Technology in education is constantly evolving- making learning more attractive to students. And Virtual Reality (VR) is one important component in it. VR is nothing but an advanced step of computer-based training (CBT) or computer-assisted instruction (CAI). Rapid evolution of computers in education and the yearn for more, have given rise to virtual reality in education. The end result- students can gain go into depth of a subject, gaining better understanding of it. Imagine a chemistry or a physics experiment in a virtual world! Students can control the experiments accordingly and learn.
This cutting-edge technology allows students to step into a real-life experience and learn, via an interactive 3D environment. Read on the article to find out the pros and cons of VR in education.
Advantages of VR
One of the major advantage of virtual reality is its ability to grab the attention of students. It’s motivating. Virtual reality as an education tool has been intriguing to students. Various researches have proved how exciting and interactive virtual reality is to students, mostly because of the 3D interacting environment where students can develop their own objects. And, when students are encouraged to create and develop their objects, you are encouraging your students to be creative.
Accurate illustration of how something is made up off, the process and so on is practicable with virtual reality. Take for example, the study of a molecule in words is always difficult and complicated than in VR where students can get inside it and examine the parts of the molecule.
Virtual reality or VR promotes discovery. How? When students use virtual reality to study something, they get to do research in depth and develop insights that were previously unknown. This kind of observation is ideal for lab experiments for science subjects. Other than this, VR optimizes learning through distance education. Attending school or college from anywhere is so easy with virtual reality.
Disadvantages of VR
When we talk about disadvantages of using virtual reality in education, we cannot ignore the high cost involved with expensive equipment; the amount of time involved in learning to know the proper use of software and hardware. Moreover, many education institutions are still reluctant to adoption of any new technology to the regular learning curriculum. Most obvious reason being the complex nature of any technology. And virtual reality is definitely known for its complex technology. Some users might also agree to the difficulty in moving freely in the virtual reality environment. Unlike real world where we can move on our own, the movements are often restricted in virtual reality.
New technology when its on the verge of acceptance, is bound to face with lot of hindrance. But with time, end-users will be comfortable and virtual reality will find its rightful place in education.
5 uses of virtual reality to optimize education
Areas where virtual reality is leaving an impact and will continue to do so includes:
- A meeting place for students through a virtual classroom where professors and students can share ebooks, 3D models, videos, illustrations, etc.
- Virtual reality has already been in use to teach with the help of 3D models, mainly in scientific areas. For example, Second Life is a 3D virtual world that’s being used to teach autopsy in the forensic pathology field.
- One of the best way to utilize virtuality reality in the field of education is by taking students to a tour of historical and archaeological sites, situated in different parts of the world. Replicating the sites and let the students take a tour for study or do research works is almost like taking them for a real tour.
- USC Marshall School of Business have used Second Life to teach its students to manage properties and run their own business. Second Life, the virtual world offers its own currency to let users carry out business deals, thus allowing students to explore economy in a virtual world and learn.
- Technical training for students could be made more realistic with the students participating in step by step training. This kind of practice is perfect to build confidence among students, to prepare them for real life experiences.
There are a whole lot of other areas of education and learning where virtual reality can play a major role. Virtual worlds can create a different environment for learning altogether.