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VR Technology and Education

Today, we as humans have been conditioned to having technology all around us. You use your phone to socialize and your computer to write and execute. This all seems very trivial to us, trivial until we can recognize the tremendous potential it has to revolutionize countless fields of education and study.

Ask yourself this, Will the education and teaching methods we are familiar with today look the same in about 50 years? Of course not! We can see that this same view is held by the Ministry of Education who predict that the deployment of technology in education will have transformational impacts. Even stating that the purpose of technology in education is to ‘drive student engagement and attainment and to support effective working environments where staff can focus on teaching’.

I truly think that technology will not only be helpful for the general student body of most schools, but it would also be amazingly effective in aiding students with learning disabilities. For example, a case study at Highfurlong School in Blackpool discovered that simple to decently sophisticated technology was able to massively increase access to educational tools for children that otherwise would not be able to use (Hinds, 2019). As someone who has volunteered in a special needs school, I have seen the major effect minor technological changes can have on the education of pupils in the classroom

New learning tools like VR have made a substantial impact on the way learners (in lower AND higher education) intake the information given to them in the modern classroom. Pantelidis (2010, p.62) notes that Virtual Reality-based learning activities encourage active participation by requiring interaction which lowers passivity in lessons. Some international conference boards are even concerned about initiating education platforms to further expand the use of VR in the classroom (Ying et al., 2017, p.2).

I am a firm believer in furthering the role technology plays in all levels of education. Considering its ability to enhance the learning experience of students, I feel that it is a very effective and accessible tool that can pave the way for new and improved learning models. However, I do believe that we should not abandon all standard teaching methods as a result of modernizing the educational system. Doing this would make us over-reliant on technology and make educators prone to all sorts of issues.

Finally, I’d like to exclaim that technology (If used right) can be an invaluable tool in addressing many issues in education today including language barriers, accessibility and even the inclusion of pupils with varying levels of academic ability. What we must learn as a society is that the limit to creativity is non-existent which is why we must nurture it in whatever way possible. We have the tools to bring forth a more equipped and socially inclusive learning environment that evokes a student’s true potential and encourages them to work independently and efficiently towards their goals.

For more info about VR in education please read the articles below:

– Slavova, Y. and Mu, M., 2018, March. A comparative study of the learning outcomes and experience of VR in education. In 2018 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR) (pp. 685-686). IEEE.
-Pantelidis, V.S., 2010. Reasons to use virtual reality in education and training courses and a model to determine when to use virtual reality. Themes in Science and Technology Education2(1-2), pp.59-70.  
– Ying, L., Jiong, Z., Wei, S., Jingchun, W. and Xiaopeng, G., 2017, October. VREX: Virtual reality education expansion could help to improve the class experience (VREX platform and community for VR based education). In 2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
Hinds, D., 2019. Realising the potential of technology in education: A strategy for education providers and the technology industry.

By Nadia

A mother of three kids and an international postgraduate student at Newcastle University. "The kindest thing you can do for someone else listens without forming an opinion."

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