Virtual Reality is increasingly present in the thinking of industries such as education, training and coaching, as well as in healthcare and many other fields beyond entertainment.
These days, almost any industry you can think of has tried to incorporate VR experiences for marketing, from corporate training, to travel, to entertainment. Universities and colleges today are challenged to drive more enrollment to reach the technologically savvy and connected Generation Z audience.
The same media used in the past will not make a lasting impression on today’s potential new students.
Virtual Reality can be used as a platform to attract and excite potential recruits, drive enrollment, and present the university brand as cutting edge.
Ways in which VR can help schools with marketing
But where do we start? Here are 5 simple ideas that I hope will inspire you to fit VR into your marketing budget this year.
Guided tours of the university campus from anywhere in the world
Students who visit a campus in person are more likely to enroll, but it is not always possible for students and their families to make these trips. When they do, they may not have time to visit all the campuses on the list.
By providing a VR experience, the campus can be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to anyone in the world, which is especially helpful for international students.
The goal of the VR campus tour is not to replace a face-to-face visit to the campus, but to convince students and family members that the campus is worth visiting.
It is possible to take advantage of existing content within the VR experience
Existing marketing assets such as traditional videos and photos can also be leveraged in the 360 space when used as information points. You may already have a library of content to populate the beginnings of a great virtual tour.
People often tend to have preconceived notions about a city or a state, without having been there before. Videos and 360 photos are a true medium, providing interactive tours, giving them a sense of what it really feels like to be there on campus
Any school that promotes VR use and research will be more attractive to students in the future
More and more colleges and universities today offer Virtual Reality programs, whether in game development, 360 video production or both. Your own interactive VR application can be a great opportunity for students to collaborate and contribute content, creating a hands-on learning opportunity about VR and 360 production.
There are also design considerations for VR that have not been fully realised; the next generation of students will define the standards for this new medium. They will shape the future of VR, AR and mixed applications.
The future of VR is also social, with applications such as Facebook Spaces, users can share experiences with others and interact as avatars. Applications with social interaction could allow students or alumni to take guided tours, all within the VR space. Imagine taking a virtual autograph at your favorite spot on campus, and posting it immediately on Instagram.
It’s a way to make the university or college more accessible
The VR environment can also be useful for students with disabilities, you can call services and accommodations directly on the VR route.
Sometimes, even being able to visualize and navigate a space before going there can make new and challenging experiences easier to overcome.
Using VR, not just for distraction, can be a pretty smart move. This fantastic resource can be used in several areas, one of them: education.
The future of learning: How to apply virtual reality in education?
A few decades ago, virtual reality was just fiction. How could we imagine that one day this and other technologies would be part of everyday life?
Although today virtual reality is not part of everyone’s daily life, we know of its existence and of the possibility of using it in our favour.
Education is one of the areas that has been least developed in these decades. The way of teaching has not evolved as much as technology has. However, this is something that can, and must, change.
Travel and exploration without limits
With virtual reality it is possible to take a tour of Machu Picchu, visit the pyramids of Egypt or take a walk through the Louvre. We can even go further, like exploring the lunar surface for example.
What is taught in theory today, technology will allow us to do in a more practical way. Thus, learning becomes more experiential and lasting, without being a boring and tiring task.
And how about learning history by being transported in it? Thanks to virtual reality this will also be possible. Instead of watching a video about the fall of the Berlin Wall, how about witnessing it?
Learning through “experience” is a unique way not only to obtain historical data, but also to have other types of perceptions that only experience can give us.
Exploring the human body
“Walking inside the human body” must be an unforgettable experience. Is there a better way to understand how our body works? Who knows, someday…
Generating empathy and instilling values
Transporting us to a totally different reality, can allow us another type of perception of what we see in the news.
The news shows us the refugee crisis, for example. But witnessing it with the help of virtual reality can be a necessary experience in order to become more humane and seek a more just society.
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