Teaching and virtual reality, a relationship with a future

The use of virtual reality in classrooms will continue to grow to benefit students and teachers

– Virtual reality is one of the most outstanding technologies of the contemporary era.

– Teachers and students must know the possibilities that this allows.

– Little by little this technology will replace outdated teaching methods.

The traditional educational system takes the word as the fundamental tool for learning, followed by the text. Teachers offer their students different reading materials, and transmit their knowledge through long oral presentations.

As multimedia resources, some teachers incorporate PowerPoint presentations and videos from time to time, as a way of giving a different touch to the classroom.

However, in the digital age, there are dozens of new formats that are considered more suitable for capturing and retaining students’ attention. These arise thanks to digital technology and its infinite possibilities.

Virtual reality is perhaps the most disruptive of these options, since it places the traditional teaching system on top. By using this type of technology, students learn through experimentation and not simply by listening to their teacher, so they become more engaged in their learning process.

A future through VR glasses

Broadly speaking, it can be said that virtual reality not only changes the way teachers are taught, but fundamentally changes the ways in which they learn. By experimenting, memories are more permanently fixed in the minds of students, enhancing their academic experience.

Therefore, the future of education will be through spectacles that allow to take full advantage of this digital technology.

In the early days, glasses that allowed full enjoyment of virtual reality were expensive. Today, these are accessible to students and centers that wish to incorporate them. And there are even ways to build them using cardboard and recycled materials.

For this future to be possible, teachers must improve their handling of new technologies and rethink their teaching methods to incorporate this element into the classroom. In short, work so that it functions as a support for the classroom, replacing outdated tools, but without affecting the normal development of learning.

This is where Simlab IT can help make a difference. Until now, producing lessons or transferring information to a virtual reality support that is practical for teaching and learning was very laborious and expensive in monetary terms.

With our platform, any teacher can easily transfer their curriculum to a virtual reality format, thus engaging their students’ attention much more and better.

On the other hand, this has a positive aspect in terms of money. Since an investment in virtual reality, enhances the possibility of reaching a large number of students simultaneously, greatly reducing costs of practices, as well as the need to travel, be in a place, or use disposable items for practice, which must be purchased again and again.

If you are interested in these advantages, please contact us and we will explain in detail how you can use the Simlab IT platform for your lessons or virtual reality learning and training systems. 

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2020 RV trends you should know about

Last year was a year of growth for virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), known collectively as extended reality (XR). The presence of these cutting-edge technologies began to be felt far from the fields of gaming and entertainment, where they first became popular.

Virtual reality, in which users wear headphones and are totally immersed in computer-generated environments, has been developed to meet the needs of design, marketing, education, training and retail. Augmented reality – in which computer images are superimposed on the user’s view of the real world, through a screen or headphones – is a more complex challenge, as it requires the software to “see” what is in front of it. But we’re getting used to seeing it being used for more than just adding cartoon features to select images or seeing Pokemon in nature.

With global spending on XR technology predicted to increase by 78.5% next year compared to this year, both technologies will be key trends to watch out for in 2020. We’re likely to see a lot of new and exciting equipment that offers even greater immersion and realism, as well as innovative use cases as the industry becomes more familiar with what it can do.

Industrial use trumps games and entertainment

Today in: Innovation

Most of today’s early VR and AR experiences are in games and entertainment. This is likely to change as research shows that the development of enterprise RX solutions is outpacing that of consumer solutions. The “2020 XR Industry Insight” report, compiled by VR Intelligence, states that 65% of AR companies surveyed said they are working on industrial applications, while only 37% work on consumer products and software.

This shouldn’t be surprising, although games have made headlines in recent years thanks to Pokemon Go and Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the potential to increase productivity and security using RX makes it an attractive proposition for the industry.

VR can be used to simulate working in dangerous environments or with expensive and easily damaged tools and equipment, without any of the risks. VR, on the other hand, can be used to convey essential information directly to the user about what is in front of them, reducing the time engineers, technicians or maintenance staff spend consulting manuals and searching for information online while on the job.

The potential uses of these technologies in healthcare are obvious, and by 2020 we can expect to see many of these use cases transitioning from testing and piloting to general use. Virtual reality has already been adopted in therapy, where it is used to treat patients with phobias and anxiety disorders. Combined with biosensors that monitor physiological reactions such as heart rate and perspiration, therapists can gain a better understanding of how patients react to stressful situations in a safe, virtual environment. VR is also used to help people with autism develop social and communication skills, as well as to diagnose patients with visual or cognitive impairments, by monitoring the movement of their eyes. 

The adoption of AR in health care is expected to grow even faster with the market value increasing by 38% per year until 2025. AR can be used by surgeons – both in the theatre and in training – to alert them to risks or hazards while on the job. One application that has been developed uses AR to guide users to defibrillator devices, should they need one when in public. Another helps nurses find patients’ veins and avoid accidentally sticking needles where they don’t want them. As these and similar innovations lead to better patient outcomes and reduced treatment costs, they are likely to become more widespread.

Many of us will learn through VR and AR

VR and AR educational experiences will continue to become increasingly common throughout 2020. The immersive nature of VR means that students can participate in learning in new and fun ways, and AR brings a new flexibility to on-the-job training.

Students can now take a journey through time to visit the ancient Romans, or through space to experience conditions on other planets. But as technology moves away from niches and becomes part of the fabric of everyday education, we are likely to see growth beyond simply providing “experiences” in solving problems with today’s education systems. Distance learners could be taught in VR classrooms, which means that the benefits of learning in a collaborative environment are not lost, while VR training aids can ensure access to the information needed to carry out a task at hand.    

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Advantages of Virtual Reality for Students and Training Centers

Virtual laboratories in classrooms of schools, academies and any specialized training center, offer access and flexibility to university students and teachers.

Virtual reality applied to the educational environment can bring many advantages, such as the possibility of increasing enrollment, facilitating student completion and expanding exposure to career opportunities to less advantaged communities, among many others. 

This effort to implement VR in schools allows students to access laboratories for a variety of subjects from another, much more practical point of view, where they can experience for themselves the sensation of, say, making an incision, caring for a patient, or how to cope in any situation they can imagine. 

But the benefits go far beyond the students, as it also significantly reduces the workload of the teaching staff, allowing them to serve more students and increase the number of trained professionals in the workforce to fill the thousands of vacancies in the region and in all centres that open the doors to RV in any of their processes.

Traditionally, students have practiced security and computer networking skills in a centralized physical lab (and equipment) or in a limited virtual lab setting at their educational institution. University physical labs and data centers have high costs associated with maintenance.

With SimlabIT‘s involvement, we aim to provide access to the best training for as many students as possible. And with virtual reality, doing so is simpler, cheaper, and more effective. 

Losing the means to the virtual reality laboratory in the educational center

An outside service that provides a turnkey virtualized environment that is identical to the corresponding physical environment will decrease the need for high-cost physical labs, but will provide open virtualized environments that allow students to experience the real-life scenarios that are so critical in career technical education. 

Virtual lab platforms should serve students with access to an on-demand, 24x7x365 virtual lab environment from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Virtual labs must also represent the full functionality of a real-world scenario.   

Tips for Using VR with Students

  • Make sure the students are sitting down for the entire time they are watching the VR. They’ll tend to want to walk around.
  • Make sure that as a teacher you take the time to “play” with the applications. Know what the students will see.
  • Let the students take the time to “play”. This will be the highlight of their day.  Allow them time to immerse themselves in the application.
  • Use VR to help “close the gap”.  Part of the instructional gap is lack of experience.  VR can be used to close those gaps.
  • To close the achievement gap, you must first close the commitment gap. VR is a great help in closing the commitment gap!

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How a hospital uses 3D and augmented virtual reality

Researchers innovate through 3D virtual projects that educate, improve care

A team of researchers at the Rhode Island Hospital has incorporated and reimagined the way 3D technology, virtual reality and augmented reality can be used in medical settings.

The Emergency Medical HoloLens project emerged from work pioneered by Derek Merck, currently associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Florida; Scott Collins, technical lead of CT and 3D technology services at the RIH and  Leo Kobayashi ’94 MD ’98, principal investigator of the project and director of research and innovation at the Lifespan Medical Simulation Center, as well as University students. The team focused on creating an augmented reality representation — a holoimage — of patient anatomy. These holoimage representations are hologram-like projections that are fixed in space, said Owen Leary ’18 MD ’24, one of the student creators of the project and a current clinical research program coordinator in the Department of Neurosurgery at the RIH.

People using the HoloLens wear a visor-like technology that can project a patient anatomy model to a fixed location in their surroundings, Collins said. “It is basically an augmented reality device you can wear on your head.”

After the team acquired the first of two HoloLenses from Microsoft, the researchers overlaid real patients’ anatomy and pathology onto human patient simulations using the device, Kobayashi wrote in an email to The Herald.

For one experiment, Collins designed an augmented reality model using a covered cardboard box, blocks that served as obstacles within the box and trace amounts of hidden blue fluid. After putting on the HoloLens, students were responsible for removing the liquid using only a syringe, sensory touch and an augmented reality representation of the box’s contents. This task was intended to be a simplified simulation of a kind of intubation process, in which doctors insert tubes into patients’ throats to drain harmful fluids.

In a different project focused on virtual reality, Collins used an Oculus Rift to design a virtual reality anatomical model using images from real patients. Collins hoped to teach students to use the technology and then put together an exhaustive anatomical library, but doctors’ unfamiliarity with the VR technology may be why the project has not taken off within the medical community.

The team partnered with the University library to preserve and disseminate the holoimages to the public through the Brown Digital Repository. The BDR is a digital library that contains documents such as students’ honors theses, doctoral dissertations and University archives. One part of this repository is the Open Data Collection, mostly consisting of scientific work that has been made available for access and reuse at no cost, said Andrew Creamer, the scientific data management specialist for the University’s library. Creamer facilitated the collaboration between the research team and the library. The partnership began three years ago when the Rockefeller Library obtained the Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio as a 3D printer facility.

Leary,first starting on the holoimage project as an undergraduate, wrote descriptions of all of the holoimage files currently on the BDR to make them easily accessible to website browsers.

But when creating these files on the repository, he had to consolidate the files into a uniform, accessible, file format. “The philosophy is that because most Brown research is publicly funded …(it) should be freely available to the public and tax payers to utilize those works,” Creamer said.

The use of 3D technology at hospitals extends beyond the holoimage project. At RIH, researchers have also consulted 3D technology to better understand how to treat tumors.

Unlike an X-Ray which is a 2D image, patient CT and MRI scans are 3D images. Still, “when the radiologist looks at these 3D-images, they click through slices … to see 2D images,” Leary said. “It is possible to see the image as 3D through segmentation, though.” Segmentation is a process by which researchers highlight a portion of a 2D cross section of an MRI or CT scan and select a section of interest to revert into 3D.

Developing these segments can assist researchers determine the specific shape of the tumor they are targeting, which allows physicians to develop a plan for the safest and most effective treatment. “This helps us make sure we hit what we want and don’t hit what we don’t want. You don’t want to cook a hole in someone’s bowel in the process (of treating their tumor),” Collins said.

Similarly, the holoimage project team hoped to better the treatment of patients by taking their technology out of the lab and applying it to “help patients and family members understand complex … pathology” prior to operations, Kobayashi wrote. “Unfortunately, the team was unable to secure funding to conduct the research.” Still, their work has been primarily an open educational resource.

The team does not have access to the statistical influence of their work and does not know if others have utilized their projects. “We don’t even know if our own medical school is using it,” Creamer said.

Still, he hopes that these augmented and virtual anatomical representations will help medical students, and even high schoolers, as the technology could allow movement away from dissecting real animals, saving students from exposure to chemicals and limiting the “murdering of frogs,” Creamer said.

Source: https://www.browndailyherald.com/

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Virtual reality in the operating room to train surgeons

For those who have not stepped foot in a medical school and all their audiovisual experience with an operating room has been limited to seeing the handsome “Grey’s Anatomy” put bypasses with hats that seemed to be designed by Hugo Boss, the idea of an operation with an audience is that of a kind of amphitheater with large windows where students are placed to see the work of the teacher.

The reality is usually more prosaic but not very different: almost always the novice doctors observe the operations over the surgeon’s shoulder.

However, the possibilities offered by new technologies can change this forever. This is what surgeon Shafi Ahmed achieved in April 2016 by broadcasting a live colon cancer operation for thousands of students to follow via virtual reality.

Success stories

Safhi Ahmed, one of whose operations had already been followed in 2014 by 13,000 students around the world through Google Glass, is an experienced surgeon and one of the founders of Medical Realities. Formed by physicians and technology experts, this company specializes in the application of virtual reality and augmented reality in the education and training of future doctors. Its programs allow them to reach more people without the need to be present at the physical location where the operation is performed and also offers the possibility of interacting with the doctor who is operating at the time.

So far, the technology allows images and sounds to be sent, but Ahmed believes that soon tactile stimuli can also be transmitted, so that students will have the feeling of performing the operation themselves. The next step will surely be interventions by robots, which will raise interesting ethical debates, says Ahmed, who despite being at the forefront of these practices, is convinced that in a few years the advances will be so amazing that he himself will have “become obsolete”.

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Virtual Reality: A creative and innovative form to learn

How can Virtual Reality help to improve the education? Many countries around the world continue to use antiquoted methods for learning. It is no good for the students because they do not learn all of knowledge that the teacher theach in class. For that throughout years technology has been a great help for teach to the students in a good way. 

However, this time Virtual Reality has been implemented like new technology. The caracteristic that it has can be implement in education because with this tool the students can learn by using their senses like hearing, sight and touch. Therefore Virtual Reality is one of the most deviceful tools for schools to teach natural sciences since it is an innovative way of teaching, it uses technological elements and it adjusts to student’s different learning styles.

Innovative Education

Several countries like Perú are implemented new methods in education. In this case Perú has an innovative way to teach that consist in “blended learn” its mean that they combine two methods to learning, traditional and each student deliver the content in online way (Segal, 2016).

Likewise the Virtual Reality is an innovative and creative form to teach because it permit work in others enviroments such as a person can stay in a rocky mountain and learn about this place. Moreover, the student that use this tools can learn through experiences since it tool is able to do that the person can inmerse in the scene and learn to the sound, imagens and weave. Finally, the students can improve their knowledge with diferents innovative tools like Virtual Reality that with its characteristics can teach to the playful way.

Furthermore, Virtual Reality are being implemented by many enterprises such as Google that created a “Expeditions”, it is proyect of this enterprise that consist in take a students to new place with help to cardboard that is a glasses in Virtual Reality (Wikipedia, 2017).

Expedition is constitute in know the places which are considered World Heritage like egyptian pyramids, Galapagos island in Ecuador, Rune of Machu Picchú in Perú and a lot of more places around the world. Consecuently, it will have that the students can inmerse and learn about these places for experience way.

As well as Discovery Virtual Reality has a project that consist in show the life of elephants in South Africa. For this reason Virtual Reality is a excellent tools to teach with a innovative way, because of this there are already enterprises that use this mechanism for a better teaching and soon Virtual Reality will be more popular in educatives institutions for its many aplication.

Uses of Technological Elements

The 40% of students who graduated does not recive a quality education and always have fault in education (Segal, 2016). This mean that not all knowledge is acquired by students. For this reason, technology in this time is necessary because it can help with education such as improve the productivity in the classroom or also increse the attention and motivation in the students.

However, technology have alredy implemented in enducation in many time ago like calculator, printer, old computers used by teacher. But with throughout years technology have improved and now there are internet, movil technology like ipads or cellphones, virtual classrooms such as Google Classroom.

All of this news technological tools are a good way to make homeworks or investigation. Therefore introduce new technology in education for improving teaching like the internet, virtual classroom or Virtual Reality are tools for learning more about the differents subjects that are difficult to understand.

Likewise, combine traditional classroom with technology like computer plus board, or us application in cellphone to learn something such as Duolingo that is a video game in cellphone that help yo to learn diferents languages. According to Segal (2016), in 2012 the company of Duolingo implemented this app in schools for that the students can learn with new methods and they see that the students are feeling more motivate and their concentrated was better.

Additionally, Virtual Reality can be used in chemestry laboratory of educative institution for see how work an experiment without any risk. It is because this innovative tools permit to work whit interactive way and immerse totally in environment that you are. In conclusion, there are a lot of possibilities to use the technology like element for teach and learn in the classroom.

Adjusts to student’s different learning styles

According Wikipedia (2016), Sócrates was the creator about a new method of learning that deduction. This method consist that all of knowledge can be learned by reasoning way. It means that the knowledge learn better when the things are reasoned but not to much when are memorized.

Moreover, each one of people learn in differents way. There are people that learn better when they see the things, other people learn better with sounds, and other people learn when they touch the things. For this reason, the knowledge in this paper are clasificated in three different learning style that are auditory, visual and kinesthetic. But the Virtual Reality combine those three learning styles.

Auditory

According to Lake Superior State University (There is not the year), approximately 30% of the people learn keep information after hear somethig. This learners prefer to talk or hear about a subject. They can memorize of sound easily and improve their knowledge through spoken class and then with interaction with another person. Therefore, this kind of learners prefer have sound around him because they concentrat better.

Kinesthetic

Almost 5% of people can learn when touch something ot pick up the things (Lake Superior State University). This kind of people learn better when make the things after that learn them. Also, they can develop their knowledge for example if their study rocks, the kinesthetic person could understand better than the another learning styles. Consecuently, this people need blocks or anything that they can learn about its texture or shape.

Visual

Approximately 65% of people can learn better when see photographs, picture, diagrams or notes (Lake Superior State University). This Kind of population prefer demonstration and they are be able of imagine the information visually. The student that has this hability will have more adventege with the other students because in class normally learning that the teacher does. In conclution, the people that have this learning styles can be better than the students that learn with auditory and kinesthetic.

Nevertheless, all of this diferent learning styles can developt with Virtual Reality because it consist in helpmet that the content can be seen and listened by this helpment. Likewise, it has a glove where you can feel the texture and shape. This permit that the students have a interaccion and immerse with the environment of Virtual Reality as if it were the real world. For example, a laboratory, a rocky mountain, be inside a cell. Finally, there are a lot of possibilities with this innovative and creative tool to teach.

Conclusion

In conclusion, throughout years the technology has been improved and it had been a great help in education such as Virtual Reality. This tool can tech to the innovative way like natural science and it adjust with the differents learning styles.

This investigation show that combines the traditional methods with the technology could be the key for improve the education around the world but is necessary follow with the investigation because still not exist enough relationship with Virtual Reality and education, but how technology is advancing soon the Virtual Reality can be seen in many schools around the world.

Essays, UK. (November 2018). Virtual Reality in Education. Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/education/virtual-reality-education-8780.php?vref=1

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Virtual reality is already changing healthcare

Hospitals are unfamiliar places, alien to most people. That is fortunate, because it means that you have not had the need of any major intervention, or that you have not passed a serious illness. However, like other people who do know, it is normal that the idea of a hospital generates some anxiety, fear, anticipation of what is coming, which usually is an operation or a process not very pleasant.

To end this problem, Virtual Reality is providing good help. It has begun to do so, for example, at Sunnybrook Hospital in Canada, where they have recorded with a 360º camera the experience of a patient who is admitted to a room to be operated on, 

In this way, many patients who have never had to undergo an operation, or who do not know and therefore fear any aspect related to a hospital, can check first-hand and through a virtual reality experience how their experience will be, thus losing their fear, and facing it with much more confidence, tranquillity and serenity. 

It is understandable that many patients are nervous before undergoing surgery. There are many unknowns and it is an unfamiliar environment. It is now possible to immerse patients in the experience one or two weeks in advance, using virtual reality as part of a new research study.

Stop anxiety thanks to Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is about putting a person in a computer-generated environment or an interactive experience.

This can be done by various methods, one that Simlab IT develops, and precisely the one that Sunnybrook Hospital has used, is to generate an experience by recording with 360º cameras, to generate a Virtual Reality content capable of educating, teaching, etc.

In the case of hospitals, anxiety levels are important because they are related to many negative outcomes, including prolonged hospital stays and increased risk of infection.

This is just one example of the vast potential that comes with virtual reality applications in healthcare. And there are many others that are currently being studied or used. 

Alzheimer’s patients can be immersed in virtual reality environments during MRI tests, allowing researchers to see which areas of the brain are activated to aid in diagnosis. 

Some burn patients are being exposed to virtual reality applications that immerse them in a cold world of snow and ice, helping to reduce their need for pain medications. Virtual reality can help provide a form of exposure therapy for patients who are afraid of certain places or things. And it is also playing an increasingly popular role in medical education, allowing future healthcare workers to hone their skills in a whole new way.

And the truth is that the sky is the limit in terms of how and where these applications can be used. And with the increase in research in the area-including your preoperative anxiety study-that will only serve to give more weight to this fun approach to technology.

Virtual Reality is changing Healthcare for the Better

Having existed only for the last few years, virtual reality is still considered a vaguely new concept for most people. However, virtual reality is changing the way we live our lives and the way our health systems work. There have already been many ways in which virtual reality has helped the healthcare industry move forward.

Virtual reality has come a long way and we have seen significant improvements and advances in terms of hardware and software. What began as science fiction is now a scientific fact, and virtual reality is fast becoming one of the most exciting advances the healthcare industry has ever witnessed.

Virtual reality science is changing the health care field for the better. While certainly not an exhaustive list, the next few years will no doubt be decisive for the future of virtual reality and its progress in fields such as healthcare, education and training. 

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VR in education will change the way we learn and teach

Education is the basis of a prosperous society and the transfer of knowledge has been a key priority for civilizations from the outset. People are constantly looking for ways to make the transfer of knowledge easier, faster and more effective.

In the age of digital devices, we have the opportunity to enable better learning with technology. Virtual Reality (VR) seems to be the next natural step in the evolution of education.

In the age of digital technologies, books are becoming e-books. Modern search engines make it really easy to find information: with just a few clicks you can discover the answers to many questions.

Some companies have worked to take this much further. This is the case with Simlab IT, which provides teachers, training centres, universities, students, etc. with the tools they need to create and enjoy VR lessons, thereby achieving great results. 

There are many reasons for introducing VR into the classroom. 

Many studies have been conducted on the use of VR in education and training. Simlab IT provides reasons for using VR and we present the advantages and disadvantages of using it, as well as suggestions on when to use it and when not to use it. We have created a model that can be used to use virtual reality in an education or training course in the best way, making the lessons more effective, enjoyable, interesting and above all cheap.

School is not what it used to be. Blackboards have been replaced by SMART boards. Pencil and paper have become Chromebooks and tablets. It is only a matter of time before virtual reality education can be found in every classroom in the country.

The benefits of this educational approach are endless. Virtual reality takes students to another world, another level of understanding, right within the classroom.

All students learn at a different pace and in different ways. Some are visual learners, others work better with manual stimulation or verbal commands. Virtual reality education will help close the gap between these students.

Here are 5 reasons why schools need to consider and implement this revolutionary form of teaching.

1. Make learning fun again

How many of us have heard these words from a student – “I’m bored”. Teachers work tirelessly to engage students through interactive games and projects, group work, public speaking and a multitude of other avenues. Often their efforts fail.

To say that virtual reality would make the class interesting again is an understatement. It would also allow teachers to bring lessons to life. Students would experience real, practical encounters that would prepare them for the future.

2. Memorable experiences

Imagine transporting a child to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, to the wreck of the Titanic or to the Great Wall of China? No school budget could support these adventures, but virtual reality education can make it happen! Children would have the opportunity to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Virtual reality can also help prepare students for the future workforce by teaching them real-life skills. A scenario designed around a current lesson on topics such as specialized training, professional jobs or nursing can be “practiced” and experienced using this technique.

3. Technology is the future

Technology has transformed the classroom in recent years. Students have gone from being passive learners to active learners. There is no denying that to be successful in the 21st century, students need efficient technological skills.

It is not often that you see a child under the age of 4 who does not navigate a tablet faster than any adult. The benefits of virtual reality are indeed a reality!

4. Virtual Reality Education closes the gap for students

Because most students can easily navigate through virtual reality and feel fulfilled. It’s a rewarding experience, which means a positive experience. If children feel confident in their ability to learn, they will continue to seek out more enriching experiences.

A student can also be anyone he or she wants to be in the world of virtual reality. Race, gender and age do not matter. They are free to be themselves and feel accepted. This opens the door to learning in new and different ways.

5. Promotes creativity and curiosity

Virtual reality education puts the power in the hands of the student. They are allowed to make decisions and adjustments in the alternative “universe”. Students experiment with their creativity, driven by their curiosity about how things work.

All of these factors are linked to critical thinking and increased retention. The whole experience takes learning to another level.

So, if you are in doubt about the role that virtual reality can play in the classroom, just take a look at some of the benefits listed here.

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How to use Virtual Reality in education

The classroom is changing at a rapid pace. Most schools are already using tablets in their curricula and some schools are pioneering the use of Virtual Reality. 

Anyone who has ever experienced any form of VR can understand that it can be an impressive experience, but when and how should VR be used in education? What are the issues and the concerns?

The Advantages of Virtual Reality in Education

Based on a series of articles and scientific studies, we can conclude that the use of Virtual Reality has some advantages:

Greater engagement and immersion: Players can be instantly transported to another otherwise inaccessible location. They can see the environment as if they were really there. Immersion is enhanced by the more direct translation of the player’s movements into the virtual world, by using the head-mounted screen instead of a controlling peripheral. The Virtual Reality headset also closes the user off from other visual and often auditory stimuli from the real world. This level of immersion is so strong that it is even used to reduce acute pain.

Ability to visualize things we normally cannot see: As soon as we want to show things that are not visible to the naked eye, for example, something that is really small or something that is inside a living body, we need other tools and instruments to measure and visualize the things we want to explain. Virtual Reality gives us the freedom to visualize cells at the molecular level as if we were really there. This also extends, for example, to historical events and inaccessible places. In this study, the effectiveness of using a VR environment for information transfer is analysed in comparison to a lecture.

Positive Emotions: Studies have shown that students who use VR to learn, experience more positive emotions. This leads to a better learning experience compared to traditional and video learning methods. The fact that interactive and virtual reality experiences are more exciting than passive ones does not surprise us game developers, but it is good to know that there is also scientific support.

There have been many studies on the use of Virtual Reality in education. The studies mentioned above are only a small selection. If you are interested, a simple Google search gives many more results.

Challenges in the use of Virtual Reality for education

While these are certainly compelling arguments for using VR for educational purposes and, in our case, to educate and relieve pain, the use of VR also has some disadvantages that we had to learn the hard way during its development:

Dizziness: this is not a new or uncommon problem, but it is even more important for the target audience of educational VR games. As the game is played a lot by people who have no previous experience with VR and have no interest in games, they are more inclined to quit as soon as they experience discomfort.

Distraction from educational material: Virtual Reality can be beautiful and overwhelming. There is much to see, hear, and experience. Unfortunately this can also cause a distraction from the information that needs to be learned.

Translation of the visualization: When you visualize things that cannot be seen with the naked eye, it is necessary to make an interpretation, translation or abstraction of what you want to explain. Some people immediately accept this visualization, but others reject the image, making it more difficult to explain the underlying concept.

Motion sickness

For motion sickness there are already many excellent solutions found by other developers and described in other articles. Here are our main considerations for reducing discomfort and motion sickness:

Never move, rotate or tilt the camera. The player should always have full control over the movement and rotation of the camera. Any discrepancy between the player’s movement and the view of the game can cause discomfort.

Always have a visual reference point. Players travel in a “pod”, a simple vehicle with a chair and a cabin. 

Distraction

Especially the first time someone experiences Virtual Reality, people can get completely lost in the environment and a constant ‘wow’ effect. Although this is very enjoyable and sometimes fun to watch, it is also a great distraction from the educational content. Imagine you are in space for the first time, looking at the earth and someone is trying to explain Newton’s law of universal gravitation to you. No one is paying attention to contemplate such beauty. So how do you make sure you keep getting all the information?

Repetition

A reliable and proven method. Simply repeat the important parts of the educational material over and over again until it sticks. It’s not the most elegant way, but it’s effective.

Time and portion control: Create moments where the player can “Aaah” and “Wooow”, but don’t try to convey important information during these moments. This way you can use the power of VR to surprise and immerse players. An example in Reducept is when the player first enters the body through a cell wall. As if entering a new game world, the player passes through a small door in the cell wall and a wonderful visualization of the inside of the human body emerges. Only a long time after this beautiful visualization, a voiceover begins to explain the educational material.

Guiding the attention: The danger of being able to look in all directions is that you can miss important visual explanations. Use objects in the world to guide players’ attention to where you want them to focus.

Switching between active and passive: Just like when you are following a lecture, if you are just listening, no matter how good your concentration is, at some point you may lose interest, miss things or get lost. To avoid this, put the player into “active mode” from time to time. Give it something to do. The power of Virtual Reality and games is that they are an interactive experience.

Translating the visualization

When we were trying to explain “pain stimuli” – signals that travel through nerve pathways to the brain and indicate to the brain that there is pain – we realized that everyone has a different idea of what these stimuli would look like. We didn’t expect this to be really important in order to understand pain and how to deal with it, but it still seemed like an important thing to visualize. As we tried to translate these pain stimuli to the little creatures, we received many comments about how they should or shouldn’t be.

Conclusion

In short, the use of Virtual Reality, like all technological advances, creates opportunities but also poses challenges. By understanding how Virtual Reality works, what its limitations are, and what the effects are on players, we can create new and surprising learning experiences. Perhaps our next project should be to create a virtual reality game that teaches how virtual reality works!

How can VR be used in education?

Virtual reality is THE perfect combination for education and training. Educational applications of VR and educational simulations have been very successful according to several research studies. There are many reasons to use VR in education. All the educator needs to do is define when and where this new technology should be applied.

The future of VR-based education seems to have great potential. It is clear that the use of VR will increase in the coming years. As VR enhances good and old-fashioned teaching concepts, the impact of VR on education will undoubtedly increase. VR makes the learning process effective, engaging and enjoyable.

News about Simlab IT – latest events

This week the Simlab IT team in Spain has been in the Digital District of the Valencian Community, in a day of presentation of the programs and actions of the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI). This day was aimed at companies and professionals who want to develop products and / or technological services, which have been announced the lines of collaboration of the AVI with Valencian innovation agents, programs and lines of support, public procurement of innovation and other actions towards the sector.

The Artificial Intelligence Strategy of the Comunidad Valenciana is designed to order the impact of technological development in society to be positive. As indicated by the President of the Generalitat in the presentation made at the Alicante headquarters of the Digital District last November 12, this strategy will ensure its ethical implementation following the guiding principles of “competitiveness, sustainability and inclusion. And that is exactly what Simlab IT is looking for, a mentality on the part of companies and institutions to bring innovation to spectres of society that need a breakthrough, for the good of all.

On the other hand, the SimlabIT team in Spain was last week in An event organised by the Valencian Government and CEFIRE – Department of Education, Research, Culture and Sports in Distrito Digital #Alicante doing a Show-Room in which we could show the trainers of the #ComunitatValenciana how is the training with #VR People that has been a great success.

 The attendees, professors, academic and executive staff of several Valencian institutions were enthusiastic, resulting in a great success in the middle of a day, in which Simlab IT was not expected to have such a prominent presence at the event. This shows that there is a great interest on the part of professors and teaching professionals for virtual reality, and the application of innovative processes to the academic system.

In summary, it was a great day in which we were able to talk with #teachers, directors and people from the world of education, who have been able to learn first hand the experience of #learning with #VirtualReality.

In Greece, Rome, Saudi Arabia, Spain, etc. Simlab IT continues its expansion in a clear mission, to find as many collaborators as possible in order to bring virtual reality to training and education systems around the world.