Virtual reality worlds and education

The virtual reality is an interface through technology creates a virtual environment. With visual, sound and tactile effects, simulations of reality are created to make the user believe that he really is in an environment that exists. At the beginning this technology was applied mostly in games, but every time new possibilities of use are discovered. One of them is education.

How can virtual reality be applied to education?

Through technology children are transported and despite what many say, they develop their imagination, creativity and learn. They have fun in an innovative environment and discover many possibilities. Do children not quickly learn the dynamics of video games? They develop strategies without knowing that they are doing it and can spend a lot of time entertaining in this way.

It seems an unfair competition. On the one hand, a world full of possibilities and on the other, something monotonous. However, technology and education do not need to be on opposite sides. They can work together, with the same objective and when that is the case. With virtual reality it is possible to make an excursion to Machu Picchu, visit the pyramids of Egypt or take a walk through the Louvre. We can even go further, such as exploring the lunar surface for example. What is now taught in theory, technology will allow us to do it in a more practical way. Thus, learning becomes more experiential and lasting, without it being a boring and tired task.

Due to virtual reality this will also be possible. Instead of watching a video about the fall of the Berlin Wall, how about witnessing it? Learning through “experience” is a unique way, not only to obtain historical data, but also to have other types of perceptions that only experience can give us.

Transporting ourselves to a totally different reality, can allow us another kind of perception of what we see in the news. The news shows us the refugee crisis, for example. But witnessing it with the help of virtual reality can be a necessary experience to humanize ourselves more and seek a fairer society.

This application brings interactive science, language and art classes. With this application you can explore, for example, the ecosystem of a distant region. They are lessons created for primary school students where they can learn in a more playful way the most diverse topics.

Much has been said – and written – about how virtual reality can change the current educational model. Without going any further, in this same space we told you a year ago everything that virtual reality could do one day for the education of young people and also for the way teachers teach. Almost everything comes down to that “someday”. But it turns out that day has arrived.

Using HTC Vive equipment and AMD computers, the institute enabled four full classrooms in which 1,700 students agreed to participate in the experiment. In each session, 150 students distributed in the four classrooms used the equipment, but always following a strict schedule, necessary for the study to be reliable.

During the first two weeks the teachers were trained in this technology and developed strategies to integrate the use of virtual reality into the curriculum of the course. From the third week on, the use of the teams with the students started. Because there were only a few glasses per classroom, the use was in turn, but at all times was projected on a giant screen what the user was seeing, so that the experience could be extended to the rest of the class.

Different software programs developed specifically for this experiment, like other tools such as Google Earth VR, served to integrate in many subjects the use of virtual reality with surprising results. Ashley Ross, a professor of Information Technology at Hunters Lane, commented that in her class, “the use of virtual reality has helped students retain knowledge more efficiently I will Pay Someone To Do my Assignment.”

Case of success

One of the most important fairs on higher education and technology in the world, in a crowded auditorium, responsible for the company’s NET + program Internet- gave an interesting lecture about the real possibilities that virtual reality offers to the education sector. After several days enjoying numerous presentations and success stories about how different centres – mostly American – apply technology to teach daily, one of the most surprising – and unexpected – event conferences came.

Fineman not only reviewed all the virtual reality devices that can be found in the current market, but also gave surprising figures about its penetration in the market. For example, he stressed that Samsung had sold more than two million Gear VR glasses in 2016. But without a doubt the most interesting part of his presentation were the success stories he cited.

The firm Alchemy Learning has launched a program using the virtual reality platform Oculus Rift. In this program students can make virtual educational visits to places that, due to their geographical location, they could not visit on a regular basis. Thus, for example, students at the Arlington Science School can now study at the Smithsonian Museum or take a trip through the Amazon studying its flora and fauna without moving from the classroom.

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