Since the beginning of this blog we have been talking a lot about augmented reality and mainly about its integration into retail. But augmented reality is not the only immersive technology and sales growth is not the only use of these technologies either.
Today let’s talk about virtual reality, the technology that takes you into a virtual experience and other worlds. Personally, I am still on the faculty to attend lectures of several hours and listen to a professor recite his lecture, the same lecture that has been passed down for years. When I was in high school, we used the same textbooks as our siblings 10 years earlier. In other words, educational methods have not changed much. For more than 100 years we have been sitting behind a table to listen, but immersive technologies are changing this. The integration of virtual reality into education is the next turning point in education! So what does virtual reality offer to change educational methods?
Virtual reality can initially facilitate access to school. While knowledge is easily accessible through the Internet and e-learning, virtual reality is redefining the classroom space. It is easy to design a virtual reality classroom with an unlimited capacity. In addition, for students with school phobia, virtual reality offers them the opportunity to return to teaching and to evolve in an environment that is less stressful for them and even personalised to their certain needs. This might be hard to understand unless you have not visited a virtual world, but consider it being totally immersed by your ideal classroom and then multiply it by 10, that is VR for you!
Keeping the audience’s attention is just as difficult of an exercise at a conferences as it is for a teacher. Quite honestly, how many of you are daydreaming during class or were dropping out from class? Virtual reality offers an interactive experience to keep students’ attention span, and increase their learning through new ways of teaching. History, geography, earth sciences, physics and chemistry are subjects that is easy to interact with. Interaction and participation help to engage and motivate students. This would have been very useful for my high school chemistry classes…(my chemistry teacher was not the funniest person perhaps).
Traditional teaching is based on a theoretical approach while virtual reality teaching is based on experience. By placing the student in a first person perspective, he/she acquires knowledge and skills in a more memorable way. If you think about it carefully, it makes perfect sense, things that have been done by yourself or that are not repetitive are more informative than a traditional learning experience. Virtual reality learning is a significant experience that will be remembered, even to the extent of being better than if you experienced it in real life. In other words, it allows knowledge to be placed in a context and no longer in a theoretical demonstration.
Virtual reality is also a way to discover professions/training, especially for manual professions. This technology makes it possible to learn technical and manual skills from a very early age, such as building an electrical circuit or repairing a motor. It is also a way to discover and experience the professions in a global way and potentially avoid misguided orientation. In addition, more and more professions are automated, and tomorrow’s professions require a critical mind and a sense of problem-solving that immersive technologies can bring.
Virtual reality is fun for students, it is a different way for them to understand the teachings. This technology gives access to culture, and allows works to be shown at the Louvres in Paris to students located in the Americas. Several studies have shown that out-of-classroom experiences are very beneficial, and virtual reality provides access to culture for all social classes. We can imagine school trips in augmented reality with this in mind.
As you may have understood, virtual reality offers many benefits. We are only at the beginning of the democratization of these technologies, and their full potential is not being exploited. So, what are the next steps we can expect from virtual reality?
If you liked this article you will be interested in Facebook’s announcements at the F8 conference and our VR solutions.