Is Virtual Reality the next big thing?
Technology has changed the face of education.
Elearning tools have completely revolutionised education, allowing people to learn in their own way, at a distance and in their own time – without having to step foot in a classroom.
But despite these benefits, online learning isn’t for everyone. Many students prefer working in traditional classroom settings, where they have other learners and teachers around them to support their learning. They can raise their hand to ask questions, form study groups to work on group projects and motivate each other to learn and succeed. It's this social interaction that is so valuable within a traditional classroom, and what's missing in the online world.
But VR changes all this.
Virtual worlds promise the best bits of traditional learning and elearning all rolled into one. Users can create a game-like avatar that enters a virtual learning reality on their behalf. In this online space there are no rules. You could be walking into a university lecture theatre... stepping back in time into an Ancient Roman battle... or floating in mid-air on the International Space Station. The possibilities are endless.
When a user's avatar has entered a virtual learning reality, they can use online communication tools to interact with other users in the same reality. They can use voice notes, video chat and messaging features to ask questions to a teacher and socialise with other learners - without disrupting the narrative of the virtual world.
This means instead of sending an email and waiting for a reply, learners can interact with teachers in real time and receive the instant support they need throughout their learning experience.
Virtual reality learning opens up communication across all subjects. In fact, any subject can be taught using virtual reality, but the most obvious – and exciting – applications are history and science.
With virtual reality learning, history lessons will never be the same. Virtual reality uses state-of-the-art technology to re-create worlds that are trapped in the past, so students can take a virtual field trip to a time that no longer exists. History students can tour the battlefields of the Somme, walk around an Ancient Roman town or help build the Great Wall of China.
Science students can take part in dangerous or expensive experiments in a risk-free environment. Students of politics can follow a law as it's scrutinised by MPs, passed through the House of Lords and approved by the Queen. Art students can see the inspirations behind a work of art and even watch the artist in action. Language students can immerse themselves in a foreign culture to see the sights and learn the language as if they're actually there.
Even subjects like maths will be completely transformed by virtual reality learning. Textbooks will be replaced by an engaging and entertaining experience that learners will love. By becoming completely immersed in a gamified world, students will be more engaged in their own learning, helping them achieve more.
Virtual reality learning is going to be big.
By blending the best of the real world with the latest technology, the students of tomorrow will have access to the best learning opportunities ever seen in education.
In the meantime...
It's all go at OneFile! Our software developers have been delving into virtual learning too; perfecting our very own virtual learning environment.
This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.