January 18, 2020 7 min read
Like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality started as a popular trend in the gaming industry, but soon people began to realise that would have far-reaching possibilities in various other fields in the future. As everybody began exploring new ways of using VR, it became clear that E-learning and Education was a big area for VR. Experts in the field of education have long known that the brain tends to remember about 15% of what it has read or heard, but over 90% of what it does and simulates. With this knowledge, early adopters of this technology have used Virtual Reality in amazing ways to make education more exciting and effective for the learner.
As VR technology has improved, its application in the field of education and online learning has also grown. Today, VR can be used in almost every aspect of training and education imaginable.
The most obvious use of Virtual Reality (VR) is that it can virtually transport a person to far-away, inaccessible worlds. Imagine a school trip to Mars, or maybe inside the depths of a lava-spewing volcano. VR makes what impossible in reality (at this moment) a possibility, in the digital, virtual world.
VR also plays a great role in medical and technical training, where students can have access to different virtual simulations that will enhance and test their understanding of complex concepts, through actually doing complex tasks repeatedly in the virtual world, before graduating to carry them out in the real world.
Imagine being able to look inside a human brain to study chemistry and how the brain functions when it undergoes different emotions or stimuli. With VR, this notion is no longer an abstract concept, but can actually be studied through the use of specialised games and apps which allow the learner to understand whats going on inside the human brain! How cool is that!
But that’s not all. VR can give students with physical disabilities or mobility issues a chance to explore and learn about the real world around them, using a VR headset, in ways they could not have done before. As more and more tech-companies are innovating and investing in the VR technology, it it is inevitable that many more ways to implement this technology in education will arise.
VR can virtually - no pun intended - transform the manner in which knowledge is transferred from the source to the recipient. It can create an almost real world that allows users and students to interact with it. This ability to interact with the virtual world you are immersed in and learn from it, makes learning more easier and exciting, than any other traditional techniques used in the past.
By eliminating the limitations of words or illustrations on a textbook, and actually immersing the student in the environment that he or she is studying, students can comprehend much more.
Also, the impact of immersive learning through a Virtual Reality model is so great that it becomes part of our fundamental and long-term memories. By making learning more memorable through the VR experience, learning becomes much more natural and long term.
Traditional learning methods often focus on memorisation and repetition, but not comprehension. These techniques can benefit students who have a good memory but can go against students who learn by doing or by visualisation. The VR learning model is really helpful for these groups of people and aims more at comprehension through engaging the students more as compared to just mindless memorisation.
With so many exciting possibilities, it is no wonder that VR is one of the most talked about tools that is most likely to shape our education methods in the future. With exciting new apps such as Practically, bringing the power of AR and VR to learning, it is only a matter of time that students, teachers and educational institutions accept this technology, making it more affordable and accessible to students all across the country.
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