What will the future of education and learning look like with VR, AI and AR?

To what extent will artificial intelligence influence our way of learning or teaching? What role will virtual or augmented reality play in schools? And, above all, what global skills will be needed to survive in a clearly digital future? These are some of the questions that the Western education system and the whole world is facing right now.

We are at a key point in history, a time and context of change, advancement and adoption of new ways of developing tasks or of performing in areas, which break with everything established to date. One of the most disruptive changes, because this is such an important sector of society, and because it is a system that has made practically no progress in the last 200 years, is that of education and training.

The teachers of 2020 and beyond will be required to know how to deal with the use in the classroom not only of artificial intelligence (AI), but also of Virtual or Augmented Reality and how to incorporate mobile devices or video into our educational practices; in global skills, we will discuss skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity or emotional self-regulation; in assessment, how to give effective feedback and how to improve our assessment techniques; and finally, in sessions dedicated to vocabulary, how to ensure that the vocabulary learned (including phrasal verbs) is not easily forgotten. 

Artificial Intelligence, present and future of education 

One of the aspects of artificial intelligence with the greatest potential is its possibility of personalisation: if the materials can be graduated so that each student faces challenges according to his or her level, this will lead to greater involvement of the students and make them learn more efficiently. Until now, the education system has pointed out as worse the children who had difficulties with learning and obtained bad results. The IA seeks to adapt the learning model to the particular needs of each student, which is far from being worse because of poor grades, but rather the fact that the study and learning system has not been adapted to their needs. This will soon be a thing of the past. 

Through analysis of a learner’s performance, the AI can automatically adjust the level of activities to be completed and identify areas of difficulty, allowing the teacher to discover what he or she needs to work on with each learner.

Augmented reality, virtual reality

The educational applications of VR devices are having a great impact that will depend on the way teachers incorporate it into their lessons or assignments. What is clear is that by creating an eminently immersive environment, great potential is obtained to make the learning process much more attractive to students.

What is truly amazing about augmented reality is that it connects something real and physical with something digital and virtual; a connection that has unlimited potential for education, for which we only need a mobile phone in our hands. As far as virtual reality is concerned, there are aspects to be taken into account such as cost and time: the more realistic and complex it is, the higher the cost, and it should be borne in mind that it will only be used for part of a lesson. However, if you have access to VR equipment and existing VR learning environments, their use is strongly recommended. In this sense, companies and platforms such as SimlabIT offer any teacher, educational centre, institution, etc. the opportunity to have all the lessons they want in VR, in the simplest and quickest way. 

The most relevant global skills

The adoption of new mechanisms, methodologies and ways of conceiving certain aspects of people’s daily lives, such as the theme of education, requires that they be adopted gradually in order to participate fully in the life of the twenty-first century. It is not possible to prioritize one over the other, because they form an essential package for efficient functioning in educational, working and social environments. 

For example: someone with well-developed digital skills will need to make use of creativity and critical thinking in the production and consumption of digital content; but also communication and collaborative skills to interact with people beyond their immediate geographical environment, which in turn will require intercultural and citizenship skills. 

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What will be the impact of Virtual Reality on the new education?

Today’s technology has the ability to create experiences to reduce the effort required for traditional study. 

UNESCO estimates that in 2025, the demand for education, only university education, will increase by about 80 million people. Experts say that the only viable solution to meet these needs is to associate it with digital education. In view of this forecast, solutions are being implemented and sought based on the possibilities offered by technology and which make it possible to develop programmes of techno-pedagogical transformation and to move towards new forms of training.

In this sense, the creation of training material and lessons in virtual reality, allows to improve the access of many people to quality training. At the same time, it gives training centres the opportunity to reach more people and further afield at a much lower cost. 

New tools

The technological advances of recent years have modified work, consumer and leisure habits, the way we communicate and inform ourselves and are also increasingly impacting on learning models. From 3D printing to digital games, including online courses (MOOOCs), applications such as Skype and the capabilities of big data -which allow us to monitor all kinds of educational aspects- we have come to the implementation of virtual reality (VR), which favours studying with less effort, as it is based on the creation of experiences.

Although initially linked to video games, VR is now being used for other purposes, including education. Several schools in Europe and the United States use it to teach subjects such as Biology and Architecture.


In November 2015, Saint John’s College in Boston (United States) and Wooranna Park College in Melbourne (Australia) celebrated the 1st Minecraft Cultural Exchange at the initiative of iED, an immersive education platform made up of institutions such as Harvard University, MIT, NASA, Intel, the UN and the Smithsonian Institution, among others. The students of each centre reproduced in the popular game the most outstanding places and monuments of their city. On the day of the meeting, each student chose a colleague from the other side of the ocean to accompany them on a virtual tour.

The idea of this experience was to show that RV allows not only children’s games but total educational experiences, for example, walking around the pyramids during their construction, approaching the foremen, the workers and even the pharaoh himself and asking them, in person, what they want to know.

Everything is possible, since RV is already affordable thanks to content and glasses such as Google’s Cardboard or the Oculus Rift, promoted by Mark Zuckenberg himself, president of Facebook.  Its progressive and unstoppable entry into the classrooms ensures the education revolution.

Educational process

VR needs the support of technicians to develop and facilitate it, creatives to imagine motivating experiences, and pedagogues to enhance its educational character.

VR will be disruptive to education as it ‘provides students with skills associated with tasks such as exploring, communicating, analysing, interpreting and solving problems’. In addition, the emotional connection offered by an immersive experience lived in the first person increases motivation and provides a greater impact on learning processes.

Looking ahead, the challenge is to create virtual reality content that is an ally of the educational process. We call for the involvement of teachers, centres and educational institutions. A 100% open attitude for a new framework in which the educational system adopts experiential practice and takes advantage of new technological opportunities at the service of teaching and learning’.

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Reasons to adapt a classroom to VR teaching

In yesterday’s post we analysed the advantages of introducing virtual reality into the teaching, training and learning processes. At this point, it is time to see how you can create a VR classroom in your school, faculty, etc.

3 Steps to Building a VR Classroom

When it comes to virtual reality classrooms, there are many things to juggle and consider: if you need one, what it could do for you, what kind of virtual reality you need and how much time and money it will cost you. Here are some steps to building your VR classroom, with examples to help you decide if virtual reality is right for you.

1. Find out if you need a VR classroom

Virtual reality is especially useful for connecting employees in different locations.

It is also ideal for simulating common situations in industries such as sales, communications or construction. It provides a way to train employees to use machinery without the potential for injury. In addition, simulating sales or communications scenarios can help prepare new employees for the situations they will face on the job.

You can also create 3D models of a product you want them to learn how to make, or represent a concept you want them to understand.

2. Choose your virtual classroom

There are several types of VR classrooms: You can invest in headsets for a more immersive experience, or in a service that only needs a headset and a microphone.

Often, the choice of platform determines the headset you will need to support that platform. You will then have to invest in enough headsets for all your students and teach them how to use them, which takes a little time and money, but in the end has a good return on investment. You can use the virtual reality software over and over again, it takes less time than traditional training, and the new skills your employees acquire will come back to you in the form of benefits. 

3. Train your team

Now that you have your software, hardware and everything else, it’s time to train your employees to use the new things. If the virtual reality developers are smart, they have included training videos with the software. Investing the time to watch the videos and do the demonstrations will pay off in the long run, especially since your employees will still be using the software after the incorporation process.

The average employee requires 53 hours of training and $976 for their on-boarding process. In contrast, virtual reality can reduce training time by eight months, saving 33% of the budget.

It takes approximately one to two years for an employee to become fully productive, but virtual reality training shortens that adjustment period. Practicing scenarios through simulations helps employees retain information faster and longer. Hands-on learning has proven to be more effective than traditional classroom learning techniques such as lecture series.

Get in the game with your head!

So, is a virtual reality classroom for you?

Do you think you’d like to bring a piece of virtual life into your classroom?

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Advantages of virtual reality in today’s teaching and learning classrooms

We are at a time when it is easy and necessary to see the future of schools, and how classrooms are changing because everything is going digital. It is clear that, in the near future, all classrooms will be digital. In fact, today, it is already happening that students are connected and taught by a teacher, all in different places, but nevertheless “together” in a virtual space.

The publicity faded, but as we move towards an increasingly augmented reality, the idea of a totally virtual classroom is reemerging. So this is the future of classrooms? of learning management software?

Companies like Simlab IT are working every day to make it happen. Among other things, by facilitating the implementation of curriculum adapted to virtual reality, thanks to the platform they have created, and which makes it easy to transfer the elements of any academic curriculum, of any training or teaching that you want to give, to the world of virtual reality. 

Next, we are going to explore some ways of incorporating virtual reality into the training of a company, or a teaching and training centre.

What is a virtual reality classroom?

Virtual reality itself is a somewhat unknown concept to the general public, and definitely smacks of futuristic dystopian communities that reject objective reality. Essentially, specially designed glasses project an interactive world to the viewer.

This has been misunderstood by non-specialized agencies and entities, as is the case with the advertising we were discussing yesterday with the most outrageous ads on virtual reality. It was demonstrated in yesterday’s post that what there is, is a great ignorance of the real possibilities that virtual reality can offer for the advancement of society, science and education. 

Virtual reality offers a totally new way of teaching

Glasses, goggles or helmets project a three-dimensional environment in which a person can interact as in real life. Some programs allow you to move around the room to navigate the virtual world with sensory gloves, and others require external controls such as a joystick or controller.

Video game developers have benefited greatly from this software, but today we are seeing companies use virtual reality for incorporation and training. Below, we will review some of the benefits of using a VR classroom for corporate training and then the steps you need to take to implement your own VR classroom.

Enjoy the benefits of virtual reality

There are many benefits to using virtual reality as your training program:

VR software varies in cost, so you can choose the one that fits your budget and customize it to fit your people. The smoother the transition from traditional to virtual training, the faster you will see an improvement in employee performance.

Virtual reality is proven to make learning more engaging and therefore more effective. By stimulating more than one sense at a time, learners retain information faster and longer.

Safe and realistic simulations make it easy to train and practice various scenarios. Now, you don’t have to worry about risking the safety of your employees around machinery or damaging your reputation by putting inexperienced employees in charge of a sales business.

Virtual reality accommodates different learning styles, such as audio, visual and tactile. VR programs allow users to see what they are learning, hear instructions and handle the objects they will be working with on the job.

VR can be used remotely, saving time and money that would otherwise have been spent on travel expenses.

And finally, virtual reality simplifies complex concepts and situations that someone would have had to explain, someone who may not have the time, energy, or resources to fully engage in training.

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The most strangest, terrible and hylarious commercials about VR

Sometimes, the desire to explore new worlds as far as technology is concerned, leads us to commit great barbarities, inaccuracies that can confuse the public.
In any case, these ads have given relevance to virtual reality, but have created a wrong idea by misunderstanding the possibilities of this new field.

In the end, advertisers are not the scholars in charge of creating platforms to bring virtual reality closer to training centers, academies, and educational institutions around the world, that’s up to Simlab IT, and other nerd companies, like ours 🤓

But to look back, and have a little fun with how wrong they were a few years ago about the possibilities of VR, let’s review some of the most terrible, hilarious, and incredible ads about virtual reality.

Despite its challenges, some companies have learned to market VR hardware and apps pretty effectively on our flat screens. And, of course, some companies really haven’t.

This list is for them.

I can understand the temptation to maybe overpromise a little in a VR commerical. It wouldn’t be very attractive to watch players phase through walls, run into chaperone boundaries or get twisted up in wires, would it? But these four videos take just a little too much liberty with the products they’re promoting, setting unrealistic expectations for customers. If you’re marketing a new headset or game, watch closely; this is how not to do it.

Lionel Messi Becomes An Avenger

Here’s an early and bafflingly long offender (skip to about 3:45 to get to the VR bit). It was no surprise to see Samsung sticking headsets on celebrity’s dollar-eyed faces to sell its Gear VR in 2015. What was a bit confusing, was why they’d choose Lionel Messi (the soccer player that looks like a young Richard Gere) for a commerical in which a group of VR users become Avengers. And no, I don’t mean Marvel Powers United VR, I mean a non-existent, live-action Avengers VR app where Messi dons the Iron Man armor and plays keepy-uppy with a bowling ball. Neat trick? Absolutely. Actually possible with a Gear VR? Not even a little.

Worse yet, poor Cobie Smulders has been roped in to gawk at Hulk’s muscles. Visually, this trailer is pretty amazing; it’d actually fit in with an MCU movie, but that’s not even close to what a mobile phone is capable of today, let alone back in 2015. Gear VR didn’t even have a motion controller at that point.

For clarity, there actually were Avenger’s themed projects for Gear VR including Battle For Avengers Tower. but it was a long long way from the experience depicted in this ad.

Intel’s Virtual Party

If you want a gross misrepresentation of what current VR technology is actually capable of, or just a generally gross interpretation of what you’d want to do with it, look no further than this 2016 trailer for Intel’s ill-fated Merged Reality platform. Were you to believe everything you see here, you’d expect VR to deliver photorealistic worlds in which you can attend the most stylish, A-lister house parties as an irresistibly attractive man, sample fine wines and grab glasses or microphones with all the intuition you enjoy in real life.

There’s, overpromising, and then there’s overpromising on something you wouldn’t even want in the first place.

Why, exactly, would this sort of vapid, elitist gathering be my first destination inside VR? Is it everyone’s dream to live out some sort of dated male fantasy; to create a life full of such repugnant self-worship and decadence you dare not remove your headset ever again? It’s a grim assumption of what people really want out of VR.

Not only was this world a pretty ugly visualization of a strange power fantasy, it was also a wild exaggeration of reality. Unsurprisingly, what Intel promised with its standalone Alloy headset and what we actually saw ourselves — before the kit was scrapped — were two very different things. We’re a long way away from this vision of ‘Merged Reality’ and, when we finally get there, this will be the last thing we want to do with it.

Nosto´s Live Action Trailer

There’s a lot to like about the trailer for VR MMO Nostos, including its nostalgic opening live-action sequence in which a young boy dreams of visiting the game’s sweeping grassy planes before pulling on a headset and finding himself there. But there’s also more than a few puzzling contradictions that imply the game can be played on platforms you won’t currently find it on.

Nevermind what seems to be pre-rendered gameplay in an online game that actually looks pretty decent in real life. Why does the live-action portion of the trailer suggest Nostos — currently only available on PC VR platforms — can be played with a Google Cardboard headset

Furthermore, why does the trailer end with three people playing on what look like Oculus Go headsets with original Rift Touch controllers and another standalone headset (possibly the Pico Neo) with Windows VR controllers? Perhaps if this was an early concept video for the game it could be overlooked, but this was released just ahead of Nostos’ full launch on Rift, Vive and Index, none of which are actually seen in the trailer.

It speaks to an ongoing issue to help define VR to the masses. While this is a technically proficient trailer, it also sets unrealistic expectations about what you can currently do with headsets. In a market struggling to hard to get its messaging across as it is, it’s a really troubling issue.

Huawei’s 5G VR Martial Arts Match

Our most recent entry on the list is perhaps one of the most grievous. To show off the 5G capabilities of its new Mate 30 Pro phone, Huawei claimed to… put a martial artist into VR with full-body tracking and then have him fight an esports gamer in a smartphone app. Yep, really. Exactly how that proves 5G enhances VR, we’re not exactly sure, but the company goes to great lengths to make this all seem legit.

Our fearless martial artist is kitted with a bunch of, well, kit, including Huawei’s VR Glass headset, six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking support for the head, hands and legs and wearable haptic devices too. “So this is not the average VR experience,” a cocky Huawei representative claims in the middle of the video. “The technology has enabled to us to take the immersiveness to its extreme.”

Whatever you say, guy.

I don’t see a ‘Don’t Try This At Home’ anywhere. Bold strategy.

If only the ensuing match looked halfway believable. Shaky cam action, cut to quick shots of an army of engineers inexplicably typing away at… something as we watch an apparently unrehearsed, spectacular display of 1-1 tracking in a fighting game. Our martial artist-hero is apparently wearing haptics so powerful they can stop his arm when blocking an incoming punch or even stumble back when he gets kicked in the face. There’s even a moment where he leaps into the air and chokeslams his opponent. Not to mention the software is so advanced it knows how to react to every punch and kick he throws his enemy’s way.

Sorry, but we’re just not buying it. You could probably produce a reasonable facsimile of this experience today, but not with a bunch of wearable vibrators inside an ancient temple. If VR was this good already, don’t you think we’d all have it by now?

Do you have any other terrible VR commercials we’ve missed? Let us see them in the comments below.

Content by Jamie Feltham from www.uploadvr.com

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Mother Meets Recreation of Her Deceased Child in VR

South Korean TV broadcaster MBC recently aired a Korean language documentary that centers on a family’s loss of their young daughter, seven-year-old Nayeon. Using the power of photogrammetry, motion capture, and virtual reality, the team recreated Nayeon for one last goodbye with the family’s mother, Ji-sung.

Like a typical seven-year-old, Nayeon was a spry, playful kid. Then she suddenly fell ill with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a life-threatening disease of severe hyper-inflammation caused by uncontrolled growth of the body’s white blood cells. To Ji-sung, it all first appeared to be a common cold due to Nayeon’s swelling and fever. Her daughter passed away one month later in the hospital.

Called ‘Meeting You’, the documentary goes on to recreate a series of warm memories from Nayeon’s life. Donning an HTC Vive Pro, Vive trackers, and wireless adapter, Ji-sung revisits a virtual version of a park the family would frequent. Nayeon giggles, and cautiously asks her mom if she’s afraid. She wonders why it’s cold outside. Touching hands, they’re both lifted up to a heavenly realm.

The mother and the virtual simulacrum experience more happy memories together. It’s Nayeon’s birthday, and honey rice sweets, a birthday cake, and her favorite seaweed soup are all there. Ji-sung puts her down to bed for a nap, and plays with her hair as Nayeon precociously bobbles around.

For non-Korean speakers, using YouTube’s auto-generated translation is basically useless for the nine-minute video. Thankfully, the baked-in Korean subtitles were simple to translate via Google’s camera-based app and were remarkably clear too. Translation or not, the power of Ji-sung’s emotions are intensely human, no matter the language.

The mother and the virtual simulacrum experience more happy memories together

Putting aside the obvious exploitation factor of reuniting a mother with her deceased child for television viewers—Nayeon even pulls at the heartstrings by telling her father to stop smoking, and her siblings not to fight so much—recreating a deceased loved one in such high fidelity raises some ethical concerns, and they’re ones we simply don’t have clear answers to yet. Whether conjuring virtual doppelgangers of lost loved ones may one day be considered an unnecessary re-traumatization, or a valid coping mechanism to help overcome tragedy, we just can’t say for now.

Personally, all of it was unsettling to me at first glance, and maybe well outside of what I’d consider healthy. Still, it does seem to have helped Ji-sung to some extent, who carries with her a tattoo of her daughter’s birthday as an indelible reminder. At the family home there are pictures of Nayeon all over the place. Every month the family visits Nayeon’s burial place to leave her favorite toys in remembrance. It’s clear the family isn’t running away from the reality, or trying to forget what was very likely one of the worst things to happen to them either, but in the same breath they aren’t holding too tightly onto the past. Before Ji-sung left for the VR experience, she burned letters and offerings to her child, including a shirt that was too warm for her daughter to wear at the hospital. Integrating those last, vivid virtual experiences of Nayeon into her memory serves as a singular, bittersweet goodbye, one you’d never get in a hospital room. Death oftentimes proves to be frightfully uncinematic like that.

After translating each subtitle, my first cynical instincts to label this a blatantly insensitive puppeteering of a dead child are mostly gone. It’s not perfect, but it makes sense to me on some level.

Creating a Virtual Child

Developed by South Korean startup Vive Studios (no relation to HTC’s Vive Studios), the virtual Nayeon was created over the course of eight months using a variety of techniques. Motion capture not only recorded an adult actor’s movements, but also facial expressions, some of which were acted out based on video and photos of the real-world Nayeon.

High resolution photographs were taken in a 3D capture technique called photogrammetry. Nayeon’s little sister, a spitting image of her older sibling, was used as the basis of the character model.

Although not apparent in the video above, the studio also added a degree of liveliness to the character by integrating voice recognition and a basic AI, which would let the pair have a basic conversation. Responses were created based off of family interviews and videos.

In the end, revitalizing the image of a deceased person isn’t exactly new, and a bevy of examples come to mind: Fred Astaire dancing with a Dirt Devil, Tupac holograms, and more recently the litany of deepfakes that make you question whether famous actors are still alive or not. And much like those early CG humans and carefully contorted deepfake masks, Vive Studios’ tailor-made VR experience is no doubt impressive for a short while too, but at this point it’s really no more than a carefully orchestrated funerary rite. It’s that point in the future though when AI is capable of automatically conjuring a person based off a compendium of video and photo that we’re waiting to see. Because whether you like it or not, virtual humans are coming, and I think we’ve just taken one step closer.

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Game-based virtual archaeology field school

Before they can get started at their field site — a giant cave studded with stalactites, stalagmites and human artifacts — 15 undergraduate students must figure out how to use their virtual hands and tools. They also must learn to teleport.

This is ANTH 399, a course designed to bring the archaeological field school experience to undergraduate students who never leave campus. Designed by University of Illinois professors and computer science graduate students, the course satisfies the field school requirement for those pursuing an archaeology degree at Illinois.

“Field school is a requirement of most archaeological programs across the country,” said Illinois anthropology professor Laura Shackelford, who led development of the class with U. of I. education policy, organization and leadership professor Wenhao David Huang and computer science graduate student Cameron Merrill. “But traveling to a field school site can cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000.”

This, and the fact that traditional field school expeditions are often scheduled during breaks, makes it difficult or impossible for many students to attend — cutting them off from the study of archaeology altogether.

“This class makes it possible for many more students to get an education or explore a career in archaeology,” Shackelford said. The class is also accessible to students with physical limitations who are unable to travel to or navigate a field site.

The virtual cave is modeled in part on a real cave that was excavated in the 1930s. It contains both ancient and more recent human artifacts, all of which are accessible to students who dig in the right place.

The students learn the archaeological techniques required in any excavation. They set up a research grid on the cave floor and systematically locate and record any artifacts they find on the surface. They draw a map with all of the surface details and then decide where to excavate. They take photos of special features or finds. They dig. They collect artifacts. They conduct laboratory analyses. They keep track of their progress in a field notebook.

All of these tasks are accomplished in the virtual world

Building this virtual archaeological experience is a computational and creative challenge, said computer science graduate student Merrill, the lead programmer on the project. This class is his doctoral thesis.

“You can’t just import lectures into VR and expect to have good results,” Merrill said. “We’re not creating a 3D model viewer for looking at artifacts or to tour an existing site. We’re trying to build an immersive educational experience.”

Students need to feel they are actually engaged in excavating a cave, he said. It’s also important for them to use realistic tools to accomplish the tasks at hand.

But designing virtual tools for an archaeological dig is tricky, Merrill said.

“A lot of the challenge has to do with the trade-off between making something as realistic as possible versus making something more accessible to people,” he said. For example, the designers created a virtual tape measure that requires two hands to operate. But reading tiny measurements in the virtual world is problematic, so a pop-up screen shows the user the readout on the tape.

Virtual digging was another challenge

“We needed to simulate dirt that the students can modify in real time,” Merrill said. “But simulating something like soil is very computationally complex.”

The team came up with a solution that allows students to extract the dirt in chunks that reflect the light in a realistic manner. The design also incorporates haptic feedback, so that students can “feel” the solidity and texture of the dirt when they make contact.

The team uses insights from game design to engage the students, Shackelford said.

“We’re giving them less instruction and providing multiple scenarios,” she said. “And so it’s possible different teams of students will experience different things.”

The students choose where to dig, which influences the information they gather — or miss, Shackelford said. And there are risks, too. Dig too far into a wall and it might collapse.

In the first iteration of the class held last year, students gave the designers immediate feedback about how the tools worked or didn’t work, allowing Merrill and his colleagues to tweak them. He and his colleagues have created more than 110 artifacts, many of which are virtual versions of actual relics in the university’s collections.

“When we want them to learn how to do some ceramic analysis and sorting, we’ll bring the real things to class and they’ll be going back and forth between the real and virtual worlds,” Shackelford said.

The students work in pairs, taking turns in the virtual world while their partner guides them, following their progress on a computer monitor and stopping them from bumping into any real-world objects. The excavations lead to laboratory work, which also occurs in the virtual realm, Shackelford said.

“There’s a lab on faunal analysis, there’s a lab on pollen analysis,” she said. “They’re doing ceramic sorting and identification. They’re doing seriation, which is putting things in the correct chronological order.”

They also learn stratigraphy, the art of reading how layers of soil were deposited over time.

The pattern and the timing of that deposition of soil tells us a lot about how a site was formed

The team is evaluating the efficacy of the program to determine if the skills the students learn are equivalent to those obtained in a real-world dig. In the earlier version of the class, professors took the students to a real-world “mock excavation” site near campus at the end of the semester. This site allowed the students to excavate in real dirt, testing their VR-acquired skills and understanding.

“We found that a lot of things that were frustrating for students in the virtual reality world were just as frustrating in the real world,” Shackelford said. “And with a little practice and self-correction, they were able to do everything that we asked them to.”

Fonts: sciencedaily.com

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Virtual reality applied to training

With this technique, which allows the student to move and/or interact in a scenario that reproduces in 3D an installation, equipment or situation, the Simlab IT platform enters fully into the application of new techniques to training.

Virtual reality has become a versatile tool when developing practical training programs through virtual simulations. The advantages it offers are obvious: it allows the student to interact in a scenario with a degree of immersion and credibility equivalent to a real world experience, it offers the possibility of completing the virtual experience with additional information that enriches learning (drop-down panels, videos, notices, etc.) and, above all, it gives practical training a high level of flexibility, as it does not require real elements.

The integration of the theoretical and practical experience of the trainers with the Simlab IT platform in a virtual reality scenario provides them with a tool that allows us to offer our students specialized quality training in the areas in which we are experts: industrial safety, environment, acoustics, management systems, etc.

The use of glasses and tracking sensors, and sometimes handheld controllers, allows for different functionalities that can be adapted to each specific case. In this way, the student will be able to interact with the scene in different ways:

Movement around the stage

The student has the ability to move within the stage, by his own displacement within the radius of action of the sensor of the virtual reality device and by the configuration of movement within the scene.  This design gives the student the ability to inspect and tour all areas of the reproduced stage. This functionality is achieved by directing the eye towards a point on the stage to which the user wants to move.

Checking elements

The student can identify the different elements that make up the scene once he or she approaches them. Information panels can be configured to automatically drop down by proximity to all the elements of interest in the scenario.

Interaction with elements

The student can manipulate and move elements of the scene and perform exercises configured in the scene.

With the application of virtual reality, Simlab ITamplies the development of its line of specialized technical training, both externally and for internal personnel from schools, colleges and training institutions in any field. 

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VR for the creation of realistic sensory experiences

Virtual reality (VR) relates to computer-generated environments that simulate the physical presence of people and/or objects, and includes the creation of realistic sensory experiences.

At a basic level, this technology takes the form of 3D images with which users interact and manipulate synthetic reality through a computer interface. VR devices fall into two categories: high-end systems such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Sony PlayStation VR and other low-budget systems that include the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, along with other accessories such as headphones and haptic control devices.

Today’s applications allow users to more authentically “feel” objects through these haptic and other gesture-based devices, which provide tactile information through force feedback. VR models can be created using a variety of CAD-type software, such as Tinkercad, Unity and Sketchfab. These user-driven content creation tools can make learning more authentic, generating empathetic experiences and increasing active learner participation.

As pedagogical strategies that enhance student-centred learning approaches continue to take hold around the world, tools such as virtual reality, which offer more experimental and active assimilation opportunities, are increasingly valued.

The same technology used for years to simulate virtual experiences in medical or military training is now of interest to schools, as it can provide students with simulated experiences at the forefront. By using virtual reality, it is possible to transport students to places that are distant and impossible to visit physically. In science, certain “abstract” phenomena, such as observing the impact of a hurricane or getting a detailed view of the movement of blood through the veins, are now feasible.

With respect to geography and culture, students can easily move from one virtual city to another, seeing the sights of a historical site or hearing the sounds of a natural wonder. On the medium-term horizon, the increasing availability of content and the reduction of hardware costs make this technology a very convincing and achievable option, applied not only to leisure but also to teaching.

2016 was a very important year for the field of virtual reality, since almost 100 million virtual reality units were acquired -a clear majority of this count had to do with the proliferation of the low-cost Google Cardboard. In October 2016, the New York Times gave a boost to traditional journalism by sending 1.3 million of its readers Google Cardboard units, providing access to a virtual reality film about the global refugee crisis and a new method of telling compelling stories. Even NASA and National Geographic have already experimented with this visualization technology by creating free VR content designed for the classroom.

Its penetration is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years, as International Data Corporation forecasts that global revenues for Augmented Reality and VR will reach a total of ?13 billion by 2018, up from ?5 billion in 2016. In the field of education, Goldman Sachs predicts that VR could reach 15 million student users by 2025.

Despite the widespread interest and increasing availability of educational content, it will be some years before VR becomes vital for schools around the world. A survey of educational institutions conducted by Extreme Networks concluded that while more than half of the respondents are investigating VR, only a quarter are already using it in the classroom, and three percent are teaching students how to create VR content. The transformation from textbooks to VR will be the main driver in the evolution of VR in schools. Publishers Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for example, have partnered with Google to expand the technology giant’s VR expedition trips, and Pearson, in turn, is working with Microsoft on mixed reality applications for use in HoloLens. In addition, Discovery Education is integrating VR into its digital curriculum portfolio; many more content providers are likely to join this stream of VR development in the coming years.

Ministries of Education around the world have taken note of the potential of virtual reality in the classroom

Ministries of Education (MOEs) around the world have taken note of the potential of virtual reality in the classroom, showing their eagerness to test this technology for application to the curriculum. In Singapore, the MOE is working with a local VR solutions production and implementation company to design virtual school trips; the aim is not to replace face-to-face trips, but to enhance the curriculum by replacing textbook exploration with virtual tours. Teachers have already begun to notice that the students’ responses in the post-visit work are more complete than before the introduction of the tool. Similarly, in the United Arab Emirates, an MOE pilot project is making use of virtual reality to help students in public schools specializing in science. Interestingly, the systems in the United Arab Emirates place great emphasis on the destructive effects of climate change and the interest in visiting the International Space Station. They only need to broaden the content by referring to respect for human rights.

How students can benefit from virtual reality in the classroom?

But virtual tours are not the only way students can benefit from virtual reality in the classroom. At Lincoln Elementary in California, a fifth grade science class uses the Lifeliqe computer application to view 3D images of plants, animals and geographic features. Students can select from 1000 images and get close-up views of specimens such as beetles and dinosaurs, which they can include in a digital science project. The Washington Leadership Academy also uses virtual reality to expand its science curriculum. As the winner of a ?9 million grant, it is creating the first virtual chemistry lab in the United States, where children can design virtual experiments with hazardous chemicals, such as sulfuric acid, mercury or lead, without risk of harm and for a fraction of the cost of a brick.

In China, where VR in education is developing rapidly – due to the proliferation of low-cost platforms and government interest – industry is looking at combining adaptive learning tools with VR to create customised instruction that can read signs of learner boredom and adjust a lesson to increase learner attention.

While studies of immersive VR in the classroom are scarce, several studies show promising results. A recent GfK survey of US educators, commissioned by Samsung, shows us that 85% of teachers agree that VR will help their students understand learning concepts, facilitating greater collaboration; and 84% believe that technology would increase student motivation. Chinese researchers analysed the impact of VR on academic performance in language learning, finding a 32% increase in retention rates in the test groups.

Foundry, a team of researchers, teachers and educators exploring various topics in VR research, can help provide a better understanding of its application in education in the United States and Canada. Their 2017-2018 study focuses on the value of technology in the learning environment, the role of empathy in virtual reality, and a few other concepts. And this is just the beginning.

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Using VR & AR Labs in the Education Curriculum

The role of augmented reality and virtual reality in the classroom of the future

In other posts we have already talked about all the possibilities offered by the insertion of Virtual Reality in the processes of any study, training or learning centre. Beyond being able to take your students to the top of Machu Picchu, send a moving tornado to their desks or help them share their own stories with their classmates, with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), it is possible to add a new dimension to the curriculum of any center.

At Simlab IT we have developed a platform that allows you to create an interactive virtual environment for your students to explore or give them the tools to create their own VR experiences. Let your students look inside an ancient Egyptian tomb or take them on a tour of the solar system. With Augmented Reality, virtual elements can now be incorporated into the classroom.

In education, technologies are increasingly being incorporated to enrich the teaching-learning process. 

Augmented reality is a technology that provides resources to the educational world that can improve our learning in different areas of both everyday life and in different disciplines of study. It is worth reflecting further on its use in the field of education.

What is augmented reality? 

Augmented reality could be defined as that additional information obtained from the observation of an environment, captured through the camera of a device that previously has installed a specific software. The additional information identified as augmented reality can be translated into different formats. It can be an image, an image carousel, an audio file, a video or a link.

Necessary elements to bring RA to the classroom

What elements are involved? In order to access the use of this technology, it is necessary to have different elements: 

  • Device with camera: 
  • PC with webcam
  • Laptop with webcam 
  • Tablet or Smartphone 
  • Wearable with camera (watches, glasses, etc.)

2.- A software in charge of making the necessary transformations to provide additional information. 

3.- A trigger, also known as “information trigger”: 

  • Image or physical environment (landscape, urban space, observed environment)
  • Bookmark 
  • Object or QR Code

There are different levels of augmented reality, which is defined as the different degrees of complexity presented by applications based on augmented reality according to the technologies they implement. 

In this way, the classification defined as follows is established: 

– Level 0 (linked to the physical world). Applications hyperlink the physical world through the use of barcodes and 2D codes (for example, QR codes). These codes only serve as hyperlinks to other content, so there is no 3D registration or marker tracking. 

– Level 1 (VR with markers) The applications use markers, black and white images, quadrangulars and with schematic drawings, usually for 2D pattern recognition. The more advanced form of this level also allows the recognition of 3D objects. 

– Level 2 (VR without markers). Applications replace the use of markers with the GPS and compass of mobile devices to determine the user’s location and orientation and overlay points of interest on real-world images. 

Level 3 (Augmented Vision). It would be represented by devices such as Google Glass, high-tech contact lenses or others that, in the future, will be able to offer a completely contextualized, immersive and personal experience.

Content creation tools, in the hands of users, can make learning more authentic, generating empathic experiences, and increasing the active participation of students.

As pedagogical strategies that enhance student-centred learning approaches continue to take hold around the world, tools such as virtual reality or augmented reality, which offer more experimental and active assimilation opportunities, are increasingly valued.

Are you Interested in having your own VR content?

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