One of the biggest technology trends and buzzwords in 2016 was virtual reality, and the format looks set to continue grabbing the headlines in 2017. As big tech companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Sony release their versions of VR headsets, the hype has so far been mainly focused on gaming. But virtual reality, like any other innovative tech idea, is set to transform the way we do things in a whole range of other sectors as well.
One of the most important changes will be in education, so in this post we’ll take a look at how virtual reality will change how we learn.
Virtual Reality in the Classroom
Virtual reality’s potential in the classroom cannot be underestimated, and there are many reasons for this as the technology gears up to hit the mainstream. Up until recently the only virtual worlds students could access were through a computer, but VR is a game changer thanks to its ability to immerse users into a variety of subjects and content. The release of relatively affordable Virtual Reality headsets such as Sony’s PlayStation VR and Samsung’ smartphone-based Gear VR mean that students will now have access to the technology and the benefits it offers.
In terms of learning, Virtual Reality is already proving to be a great way to motivate students, enhance classroom learning, and facilitate collaboration. With studies showing that we generally remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, but 90% of what we do or simulate in an educational setting, therefore, VR’s benefits to learning are huge.
Immersion, Exploration, and Interaction
Virtual reality will prove to be a significant change to the way we learn because of its ability to immerse users in the curriculum content. This will allow for interaction with subject matter on a level never seen before and facilitate the desire to explore and learn more about the subjects students will be studying.
Whether it is walking around in a valley filled with dinosaurs, exploring historical sites and subjects, or visiting far off places virtually, VR will be able to give students access to that from the comfort of the classroom. These advantages mean that the technology will help us learn and understand things better than any whiteboards, computer screens, or textbooks ever could.
As virtual reality becomes more commonplace and more content is created for the medium, students will be able to learn in a more engaging and productive way. The biggest changes, therefore, will be seen in student engagement and most importantly the ability to retain information better, and that can only be a good thing.