‘I realized if you can change a classroom, you can change a community, and if you can change enough communities you can change the world.’
Studies are boring. Scratch that. Studies used to be boring.
There is one field that understands how important it is to develop constantly and to thrive with technology, and that is – the education field. The biggest minds are born in traditional classrooms. Therefore, the biggest leaders in sport, art, and science fields are born within the four walls of old and dull classrooms.
Actually, scratch that. They used to be dull.
Improving the Classroom Experience
In a rapidly changing world, education should be constantly developing. Education needs to catch up with new ways of teaching, and moreover, it needs to learn to keep pace with new ways of learning. One of the promising and progressive technologies of today, which can help with this, is virtual reality. Why should we take virtual reality into consideration when it comes to improving the education area and learning experience? Because we can all benefit tremendously from a cutting edge technology such as virtual reality. It enables us to have a jaw-dropping experience and mind-blowing moments.
Here are our top 5 benefits of VR in education.
- EASY ACCESS
Virtual reality lets everyone have an slice of the pie. Or an equal share of education so to say, in this context. Education is not a stigma anymore thanks to VR. There are people, children mostly, who face limitations in accessing education because of various reasons, from disability to distance. VR eliminates those boundaries; It enables an easy start with any lesson. Everything is already set and easy to be moved if necessary. It is a rock-solid fact that teachers are in a constant search for better ways to educate children, including the children with special needs. Furthermore, it is known that some teachers used VR in order to teach children with autism how to cross the street and to be better prepared for the world outside-of-the-classroom. Moreover, it turns out that VR is more than welcome when it comes to supporting distance education. This way, the student gets a real and full experience of being in a classroom, instead of sitting in front of a computer or by video chatting.
The best learning results are achieved when you are involved, and when you get a chance to try something, fail and then do it right. Nothing beats personal experience, and virtual reality supports that. Just imagine nowadays when you say to children – Open your book, how unhappy they must be. It’s a passive action. After all, they are living in a world of technology and instant-and-live moments. However, if you tell them to open their books and to read out loud to see who reads faster, they will take it completely differently. Introducing gamification and competition is what can make them eager to learn. Offering an element of competition and gaming makes education more attractive. Moreover, VR enables the teacher to ‘gamify’ even the simplest lessons, like ‘open the tab’ or ‘close the door’ to a more complex multiplayer experience. Even more so, gamification can be easily logically incorporated into the topic of the lesson. For example, in a Stone Age era VR workshop, students can actually play a game of carving the stone, making a stone axe and learning about ancient people’s lifestyle.
- IMMEDIATE ENGAGEMENT
Children are glued to their smartphones or other smart devices most of the time, making it challenging to draw their attention to anything that doesn’t include moving pictures or easy-on-the-eye content. But, VR education can compete with these expectations. Immediate engagement with VR means no distractions. The scenery is so vivid, attractive and engages participation so that evry student becomes involved 100%. Equally, if one doesn’t move in VR, nothing happens. Therefore, full participation is required. That is how a teacher can develop fast reflexes, attention to details and qucik thinking in children, all thanks to VR. In addition to that, that is how a student ends up enjoying participation in class.
- BEATS COMPLEXITY
Thanks to VR we can thrive as a society when it comes to complex matters, such as medicine and engineering. It is known that great results are 20% talent and 80% hard work. Therefore, in reality, a theory is nothing without practice. Also, there is a thin line when it comes to a simple chemistry experiment and learning how to operate on someone’s spine. Both are immensely complex and require state of the art equipment. This is where education in virtual reality steps in. It enables many people to gain experience in something usually hard to come by rather easily. VR allows students to experiment with things they don’t have access to at school. Also, VR can simulate nearly impossible and dangerous events and scenarios that cannot be experienced in a normal environment like, car crash, first aid, driving, car mechanics and much more in a completely safe environment. Basically, virtual reality can help create a bigger number of highly skilled professionals in different areas as soon as they step in the classroom.
- BETTER SOCIAL SKILLS
Nowadays, everyone is talking about how the number one skill of the future is developing good social skills. The way we communicate with each other is what makes us prompt to solving problems and getting to know our surroundings. Therefore, social skills should also be taught, and there is no better tool for learning social skills than VR. Virtual reality enables the creation of any surrounding. So, children can learn how to react to different social situations and surroundings, including meeting digital avatars from all cultures around the world or being put in a scenario which deals with issues like racism or bullying. Children should learn how to respect diversity and how to interact in a diverse group. For this matter, VR can be a great tool to teach children how to experience empathy and to see the world through another person’s struggle.
Overall, using VR in education can only lead to creating a more innovative technological solution, because only when we are intensively using something we can truly test it and improve it. Therefore, VR can only support teachers’ effort in creating engaging and better-educated students.
‘‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’’
Author: Bojana Radulović