Virtual reality was just some sci-fi concept until a few years back. But ever since the release of the first virtual reality headset, the industry has grown ever so rapidly. In a 2014 census, it was estimated that the entire worth of the VR industry was a mere $ 90 million across the globe, which has increased to a massive $ 5.2 billion in just four years.
This market is the fastest growing market in the world today and will continue to grow even with the introduction of augmented reality. The possibility of experiencing things which are not possible in real life is something that excites everyone. At any moment approximately 171 million people use virtual reality across the world in 2018. Considering how much new technologies are absorbed into the society, there is no reason why this technology should not be assimilated as well. The use of VR in classrooms can greatly impact the way children learn.
Why should VR be considered?
As VR is a universal technology, the possibilities are endless. This tech can be applied to pretty much any type of activity or domain. This does not mean that every field can use this technology equally, but there is a lot of good opportunities for VR to be used in the classroom. The newer generation will always surpass the previous generation. This is why the way to educate children should change with passing generation as well while it may be a little hard for people from earlier generation to grasp the concept, children have no problem picking up new things, and on the contrary are more comfortable with VR than books. Being raised in the digital era, it is not uncommon for a toddler to be seen with an iPad or a smartphone. So there should be no reason why VR shouldn’t be given a chance.
Pros of using VR in classes
- Virtual reality makes it possible to go to places without even leaving the room, and everything will seem lifelike. Constraints of permission slips and timings can be avoided if students can take a virtual field trip. This also nullifies any safety concerns as the students would not have to leave the classroom.
- VR can be useful to teach students things which might seem a lot challenging otherwise. The simple concept of empathy is a good example. Many kids do not get empathy because they do not understand the emotions properly. However, if they are made to step in the shoes of other people, and get to experience different things, and situations, they will have a better understanding of what is happening, and how to react.
- VR can be used to experience different types of careers first-hand. ‘What do you want to become when you grow up?’ is a question a student has to face every time they go through different phases of schooling. But most of the times the answer is based on dreams and aspirations rather than an interest in the actual field. This is something that VR can impact positively. Students can experience different types of careers and then make an informed choice. They would get a taste of the real thing, which is a lot different from hearing it from others.
- Time traveling is made possible. During history classes, almost every student has wondered how people used to live back in the day where technology had no impact. And that was that because there was no way to show them. Even if animated shorts were made, they were not interesting enough for students. But all that would change with the introduction of VR. The students can get an immersive experience which will let them get a better understanding of what it was like in the days gone by.
- Exploring the human body is another thing that would be possible by VR. The students cannot be presented with an actual video of a surgery, or treatment as it might be too graphic. But with VR, the student would have a good understanding of what is being done, and how, without the unnecessary blood spills!
- Students can share their VR content with other students and create a more immersive experience. This will boost the imagination of students which will really benefit students who have a creative side.