Virtual reality is a rapidly expanding field of technology with lots of promise. Everybody gets excited thinking about being inserted into their favorite movies and video games, almost as if they were a part of real life. One of the more promising fields for virtual reality, however, is the world of education.
The value of being able to experience education in an immersed context designed to maximize learning is one of the biggest advantages of VR. There are also many different “immersive experiences” that fall under the “VR” label, such as Augmented Reality, which also have broad applications for the future of education. The technology is becoming more effective, affordable, and versatile every day, and there is a myriad of tech and education companies who are chomping at the bit to make this teaching method common practice.
Although many technologies have had their flash-in-the-pan moments when combined with education, there have been many promising strides in using VR tools in the classroom. Different companies and educators around the world are releasing guides and plans for making virtual reality classes available within the near future. Some of these companies even have packages available right now for educators who want to take their classroom to the next level.
Virtual reality has a broad range of educational applications that can help to cope with some study process or with essay format difficulties for example, in one word can make learning more interactive, varied, and interesting for students. With the help of such technologies, it will be easier for students to understand the complex aspects of any subject by using visual examples.
Not only are the tech companies and private educators getting excited, but much of the marketing and research world has taken notice of this phenomenon, as well. There is some buzz in the business world about the increased demand for digitized educational tools and other things that can make education more individualized and effective. So, what kind of things can we expect in the future for our VR classrooms?
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Will virtual reality classes be available in schools this year?
The Expansion of Virtual Education
Virtual Reality is expanding rapidly in the classroom due to its ability to directly present content. The University Of Toronto released a guide to VR education in 2018, in order to contextualize the VR resources available at their library. The guide notes that VR provides educators with a way to interact directly with each student on a wide variety of subjects, and provide them with much more involved educational environments. While this kind of attention is very promising for the future of virtual reality in the classroom, it becomes really exciting when you look at some of the cutting-edge technologies being developed by VR companies.
Companies like ClassVR are developing proprietary VR kits for usage in classrooms, designed to take advantage of all the different qualities of a virtual classroom, and make it available for students today. Although it may be some time before VR classrooms become commonplace, it is very encouraging to see that there are proprietary solutions for bringing VR into the classroom already underway. It comes as no surprise that there so much attention on this field since there are so many advantages to a well-integrated VR classroom.
ClassVR is not the only company exploring these possibilities, either. Big-name tech companies like Lenovo.
The Advantages of Virtual Reality Classes
Since the VR industry has really picked up steam in the last little while, the list of advantages that VR can bring to the classroom has expanded quite rapidly. The most notable advantages to a virtual reality classroom are:
- Virtual Reality is cool. Students are excited by cool things like VR, and this makes them very eager to learn.
- Virtual reality provides unmatched visual communication, much more than is possible with textbooks or multimedia alone.
- Virtual Reality can almost completely eliminate language barriers. Since individual students can have their experiences tailored to their own skills and limitations, this creates a wide range of possibilities for multiple-language education.
These are only a few of the many advantages that come with virtual reality education. There is a myriad of problems that VR can solve in the classroom, as well as a wide range of exciting possibilities for educators. That being said, there are a few important things that educators should keep in mind if they intend to implement VR in their classrooms.
The most important thing to remember is that children still need to interact with one another. The possibilities for individual education with VR are great, but it is still necessary for kids to get some real face-time. Another thing to keep in mind is the relative cost of implementing and maintaining a VR classroom, but this will become less of an issue as the field expands and becomes more mainstream.
So, Will Virtual Reality Classes Be Available In Schools This Year?
The fact of the matter is that Virtual Reality has already been successfully implemented into a wide range of educational scenarios. As we begin to see the technology become cheaper and more attuned to a classroom setting, we will no doubt see Virtual Reality classes becoming more and more commonly available. With such cool and promising technologies in store, the excitement for the educational world is almost palpable.
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