The pace at which the world evolves, calls for drastic changes in several areas of life. With an overview, the future lies in the hands of those who have mastered the art of agility, flexibility, and adaptability. With every passing year, the world seems to adopt new ways of doing things with technology at the center.
Streaming from augmented reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to virtual reality (VR) these technologies are conquering every sphere of life. Not so long ago, the education sphere was quite adamant about incorporating these technologies in its teaching circle. However, with the need to align learners to future needs, and the increase in the rate of e-learning, it has become inevitable to overlook these technologies.
Currently, the education sphere uses several technologies like AI and VR in its teaching and administrative processes. Virtual reality in particular is a technology with an impressive potential in enhancing lesson delivery. Precisely, it’s a game-changer with several capabilities as we shall discover later on. But let’s first discover what VR as a technology is!
Virtual Reality (VR) in a Classroom
VR is a technology that ushers users into a digital environment where they are able to explore a 360-degree view of the material they are dealing with. The user only requires headsets and the material. For the case of students, it’s quite essential to provide a spacious environment as VR use at times involves movements.
Within a limited space, students may stumble on each other and this may cause unwanted accidents. Many education institutions across all levels use VR in classrooms and in fact, the VR market is among the fastest-growing spheres in the world. To substantiate, the VR market in the education sphere is expected to grow to $ 19.6 billion by 2023. Almost every educational institution and teacher would love to leverage VR in a classroom because of its capabilities which are;
- Enhanced Engagement
Teaching students can prove challenging, especially when delivering complicated topics. Yet, this becomes worse in the absence of engagement. Student engagement precisely refers to the degree of curiosity, attention, and passion a student exhibits during a lesson. Engagement includes behavioral, mental, emotional, and physical involvement in what is being taught.
Student engagement is a key aspect of learning. When students are engaged in a lesson, they are more likely to actively participate and understand the material effectively. More so, it reduces the pressure that teachers feel when explaining intricate concepts.
On the other hand, engagement fosters active learning experiences. Unlike before, teachers can now leverage VR to enhance student engagement where possible. Virtual reality is an immersive technology that can impact students mentally and emotionally.
It generally increases students’ concentration on what is being taught. In this way, they are able to understand concepts easily. Teachers can also utilize VR technology to increase students’ interest in certain subjects like science and engineering. That can be done besides STEM apps, whether at home or within a classroom.
Whether a teacher is delivering a lesson online or within a physical classroom, VR can be helpful. Similarly, even in instances of teaching students with disabilities, for example, autism, VR technology has proven to be reliable. Additionally, VR can improve engagement and memory in all students which helps to improve academic performance.
Unlike in traditional classrooms where teachers explain topics and offer textbooks to students to learn, VR serves as an add-on. VR technology offers a visual version of the learning material. This helps students better comprehend the material. Whether a student prefers learning through visual mediums or not, VR technology can serve as a great option.
- Offers Inspiration
Certain lessons and concepts may appear useless to learners. Earlier on, studies on Space, the human body, and the galaxy, seemed perplexing to students. It usually took great inspiration for students to continue pursuing such courses.
However, VR technology has opened a hallway for immersive learning experiences where students can easily visualize what they are studying and make sense of it. For example, with VR, students can engage in engineering simulations or even go back in time where they explore the World War events and related matters.
VR technology also enhances creativity and imagination. Students can learn how to use the knowledge. Generally, VR extends students’ reality leading to impactful learning and teaching experiences.
- Alters Learning Environments
VR technology can simulate various environments helping users to get immersed in the surroundings. This also offers incredible opportunities for students to learn, practice and compare material effectively.
Additionally, VR use in a classroom creates room for improved communication, collaboration, and better material comprehension. That’s because technology offers a chance for active learning to occur. In this, students are able to share ideas with peers and also learn by doing rather than simply grasping concepts.
Also, teachers can introduce students to flipped classrooms which allows them to explore interests beyond teachers’ explanations and textbooks. Literally, VR allows interactive experiences to occur within a classroom which improves students’ academic performance exceptionally.
- Virtual Field Trips
Field trips play a remarkable role during one’s educational journey. However, in cases where a student can’t afford the study trips or is physically disabled to join others on one, this limits learning experiences.
However, with VR technology, virtual field trips are extremely accessible to all kinds of students. Virtual field trips have become a great way to escape traditional learning environments. Whether within a physical classroom or online, VR makes it possible for students to visit faraway places that they only dreamt of or are impossible to reach.
A virtual field trip allows students to experience learning in an immersive way. They are able to reach different locations such as Versailles and the solar system among others. This helps students to have remarkable learning sessions.
Technology is what defines every sphere of life. Whether it’s in our homes, workplaces, or classrooms, technology is revolutionizing the way we do things. Among the most common technologies used worldwide is VR. Virtual reality is an interesting technology to use and can alter the way students learn in a classroom. Besides that, it can improve a teacher’s teaching skills. Generally, VR in a classroom can optimize learning sessions where students are able to learn, practice and think creatively about the material. This blog details some of the exceptional VR capabilities within the teaching and learning sphere. Whether you’re an online teacher or a student, these capabilities can become a stepping stone to impactful teaching and learning experiences respectively.