There is a growing consensus among experts that immersive technologies offer extraordinary opportunities for enhancing motivation and learning across a range of subject areas, student developmental levels, and educational settings, but, championing the 4 Cs is also a crucial aspect to take into consideration.
What are the 4Cs of Learning?
The 21st century learning skills are often termed as the 4 C's of learning: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Communicating, and Collaborating. These skills help students learn, and so they are vital to success in school and beyond.
How can immersive technology champion the 4Cs:
Immersive Technology Stimulates Critical Thinking –
According to National Education Association’s educator guide, the norm is to “Prepare the 21st Century Students for a Global Society.” That requires student to master the 4Cs of learning and involve the new technology (which is going to stay for long) - Immersive technology.
Amongst the 4Cs of learning, critical thinking is an ability to have a focused, careful analysis of something for a better understanding. It involves reasoning, problem-solving and making sound judgments and decisions making skills. Critical thinking is an imperative skill for students and even more crucial to working “effectively and creatively with computers, with vast amounts of information, with ambiguous situations and with other people from varied backgrounds,”
Using immersive technology is one such innovative way, through which educators can incorporate critical thinking into the classroom. Several districts around the world are using immersive technology to help develop a student’s critical thinking ability. They are allowing students to experience industries, space inside their school premises; students are now able to practice and observe machines which they might not be able to practice in factory. For instance,
- In science labs: Students can perform specific measurements, conduct authentic lab procedures and get real-time assistance with hand and body movement.
- In manufacturing: Companies can create 360-degree video manuals for equipment on the shop floor and in the field. Also, let students get their hands-on tools and machines.
- In the medical field: Virtual 3-D anatomical models and surgical procedure simulations can accelerate learning and retention capability.
- For law students: Immersive mock trials can aid in trial preparation by covering court etiquette,
witness and defense interactions and how to make opening and closing statements Students are Building Communication Skills with VR Tools.
However, according to NEA, explosion of technology that has led to rise to global work teams is making it “imperative that tomorrow’s graduates communicate clearly and effectively in a variety of languages.” And the VR-driven apps has made it possible, by allowing students to practice their communication skills, experience realistic virtual environments, such as seminar rooms and auditoriums, where students can practice giving presentations or speeches and get feedback on their delivery, pace and eye contact. These apps are also designed for a classroom setting: compatible with numerous headsets, such as Merge VR and Vive Focus, and has a logout feature so students can share it.
Collaboration Takes Place in Virtual Environments
Needless to mention, collaboration is an essential skill in the workforce, but it’s become increasingly necessary for students and employees to have due to globalization and the rise of technology, according to the NEA.
Through, Immersive technology individuals can get a number of opportunities to develop such skills. They can collaborate with each other in ways that are no longer limited by geographic areas or language barriers. In addition to improved collaboration, it can help build empathy. Students can experience anything from being in the position of an individual with autism or even right in the middle of a hurricane. Schools can make use of immersive technology for enhanced safety training and emergency preparedness. And looking toward the future, sooner immersive technology will turn all the traditional classrooms into virtual classrooms.
One great example is, Students of Cornell School District in Pennsylvania, middle school students worked with graduate students from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center to explore VR- one of the great example.
Immersive Elements Pave Way for Creativity and Innovation
Treated as secondary option in the national curriculum, years ago, creativity and innovation skills today are becoming requirements for success in today’s workforce, especially because they demonstrate other skills such as adaptability, leadership and teamwork.
Tools such as VR are helping students build those skills whilst addressing the challenges school face when integrating immersive tech: limitations in quality content for the classroom. However, it allows students to create their own virtual experience to explore the limitless possibilities it has. For example, students can make their own 3D objects and virtual world using modeling and design programs such as Minecraft for kids, Tinkercad and AutoCAD.
Lastly, immersive technologies such as VR and AR are more than tools that make learning cool. They are invaluable in helping educators prepare the next generation for the unique demands of a 21st-century world and master the 4Cs of learning.