The words virtual reality felt so future based for decades, but now it is here, and schools are maximizing its use. It may be in the early stages, but virtual reality is becoming part of schools, colleges, professional programs, and more. It is now an accessible option for schools.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
VR is a simulated experience that is similar or different from the real world. It can be used for entertainment, education, medical and military training, meetings, augmented reality, and more. Immersive VR changes your view when you move your head, and text-based VR features text over cyberspace.
It has felt like decades watching VR become more accessible and used in mainstream classrooms. Now with 360-degree recording and new applications, VR is in the classrooms. It is creating opportunities for teachers and students that were never offered.
Where schools used VR
It’s much easier to keep your classroom in class but show them what it looks like in another location. Maybe there is a unit in a country, state, or museum that is too far away to travel or is financially not smart. What better way to experience that location than through VR? It also makes a great supplement to textbook learning.
In science, we can start mixing chemicals in labs and have both positive and negative outcomes. A virtual reality world gives a student in the lab an opportunity to experiment without worrying about a serious mistake. This use of VR has been huge in both high schools and colleges. It also makes lab space and cost minimized for the school.
In the military, medical, and even astronaut training, having a world that is VR is safer and allows more students to learn in a real-life environment. It also helps with training costs. Schools create VR experiences that simulate real-life situations and operations and let the student work through the experience through a headset.
Having a student that is becoming a surgeon work on a patient in VR also gives that student the ability to try their knowledge in a safe environment. This gives them opportunities that they would never receive prior. They get to experience patient interaction from start to finish without any worry. Instead of a medical student having to learn in real life, VR can create examples of what they may experience when they are on the job.
Colleges are now at your fingertips and your headset with virtual reality. Schools have set up tours of their campuses so an interested student can sit down and tour the school this way. Studies have found that after just 10 minutes, a student will make a decision whether or not to attend that school. They have calculated that schools see a 27% increase in a physical visit after viewing the school through VR.
VR learning experiences used to be millions of dollars. Now, these systems available in the classroom help enhance STEM, increase student engagement, and bring life-like experiences to the classrooms. Most students learn multiple ways, and VR brings that type of learning that enhances a student’s ability to learn.