The use of Virtual Reality in classrooms
The conventional ambiance of a classroom has evolved significantly. What started with the replacement of chalk boards with laptops and mobile devices has now paved the way for Virtual Reality (VR) to enter the typical classroom environment. Virtual Reality has now come to play a prominent role in various industries, education included. Traditional academic settings are now being modified to include the use of VR in routine learning lessons. With the increased presence of VR in classrooms today, students have been given the opportunity to understand and learn beyond textual data.
Approaches to education can be many. Teachers must embrace the truth that all students are not good at learning in a single way. While some can cope up with textual learning, others feel comfortable by looking at visuals, illustrations and graphs. So far, our education system has failed to fill this gap, in which VR is increasingly being considered.
Here are the top reasons why every classroom needs VR:
- Makes learning engaging for students
Instead of listening to a teacher explain concepts, schools can better retain the attention of students and implore them to make use of multiple senses when being taught through the inherently interactive nature of VR. Public speaking, group projects and lectures should not be the only type of interaction that students get while learning. For both teachers, as well as students, VR brings the classroom environment alive and gives them a hands-on experience that will not be possible with textbooks alone.
- Make memorable experiences
Consider subjects like history, which regularly pose challenges to students amongst all ages. Grasping and memorising dates, events, characters have been proven demanding to students - what if we could transport students to a place and showcase the actual events that took place, without actually making them move anywhere? It must not be hard to manifest why students will be far more interested in learning about the world wars, the construction of the pyramids in Egypt, or the origin of the Mughal Empire in India and likewise through an interactive experience.
- Promotes creativity among students
A teacher is not the only one responsible to impart learning to a student in an environment where VR is in play. While a student can take his time to get used to a different learning concept, it is also in their hands to take the effort to grasp the academic concepts. As a result, he will be able to process data more clearly and at the same time, develop creative skills. VR draws the mind, imagination and attention of a student beyond text, leading them to a world where they are able to make use of multiple senses to comprehend a given concept. This promotes engagement and use of creative skills when they collaborate with their classmates and challenge multiple senses to understand different concepts.
- Eliminates language barriers
For students who study in a foreign land, language can prove to be a major hurdle to understanding and learning. This is mainly because traditionally, all study materials provided to a student would typically be in the local language. With the help of VR, language barriers will no longer exist and stop posing difficulties for students while they attempt to learn something new.
- Helps in social integration of students
An opportunity to connect with peers can be envisaged with the help of VR. Students with differences in learning styles and capabilities can find a space to connect and integrate with others in their class. This can help reduce the struggles that many students face in being socially accepted by other students in their class. At the same time, various learning tools such as Padlet, Socrative and Twilda can promote teamwork among students, helping them collaborate. Powered by VR and related technology, it is because of tools such as these that students can create an online collaboration network among themselves and mutually benefit from it.
- A boon for students with disabilities
For students who are captive to any type of disability, VR can provide a chance for them to flourish and learn equally like other students. Several programs can be tailored to the needs of such students and help them progress on their educational journey. The scope of VR for such students seems to be unending and might even open doors to new and different opportunities. Take for example autism, where children find it difficult to blend in with social environments. VR for them would mean learning in a comfortable and friendly environment, through an altogether different perspective that makes use of their special skills, instead of forcing them to adapt to the rote learning approach.
Virtual reality as a supplement and not a replacement
Clearly, there is no end to the number of benefits of VR in a classroom environment. VR can fill in current learning gaps in multiple ways. Increasingly, educational institutions have also started viewing it as a tool to enhance the learning capabilities of students. However, caution must be observed while understanding its boundaries. VR should be developed as a supplement to existing learning techniques and not as a replacement.
Eduwonka is committed to assist schools and educational institutions when it comes to adopting new technology. Teachers place an irreplaceable role in educating students and there is nothing quite as developed as to replace their role. With the use of VR, we can aid them to stay ahead in their field and promote educational learning in a far more integrated manner.
Today, up to 92% of people in the teaching profession are in support of using digital technologies in the classroom. More than 70% of them believe that the idea of showcasing places and events through VR is one of the more remarkable features of the technology 1 . A common statistic also claims that as humans, we can retain only up to 10% of what we have read but 90% of what we experience. Perhaps, the numbers leave no room for doubts about the positive need of virtual reality in classrooms today!