What has once been a figment of a fiction writer’s imagination is a part of life today. IT has changed the world. Programmers improve user experiences with augmented and virtual realities to use, for example, in psychiatry. These technologies allow peeking into different times and places. The limit is the programmer’s capabilities. VR education, in its turn, has also become a commonplace thing in many colleges and schools.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is a hot topic today. Even when students are given freedom to choose their essay title, they often say 'I'm going to write my essay on VR'. Yet, what is it? In contrast to augmented reality, VR completely immerses a person in an artificial world. It uses elements simulated by computer graphics or places users in 360° videos. The main difference from viewing any other content is that the image moves along with the head movements.
In the virtual world, users can look around, look at the ground, turn around, and so on. Such a variety of interactive options stipulates the active use of VR in education. The use of virtual reality in education gives new opportunities for students to get a lesson without unnecessary risks.
The most famous example of the virtual world is the movie The Matrix. Yet, unlike the technologies shown there, today’s VR cannot be confused with the real world.
Benefits of Virtual Reality in Education
The use of 3D graphics is essential in educational VR for physics and chemistry lessons. VR makes it possible to show in detail the chemical processes down to the atomic level. In addition, you can go even further and see what processes occur inside the atom.
2. Students’ Safety
Medical students can perform simulated surgeries and rounds without the risk of hurting patients. Imagine, for example, a future physician who needs to hone their skills in heart surgery. Due to virtual reality, one can easily immerse in the studying process, benefit, and not harm anyone. A chemical experiment with exothermic reactions may endanger students, which is safer with virtual reality education.
The same applies to revising rules of conduct in case of fire. The picture seems quite realistic, which ensures strong practical knowledge.
Teachers can change scenarios as they see fit. Students can come up with experiments and influence their outcomes. It is exciting to see the events of past centuries through the eyes of a historical character. This interactive nature makes the studying process more engaging. It also keeps students within a single study environment, which helps form closer bonds within the group.
4. Better Focusing
Rapid changes in society entail personality changes in all its elements. Today, students are less focused and prone to asking experts 'write an essay for me' more often, and traditional schools fail to stir their interest and prompt involvement. During classes involving VR technologies, the virtual world surrounds the students, thus helping them concentrate exclusively on the learning process without external distractions.
Virtual Reality Apps for Education
This app brings language learning to a new level. It can teach around thirty different languages in the form of real-life dialogues. All elements of the process occur in VR. So, the student immerses into the environment and, thus, feels less tense while speaking. The app provides feedback on the students’ performance including grammatical errors and pronunciation.
2. The Body VR
Virtual reality education recently took a step forward and made it possible to create immersing environments for games and education. With this VR app for a biology course, one can study the human body traveling through its parts as a microscopic element. This technology will be interesting for small children learning about their bodies and high school biology classes.
This is a fully developed studying environment resembling an online college or a university. Students can witness historical events from the fall of the Roman Empire to WWII. They can study atoms and internal organs, see the daily lives of Charlotte Bronte and Abraham Lincoln. Such use of VR in education broadens the options for both teachers and students.
4. Apollo 11 VR
The use of virtual reality for education goes far beyond the human body and chemical reactions simulation. With the help of Apollo 11, people can walk between planets and suns, studying them within arm’s reach. This application is the extended version of well-known simulations like SolarWalk but with the funky participation effect.
5. VR Museum of Fine Art
The VR Museum of Fine Art allows students to enjoy and study art pieces without spending money on the bus and entrance tickets. The only disadvantage is that you cannot bring any souvenirs from such a visit.
6. 4D Anatomy
Another good app to teach and learn human anatomy using virtual reality in classrooms. This one is more for university use than basic school biology classes. Here, students get both audio lectures and visual presentations of the studied elements.
7. Google Expeditions
This program can take students to any place set by the teacher. They can explore the natural world, go on a hiking tour, or study science. It also allows studying historical artifacts and events through 360° scenes and sets of various 3D objects.
8. Trench Experience VR
Virtual reality and education work together to preserve the historical legacy. This app is perfect for the history classes touching upon events of WWII. Through virtual reality, students can live a couple of hours like real WWII soldiers. Luckily, such experience cannot be simulated anywhere besides virtual reality.
9. VIVE XR Suite
HTC launched the VIVE XR Suite in China in June this year. VR suite allows users to remotely learn, communicate and attend events from anywhere using computing devices. The package offers virtual chat rooms and interactive events that could fill the gap in communication created by the pandemics.
10. Tilt Brush
This virtual reality space is focused on creating artworks. Students can paint and draw whatever they like, use dynamic pencils and brushes, and then upload their creations to social networks or download them as separate files.
What is the Future of Education?
Specialists in VR and education jointly create immersive spaces for learning new things through a hands-on approach. Technology-enhanced learning has become a new normal since the global introduction of computers into the educational process. Today, we can hardly imagine writing an essay or drawing images for a presentation by hand instead of typing and using a tablet. The same way virtual reality learning becomes a common practice for teachers and students.
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