Imagine walking along the rim of an active volcano or seeing ancient Roman ruins come to life before your eyes. Nowadays, you don’t necessarily have to imagine. Immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) bring vivid experiences like these to the classroom, with advocates highlighting the technology’s ability to inspire and grab the attention of young minds.
VR technology has evolved to the point where it is actually realizing its potential. And in terms of education, the implications could prove especially profound. If you are still on the fence about whether or not you should give VR a try in your school, here are 7 key benefits of VR in education.
1. Focused Immersion
This is somewhat of a logistical factor but does bear mentioning. The very nature of VR being framed inside a headset means that the learner is less prone to distractions in their physical surroundings. The immersive nature of VR means that learners are literally engulfed with learning and this, in turn, is a key factor in the retention of information.
The technology offers personalized learning that has been linked to greater academic progress and to deeper learning on a neurological level. The more a student takes their learning personally, the more and more deeply they take it in. And once a subject inspires a student, their brain actually changes and they are more receptive.
2. Multi-Sensory Experiences
Whilst tablets added touchscreen functionality to the multimedia experience of digital content, they don’t come with the kinesthetic experience afforded by virtual reality. Presence as the true magic of VR allows you to live a story rather than being a passive observer. It has the potential to make students think, feel, and even change their behavior.
Students can actually be inside of the experience and see in 3D what they would have previously only seen in a photo or illustration. This experiential knowledge deepens understanding in a way that two-dimensional books and ever computer screens cannot.
3. Increased Engagement
These days, millennials may perceive conventional classroom studying a bit boring. Research has shown that we remember 10% of what we read and up to 90% of what we do or simulate. It is scientifically proven that virtual reality keeps the user fully engaged and immersed in their new environment. It is an active rather than a passive way of learning.