Quality teachers are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help their students learn. In this technological age, bringing digital and virtual tools into the classroom can create major educational benefits for students. Utilizing technology resources that allow for learning diversity gives students more value in their learning time and sets them up for more success.
In the midst of countless options, virtual reality is positioned as an ideal tool to utilize within the classroom. By giving students the chance to dive deeper than a text book can allow and virtually step inside the materials they are studying, teachers utilizing VR can diversify teaching strategies without sacrificing learning outcomes or student needs.
Without a doubt, virtual reality is allowing teachers to provide a one of a kind learning experience to their students. But the big question is: Why? What benefits can virtual reality bring into the room? Here are some of our favorites:
Virtual reality provides educators with the power to scale their curriculum to make learning more dynamic and engaging. With a single device, students can have access to an entire science lab, a historical event, or geographies on the other side of the world. Because of their immersive nature, virtual realities help mitigate distractions and support many learning styles. Students can learn by seeing or doing things, in addition to reading about them. Giving students the chance to sit on the rim of a volcano, walk through a pack of dinosaurs, or build an airplane engine is, understandably, much more engaging and makes the material easier to comprehend than traditional teaching styles.
The flipped classroom model and hybrid teaching programs are becoming more common. Since physical location plays no role in virtual reality education, VR allows us to bridge the gap between students and educators worldwide. Distance learning tools, such as Heizenrader XR Education Platform’s Proctored Learning feature, allow students and teachers in separate locations (different rooms, schools, or even countries) to occupy a shared virtual space to discuss lessons and content. VR also provides the opportunity to make learning experiences social by allowing students to communicate with each other, using avatars and mapped facial expressions.
VR educational content used in a classroom not only allows educators to create content that aligns with class curriculum, but it also provides the opportunity to drill down further and monitor and assess student progress on an individual level. VR lets teachers instantly identify and help students with who are struggling with the content. Teachers can elect to have students create their own VR content, encouraging students to take a higher level of responsibility for their education and therefore growing in their confidence.