help of VR sets, learning experiences can become way more engaging and even adventurous.