Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. It is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world.
VR gets high marks for keeping students engaged, and is conducive to peer-review, feedback and on-going assessment. When VR is set up in a classroom, the rest of the class can see on a screen what the person using the VR technology sees.
- Enriching Literacy: Speaking skills, and in turn writing skills, show a marked improvement in students who have had the opportunity to explore a virtual environment. The immersive, sensory nature of VR improves the quality of students’ language; the immediacy of the experience is particularly beneficial for those students who struggle to think of what to write.
- Placing Learning in Context: Creating a context for learning is crucial for deepening understanding. Learning about the phases of the moon from a textbook works just fine for some students, but the added contextual information they can access when they are placed on the surface of the moon, looking back at Earth, is invaluable.
- Improving Retention: Engaging and immersive personal experience simply cannot be matched in terms of information retention. The ability to re-imagine the VR experience in which you learned a new concept is incredibly powerful and is of particular benefit to students who struggle to remain focussed in a traditional classroom environment.
- Increasing Engagement: Engagement is the key to excellent teaching and truly deep learning. The creativity of teachers is unmatched, just think of all those hours spent preparing launch events, role play areas and interactive displays. So just think of what can be achieved with VR and AR at your fingertips! Let Virtual Reality breathe new life into key topics, with technology that inspires and motivates.