VR and Education: Yes We Can

Most people think 360 videos and virtual reality are a fad.

It is a trend destined for failure in a couple of years, maybe before.

On the other hand there is an important number of people that consider virtual reality and 360 degrees videos as an innovative and exciting way to play or entertain in an era defined by technology.

We don’t know what it is going to happen in the future, but we can do some predictions about what we think it is going to happen, in a realistic way.

The problem for virtual reality and 360 degrees videos is people’s attitude. They often consider VR primarily for gaming and entertainment, however, there are different aspects that they must take into consideration right now which can completely transform our society, our lifestyle and our education too.

Yes, education.

I am pretty sure you are wondering what is the connection between virtual reality and education. They seem so distant to you, Correct?

You are wrong.

One year ago, Michael Bodekaer Spoke in Ted program about how a virtual laboratory could revolutionize science class.

In his talk, Bodekaer highlighted how important virtual reality would be as a teaching instrument which will be 20 times more effective than traditional methods. Below the introduction of his talk:

Virtual reality is no longer part of some distant future, and it’s not just for gaming and entertainment anymore.

Michael Bodekaer wants to use it to make quality education more accessible. In this refreshing talk, he demos an idea that could revolutionize the way we teach science in schools.

According to Michael Bodekaer, virtual reality can be a new way of innovative teaching.

How?

You can experience working in a laboratory before going in a true lab, or you can do dangerous experiments before doing them for real, you can better understand what the teacher is explaining because you can “see” the lesson with your eyes.

Virtual reality is not just a different way to teach students, it is also more effective than a traditional frontal lesson.

Students are more engaged using virtual reality and they can improve faster with better results.

Google has been working for a long time on virtual reality program, called“Expedition”.

With this video on You Tube it shows us the impact virtual reality will have on education.

“I would like to go to the moon” said one child at the very beginning of the video.

Why not?

There is no place where virtual reality can’t take you.

Seeing the world with your eyes help to better understand what the teacher is talking about during the lesson and when you explore different places you have the chance to learn something new.

On the other hand the teacher has the role to drive this innovation technology in the right way to show the kids that there is something outside of their community they can experience and from which they can learn.

Is it not true that travelling is an amazing source of learning for everyone?

Google plans for virtual reality to be accessible for everyone, that means “not expensive”.

Thanks to google cardboards and smartphones we are able to create a simple and cheap headset suitable to everyone at school.

This sort of devices can actually revolutionize the learning process not just about the amount of information available, but about seeing and doing something, live an experience that the students can remember and assimilate.

With virtual reality students can bring the lesson to themselves in a very different way.

Remember when you were young. You spent a lot of time to prepare a test, and then the day after you completely forgot all what you had studied, sound familiar??

What about a school trip?

Learning is not just about gaining information, it is a matter of experience, about doing something or, at least having the right environment of learning to transform theory into practice.

So, why is VR and education are a really good match?

Because virtual reality is a kind of technology that is easily applicable and allows for the transfer of real knowledge to users, in this case, students.

There are endless applications to use Virtual reality for education:  you can go a field trip to Verone in Italy, to see the place where Romeo and Juliet lived, you can experience a trip under water or see the Great Wall of China and understand how long it would take to walk its length.

We know that learning is something more than getting information. Seeing with your eyes something new, experiencing the feeling to do something you have never done in your life before make your level of knowledge more effective and persistent.

I believe this new technology won’t be just a fad.

It is an innovative instrument that can give the world more than just entertainment, it can make the difference between two different concepts of teaching, the traditional one and the futuristic one.

It can change the world, because young generations are the future.

It all about a vision.

Pick up your smartphone, let’s start the lesson!