Virtual Reality Use in Education and Training (Part 2 of 6)
Aug 28, 2016
Virtual Reality: Practical Uses in Education and Training
In the first part of our series, we outlined the basics of virtual reality (VR). In part 2, we discuss how VR is blazing a path into education and training.
Have you ever noticed your children often navigate technology better than you? Has your child ever said, “Give it to me, I’ll do it,” and then taken your phone and made it do something wonderful that you couldn’t figure out? Today’s youth are the first generation growing up using tablets and smart phones on a daily basis. And the classroom is keeping up with them. This involves more than just smart boards, tablets, and laptops.
VR in the Classroom
TechCrunch reports a spike in the number of companies marketing virtual reality technology to schools over the space couple of years. One factor behind this is the recent release of affordable VR headsets. These headsets are often made from cardboard. In addition to affordability, they fit comfortably and transport easily. Schools can now afford to purchase enough headsets for an entire class to use.
Some researchers report VR may lead to better memorization and comprehension. The interactive and immersive nature of VR activate more of your brain. VR also allows students to see and experience things they wouldn’t be able to without VR. For example, a class in rural Iowa could turn the British Museum or visit the Amazon Rainforest.
Current VR offerings mainly focus on biology, anatomy, geology, and astronomy. But other applications are set to make an impact, such as field trips to historical sites, museums, natural sites and architectural construction models.
The following companies produce VR technology for schools and universities:
— Pioneer Expeditions by Google: Allows students to visit anywhere from the Great Wall of China to Mars.
— Immersive VR Education: Students can travel to the moon on Apollo 11 as Neil Armstrong, take a trip around the solar system, or explore Mars.
— Lecture VR: Recreates historic lectures such as those of Albert Einstein.
— Universiv: Students learn anatomy or explore the Titanic, Stonehenge, or the International Space Station.
— Alchemy VR: Students discover the inside of the Egyptian pyramids or explore the Great Barrier Reef.
— Zspace: Provides STEM education via VR.
— Woofbert VR: Concentrates on the arts. Students visit museums and galleries.
— Nearpod: Students take field trips to places such as volcanoes, the Coliseum, the Lincoln Memorial, caves, and travel the Oregon Trail.
Schools aren’t the only places VR is impacting the learning process. Businesses also utilize VR to train employees. In fact airline pilots were the first to use VR in their flight simulators. Since then, other industries have adopted VR training:
— skilled trades, such as welding
— medical professions, such as surgery, paramedics, ER personnel
— hazardous occupations, such as mining, oil rig platforms
— transportation personnel, such as airline pilots, truck drivers, police and fire
departments, railroad personnel
— combat personnel
— factory assembly lines
Venture Beat outlines several benefits of VR training over conventional training:
— safety: Surgical residents can practice surgery in a virtual environment, before moving on to working with patients.
— affordability: It costs less money to purchase a virtual training module and allow pilots to train on it, rather than providing maintenance and fuel for a fleet of jets.
— relaxed: Trainees know they are using a virtual environment, so they will not be as nervous about messing up. This allows them to think more clearly and to learn.
— Knowledge retention: The VR experience involves several senses and activates more parts of the brain. It also helps promote more abstract thinking.
Chances are good that you will soon experience VR training or education or your business may benefit from VR training experiences. Geek Tech Branding offers a variety of VR headsets in every price range. Check out our website for more information. And watch out for our next installment in our virtual reality series. Part 3 focuses on the ways VR is transforming healthcare services.