Virtual Reality (VR) provides an opportunity for constructivist learning which helps the students to construct their own knowledge from meaningful experiences.
And this is perhaps why, evidently the low performing students is seen to improve much more academically with the use of this technology than they did when learning through traditional methods. It increases the interest and engagement level of students as they experience the content almost real like.
Today, many education experts see this technology to be a potential game charger offering an immersive learning environment that can be easily customized and engage students actively to explore things and learn at self-placed level. In addition, they believe it has the power to provide a great opportunity for training, therapy or simulations where students get a chance of repeated practice and a safe space to fail but bounce back with positive enthusiasm. Take a look at the video below which shows how Google is helping students take VR field trips
Having understood the benefits of VR, now let’s check out what the educators of different schools feel about using VR in their pedagogical process as who better than them can actually understand - what is the importance of VR for students?
- Elizabeth Clammer- teacher of 7TH Grade Science, Alta Vista School, San Fransisco CA, said- “I found that VR in my classroom is very educational… because I can engage my students in introducing a topic to them, I can (also) explore the topic with them. I am trying to create future astronauts. You have to put that spark of knowledge into them, and that’s how you create an astronaut.”
- Ben Lloyd, Technology Teacher at Beaverton School District, Oregon said- “It’s definitely engaging for the students…without any direction, the kids would probably be interested in playing games in virtual reality, but giving them a few tools to do educational things- the kids are all about that, and they love creating something and showing their classmates.”
- Anthony Caccavo middle school curriculum coordinator & Social Studies teacher at St.John’s Prep in Massachusetts opines- “documentaries no matter the quality, often leave students sitting passively in their seats while images and words stream in front of them” but with Virtual Reality, he found his students “began to explore”. “Instead of just seeing images, they are noticing sounds and human interactions beyond a flat screen.”
- Heidi Bernasconi, a biology and marine biology teacher at Clarkstown High School North in New York is of the view that the potential of VR lies not just in disseminating strong content but provide quality experience. To quote what she said exactly- “The difference is the type of interaction your students have with image or video,” “There is an emotional connection made when the image becomes an experience, not just an image.” So this experience allows her students to question more and explore things in-depth.
- To quote Benjamin Lloyd a middle school technology specialist who observed that when VR is used in pedagogy- “Students are more engaged in lessons that use VR and experiences they have are highly motivating and meaningful.” He further went on to say that, these students are not just exposed to meaningful experience while creating something in the design class but are thinking and creating differently in their classroom because of this advanced technology.
To conclude, even though the teachers and the educational specialists are finding this technology really beneficial, yet the usage rate of this technology is still very low across the globe. Hence, after reading the reviews of various educators mentioned above, we hope in the coming years more and more school administrators would actually start embracing this technology in their institution to reap its immense benefits to the teaching-learning process.
So, have you after reading this blog decided your mind on spreading awareness about virtual reality technology or are you still indecisive about it? Please let us know your views on it through your comments.