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Virtual Reality in Education

Finding ways to enhance education is an ongoing endeavour. Whether it be at the primary school level, or for those with degrees, there is always a need to evolve the format to make it more accessible and engaging to those participating. Education has moved on from books, pencils and pens to the use of interactive technologies to help impart knowledge and understanding, and virtual reality is the next big step.

The education sector has already begun to adopt virtual reality for teaching and learning situations. The advantage of this is that it enables large groups of students to interact with each other as well as within a three dimensional environment. This is also why virtual reality training has taken off in recent years.

Potential ways to bring Virtual Reality into education events include:

Right now, much of the focus on virtual reality education is on the hard sciences — biology, anatomy, geology and astronomy — as the curricular focus and learning opportunities are notably enriched through interaction with dimensional objects, animals and environments.

This does not mean it should be restricted to these, however. Architecture, art, design and technology have various potential uses with the virtual reality format, making it a very versatile tool.

Other interesting uses of the technology includes in the coding and 3D design sectors. It can help visualise the more abstract parts of the coding process, and lets students reverse engineer electronics to help them understand better what exactly makes up the technology surrounding them.

Augmented reality is also a fantastic option for educational purposes. Imagine going through a museum, and having the fossils of dinosaurs come to life in full 3D.

The ultimate benefit of virtual reality and education is that it helps ignite the imagination and engages natural curiousity. Younger generations are more used to computers than many from older, so they tend to understand how to use virtual reality faster than older users.

A personal angle gets people invested, and the excitement of engaging with cutting edge technology makes it a fun prospect compared to other traditional mediums used for educational purposes. Inspiring that curiousity, and fuelling it, from a young age can only help improve the mindset of the next generations.

With options varying from inexpensive Google Cardboard to the more versatile headsets, there are plenty of options for using this for an educational event, useful for any setups required.