How Virtual Reality Is Changing The Game In EducationBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
Virtual reality is mostly synonymous with gaming but as the technology becomes widespread and more sophisticated, the education sector has also taken notice and is now integrating its use in the classroom.
Two disciplines that greatly benefit from virtual reality are science and math because it allows teachers to present abstract ideas in a much easier way. Moreover, virtual reality simulation gives medical students and practitioners an almost real-life insight to the most complicated procedures. It also allows them to commit mistakes without endangering lives in the process.
The benefits of using virtual reality in the classroom are now being seen in research as well. According to studies, the use of virtual reality has increased student motivation and engagement as well as encourage better collaboration among students. Moreover, additional research is also conducted to find out how much more pedagogy can improve with the use of these technological advances.
One brilliant example is seen in the language initiative program in Australia called Second Life. Students in this class engaged in a virtual world where they can experience the Chinese culture and language. This was in preparation for their actual immersion in China.
Through this program, research found out that students were able to overcome feelings of embarrassment and apprehension because of the virtual role-playing as well as encourage social interactions through a shared virtual world. As they explore the virtual world, students can form their own interpretation of their experiences making it more real than when just sitting in a classroom and watching a PowerPoint presentation.
According to research of the technological, pedagogical, content (TPACK) requirements for teachers, these digital technologies become more effective if teachers consider how these different platforms allow them to present different contents. In simple terms, they have to find the best way how to use these technologies to make the learning activities much more comprehensive.