Education is drastically changing and the techniques, as well as tools and methods of teaching and learning, are taking a shift from traditional to modern. Nowadays education is taking a shift from textbooks and blackboards to smartboards and smartphones in which listening and watching-based programs take place instead of reading and learning-based programs.
Also, what is even more important is that education is becoming more and more interactive and user and cost-friendly. Upgrades like virtual reality augmented reality, graphics and animations are playing a critical role in providing the grounds of better opportunities of learning.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality can seem to be a paradox but it can be understood as the generation of a virtual world and animations which can be operated from the real world as if we are a part of that virtual space.
Technically the term virtual reality refers to the usage of computerized technology and devices to create virtual simulations. This places the viewer in the same setting so that they can not only see the image but can feel it happening right in front of their eyes, as in 3D techniques. Which is also an aspect of virtual reality. Being in that technology embedded with the required particular devices the users can use their sense stimulations to move up and down and to see everything as if they are really a part of a virtual world.
The most common example for understanding virtual reality can be a 3 Dimensional movie. By the usage of special glasses the viewer can see the entire thing as if it's happening right in front of their eyes. Similarly, the lights and sound effects are taken into consideration so as to ensure the feeling of the thing happening right in front of our eyes even though nothing of it is real.
Technological advances play an important role in understanding and being a part of the VR world as there exist headsets which the users wear on their head while playing any game of that sort with the most popular being tennis, and it's used in the way to make them believe that they are on a tennis court and however they move their character in the game moves.
Currently, virtual reality is being used in many forms in the entertainment spaces, in gaming, and in healthcare , military and education as well.
VR in Education
No technology can replace human interaction totally although what they can do is enhance it. Virtual reality in education is being adopted at large for almost all students of all age groups. Virtual reality is a great tool to give students a fresh perspective and real-life experience of the thing they are studying without even being there directly.
This can also let the students have the experience of the past events and allow them to have a look at all these by just being in their classrooms. Not just this, students can have the virtual projection of the choices of their careers and do creative activities for themselves to make themselves more suitable in terms of skills and values.
In order to achieve all this and provide adequate tools to perform such sort of educating activities, a lot of applications are being made which seek to immerse new worlds in the classrooms for the students to learn.
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Let’s have a look at the various applications of Virtual Reality in Education.
Applications of Virtual Reality in Education
1. Boost Student Engagement
The immersive virtual reality classroom is equipped with adequate ways to make learning more engaging and communicative this can help in boosting student engagement. The more interactive and communicative the classrooms will be, the more participants will be excited about learning.
The traditional methods of reading and learning the theory might not interest all the students but virtual reality setup is a comprehensive and entertaining one where the students can easily and simply learn things by watching them, relating to them, and by being a part of whatever they are learning, they can see 3-dimensional images, and with other technologies like internet of things in education, it can be made more technologically advanced and engaging.
2. Experience-Based Learning
Learning by reading or writing something, based on the past of the imaginary upcoming future and imagining things and wondering what they might feel like, and learning something by seeing them how they have looked for real are totally different experiences. Virtual reality makes allowance for the latter one.
This provides experience-based learning by providing stimulated displays which makes the students feel like a part of the setup they are looking, this experience can be more enhanced by combining the devices with sensors using which the movements of the learner can be tracked and the displays change accordingly on the VR screen. The students can see the things as they are and create memories that are going to last longer in their minds enabling them to continue to recall what they learned, by experiencing them.
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3. Virtual Field Trips
Field trips are an essential part of educational culture and they tend to provide exposure and practicality to the students. However, in certain cases, the field trips do not possibly take place like due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the educational institutions are shut down and the trips are in an impossible scenario. In other cases, certain trips are too expensive for all the students to be a part of.
Virtual reality can be a great opportunity to take the travel and tour experience without actually visiting the place, in a cost-friendly and time-saving manner. They can see the realistic graphic-based images and have the views of the place and even move their head to see the various angles and views just as they would have seen it for real. All this is possible without even leaving the classrooms. In order to provide more details and sharpness to the experience, temperatures and wind effects of the location can be provided in the classroom using connected systems like IoT based temperature control which can work in coordination with VR graphics.
Applications of Virtual Reality in Education
4. High Tech Training
Virtual Reality can be used in providing high-tech-based and professional training in educating people about the practical aspects of execution. They create a real-seeming atmosphere for the enrolled people to practice for the real-time situation. They use a virtual reality landscape combined with the devices which might get used in the real-time situation connected with a wireless system that seems to move in the training VR screen as they move in real life.
Virtual reality in the military can be used to practice a real-time combat situation, or battlefield training before being a part of the actual training and in medical training, this can be used in order to practice virtual surgeries, treatment depiction and have a 3D vision of the human anatomy to get to know and understand better. Not just in these two fields virtual reality can indeed be used in other training like mechanicals, disaster management, even virtual laboratories, etc. to get a detailed view of the situation and practice a safe and cost-friendly learning methodology.
5. Distance Learning
There are educational applications and sources that can be accessed from anywhere using just a smartphone and an internet connection. As schools are adopting these techniques they are building portal using which students can log in and access the ongoing studies. Such applications keep the learners connected and enable them to interact and for that, they do not need to be physically present in an institution or school to be a part of the educational curriculum.
This removes the barrier of location and physical presence to be able to be educated. This removes the time barrier as well if there are pre-recorded ventures the person wishing to learn can use the application anytime to be able to educate himself. Students can rewatch such pre-recorded virtual graphics as many times as they want and at their pace using the appropriate devices.
Virtual reality solely works on the technological dimensions combined with augmented reality in making distance learning, collaboration, and training possible, this works by connecting the learners and even the distant educators to share their ideas and communicate virtually.
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This will not be wrong to say that virtual reality has opened several avenues in the education sector for students and teachers. Due to the technological presence being so wide and versatile the benefits are undeniable, virtual reality makes the educational impact and learning root deeper than the traditional methods, this is also cost-friendly and enriched with the potential to make education interactive and practical.
The training and live demonstrations tend to be safer for the learners than direct training in some cases, this can help in keeping it injury-free and also wastage-free, there are no devices or resources getting wasted in virtual training and repeated practice. This works by just a smartphone and an internet connection with visible benefits.