5 Ways Virtual Reality Is Transforming the Education Industry

5 Ways Virtual Reality Is Transforming the Education Industry

Can you imagine a world in which children actually get excited about going to school? In the era of virtual reality, we have the opportunity to make education stimulating and fun like never before.

VR creates an immersive, engaging learning environment that gets children motivated to learn. And although the technology is still in its infancy, it’s already popping up all over the place. Delivered via headset or mobile phone screen, the potential of this relatively new technology is still being explored—and the possibilities for innovation are endless.

As a leader in mobile design and app development, we can’t wait to see where this goes–and we’re excited to be a part of the process. Here are 5 ways we see virtual reality transforming the education industry:

  1. Immersive educational experiences

Today, augmented reality is routinely used in the classroom. You may be familiar with the process—it overlays digital information onto real-world objects using the camera on a mobile device.

AR blurs the lines between fantasy and reality and brings lessons to life—and because it offers a more tactile experience than book learning alone, it allows children to really believe what they’re being told.

Virtual reality will take things a step further. Rather than looking at the world through a screen, the children will actually become a part of that world. Or go to a whole other world. The possibilities are nearly endless.

  1. New opportunities for low-income families

Harvard professor Robert Putnam said, “The bottom line is … that poor kids are increasingly isolated.”

Indeed, in some remote parts of the world, there are students who have to hike miles to get to a classroom every day. Often, even when they do get into school, their education isn’t on par with students in more urban locations. Some are so isolated, they receive no schooling at all.

Virtual reality can help bridge the education gap between children all over the globe. Educators will be able to use headsets to connect with students in remote locations. Professionals can give real-time lessons to children in underprivileged neighborhoods. And students will be able to interact with each other … from halfway around the world.

Bottom line? VR is a powerful tool for educational equity.

  1. Making college planning easier

Choosing a college major can be a daunting experience. No 17-year old has enough life experience to determine their ultimate future, yet that’s what many are expected to do.

In the past, those decisions have largely been a gamble—but virtual reality is about to change the game. Now, a student who wants to be a pilot can practice flying without ever sitting in a real cockpit. Or someone interested in dentistry might be able to fill a cavity … without having a patient in the hot seat.

Students will have a much greater idea of where their interests lie and what they might be good at before they commit to a career path.

  1. Virtual field trips

Imagine being able to visit the lost city of Pompeii or the Acropolis in Athens without ever leaving your classroom. Virtual reality makes this sort of learning a possibility.

VR already allows students to explore the world around them, and it’s only going to get better. 360-degree learning experiences will engage students in a way never before possible, placing classroom content into a new context.

Even better? Virtual reality fosters curiosity. Experts find that the children ask more pertinent questions and think more critically following a VR session.

  1. Game-based learning

Today’s youth love video games. In fact, the average child aged 7 to 11 plays about 4 hours per week. Scot Osterweil, creative director for MIT’s Education Arcade, said:

“In most video games, kids are being challenged to do difficult things to master game play. That’s not a bad thing and could be developing skills that will extend beyond the game.”

So why shouldn’t that be used in the classroom?

It’s important to provide education in a way that students find appealing, and virtual reality puts a fun focus on learning. Let’s face it: school can become boring for even the most enthusiastic students–and VR allows educators to present the curriculum in a way that is far more engaging.

Final Thoughts

Virtual reality is going to revolutionize education. Studies have shown that VR is one of the best ways to prompt learning and to stimulate interests. And not only that, but students put in more effort and pick up skills more quickly in a virtual environment.

At TechAhead, we’ve been helping to revolutionize schooling in a different way. Based on a client request, we created the completed solution for student dispersal solution PikMyKid. The app, available for Android and iOS, facilitates the control and management of pickup authorizations by the school administration, reducing the stress associated with after-school pickup. It’s currently being used in 112 public schools throughout the U.S. If you have an idea for an innovative learning solution, reach out to us. Since 2009, we’ve helped countless individuals across all industries turn their dreams into reality.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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