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The rapid development of technology could not but affect the educational process. Although virtual reality technology is not that new, it is being used in education since relatively recently.
There are several reasons for the spread of virtual reality technology in education:
- Reduced price of technical equipment. Over the past few years, the prices of modern VR devices have decreased, making them more affordable.
- The rapid growth of software for virtual reality. To date, there are several thousand different applications for VR and their number is increasing every day.
- The growth in the volume of investments in VR is more than $2.5 billion per year. This figure has been growing steadily since 2012 and does not plan to significantly stop its growth soon.
- The increase in the number of large companies working in VR. Giants such as Oculus, HTC, Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, Walmart, and many others have been implementing their technologies in this field for a long time.
- The introduction of virtual reality technology in many areas: oil and gas industry, engineering, energy, metallurgy, telecommunications, advertising, and many others. Virtual reality has long ceased to be just a game story and is actively being implemented in all areas of human activity.
5 Reasons to Use Virtual Reality in Education Today
Multimedia modeling capabilities have long attracted educational enthusiasts. They strive to create a visual environment for students that allows them to easily understand and master the complex abstract concepts and laws of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and other subjects. VR technologies allow the user to fully immerse themselves in the world created by computer technology, and that is its main advantage.
Here are several other advantages of the immersive approach in education:
Virtual space allows you to view in detail objects and processes that are impossible or very difficult to trace in the real world. For example, the anatomical features of the human body, the work of various mechanisms, etc. Flying into space, diving hundreds of meters underwater, traveling through the human body-VR opens up enormous possibilities.
In a virtual world, a person is virtually unaffected by external stimuli. You can concentrate fully on the material and assimilate it better.
The scenario of the learning process can be programmed and controlled with high accuracy. In virtual reality, students can conduct chemical experiments, see outstanding historical events, and solve complex problems in a more fun and understandable way.
In virtual reality, you can perform complex operations without any risks, hone your transport management skills, experiment, and much more. Regardless of the complexity of the scenario, the students will not harm themselves or others.
Based on the experiments already conducted, it can be argued that the effectiveness of training using VR is higher than of the classical methods.
We should also mention that virtual reality contributes to the gamification of the learning process. A significant part of the information can be submitted playfully. And in the same way, reinforce what you’re learning, conduct practical exercises, and much more. Thus, the dry theory becomes clear, understandable, and much more interesting. This further engages students and increases the effectiveness of education.
In general, the modern generation is very lucky in terms of education. A huge number of technical developments, programs, and services help achieve academic success in college.
How to Use VR Technology in Education?
Many contemporaries perceive virtual reality as something distant and inaccessible to the average user. Others believe that virtual reality is a technology exclusively for games. In fact, both are wrong.
VR is already here and available to everyone, at least with the most budget-friendly virtual reality headsets.
We can find educational VR content in a variety of sources, such as:
- VR apps in the App Store, Google Play, or Steam directories. In these services, there are several dozen of the most diverse applications aimed at learning and gaining new skills.
- YouTube videos created specifically for VR. Videos in the 360-degree format are becoming more popular every day. YouTube contributes to this perfectly.
- Special programs from developers working in the field of education. As a rule, they are made to order and created for specific tasks.
- Many of the offers are available completely free of charge. Plus, there are demo versions that allow you to try out the technology and decide whether you are ready to pay for a specific offer.
Existing Educational VR Projects
If you think that today there are too few VR programs for training, we hasten to assure you of the opposite. There are a lot of them in a variety of areas. Moreover, some are quite highly specialized.
So, here are several interesting educational programs that can be used right now.
1. Universe Sandbox 2
A real space simulator in which students can visually see how gravity, climate, and physical interactions work in space.
2. The Body VR
One of the best travel simulators inside the human body, designed for medical students. Allows you to travel through the blood vessels, see real cells and deadly viruses.
3. Google Earth VR
It allows you to see the world’s attractions in full growth and consider them from all sides. The Egyptian Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls – all the most unique objects are getting closer than ever.
4. 3D Organon VR Anatomy
This is the world’s first atlas of human anatomy in VR. It contains more than 4,000 realistic anatomical models.
5. The VR Museum of Fine Art
The VR Museum of Fine Art opens up the most famous museum exhibits, without protective glass, crowds of tourists, and security guards. And with the ability to see every detail thanks to the excellent graphics.
Besides that, there are large coursework companies that accept orders to create educational content for training. That is, a school or university may order a unique program and use it in its educational process.
We are on the threshold of a completely new stage in the development of the entire educational sphere. Technologically advanced, efficient, and really exciting. And you can take the first step towards this future right now.