It’s becoming more difficult to engage young minds in the classroom. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t down to low attention spans or under funding by the government. In fact, it’s more to do with how constant exposure to technology at a young age has caused skills, interests and learning to develop outside of traditional methods.

Education and VR to enhance learning

With VR predicted to hit the mainstream within the next  years, it’s looking highly likely that we’ll see the introduction of VR learning experiences and tools into many classrooms.

Below, we explore a few ways in which VR can enrich education and what the future might hold.

Virtual Reality is beginning to be applied in education to help inspire young minds

Taking field trips without ever leaving the classroom

There are a myriad of issues surrounding school field trips: funding, parental consent and logistics, to name but a few. Students now have the ability to travel to exotic landscapes, museum exhibitions and historic landmarks using software like Google Earth VR and Google Expeditions, all without ever leaving the classroom.

Breaking down global barriers

VR social spaces, like AltspaceVR or Facebook Spaces, create an environment which has the capacity to expand children’s social experiences. The potential to live stream field trips and educational seminars with other students around the world will inevitably break down global barriers and make the study of foreign languages far easier, too.

VR social spaces like ‘Facebook Spaces’ help to expand children’s social experiences

A new dimension of creativity

Virtual reality apps and software can also be used to teach and practice other creative pastimes, like product design and coding. When you consider how widely this innovative medium has been adopted, who’s to say whether or not they will become necessary skills for the future?

Show and tell

Explaining complex concepts and ideas to young minds has previously been limited to the confines of the white board. Immersive experiences, 360° modelling and demonstrations provide a new and exciting environment in which to explore new ideas. This can be used to illicit an emotional response to certain scenarios and to engage their minds with a more experiential teaching method.

Experiencing the impossible

History and science might seem complex on paper, but virtual reality experiences have the potential to bring them to life in incredible detail.  Why limit lessons to planet Earth? There are programmes which can take a child to the surface of Mars or the international space station!

Workforce training is one area where virtual reality is being used to great effect. VR has the unique ability to transport you to an entirely fabricated, yet completely real environment, and this makes it perfect for educating individuals & teams on the different scenarios they may face whilst doing their jobs.

Key advantages of utilising VR in training

Below, we run through some of the key advantages of utilising VR in training:

It’s real

In VR you can create the exact scenarios trainees will be expected to handle on the job. You’ll build the scenario entirely from scratch and control every single variable the trainee may encounter. You could create a scenario which requires the trainee to take an action, and then create a range of outcomes which vary depending on the action taken.

It’s hands on

Learning by doing is proven to work better than learning by observing, and this is exactly what VR can offer. Advance headsets with controllers allow the user to take part in a scenario, rather than just observe, and it’s this hands-on experience which is so valuable to trainees. Importantly, this technology makes the learning experience fun & enjoyable, more than can be said for tedious conferences.

It’s cost effective

You can vastly reduce the cost of educating a large workforce by training staff remotely with VR headsets. Rather than fly all your staff to a single location for a 3-day training event at huge expense, employees can do the training at a time & location that suits them. This also ensures that the training experience is consistent across the organisation.

It’s safe

Some scenarios are impossible to realistically recreate in training due to the risk or cost involved. This is not the case in VR. In virtual reality, the trainee can learn how to complete dangerous tasks within a totally safe environment where all the variables, unlike in real life, are completely controlled.

It’s measurable

With data and analytics at the forefront of every business nowadays, companies want to be able to quantify how their staff perform in training. VR is perfect for this, both for setting benchmarks on how well staff should perform, and for showing how an individual’s performance improves (or not) over time. This allows the trainee to receive immediate feedback on how they performed and the instructor to suggest ways they could improve.

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