Posted in Blog on 14 April 2016
Across schools and colleges in the US, Virtual Reality (VR) is fast becoming the technology that teachers and students are talking about. While statistics on the use of VR are yet to be published, the large number of companies entering the field is a clear indicator of the potential this technology has to revolutionize learning in classrooms.
Let’s look at some recent examples of how Virtual Reality is currently helping students learn.
6th graders in Detroit are exploring the final frontier using zSpace Virtual Reality Labs that were installed earlier this year at Ebeling and three other elementary schools in the district. The schools are the first in Michigan to use the zSpace labs and among 250 districts that have added them across the nation.
Hawkeye Community College’s STEM Mobile Learning Lab, creates a virtual reality classroom space. Students wear 3-D glasses and explore programs in human anatomy, botany, zoology, earth science, microbiology, chemistry, engineering and paleontology.
Students in the San Francisco Unified School District and Polk County Public Schools in Florida are amongst the first to use Nearpod VR virtual reality lesson plans. Teachers are using this technology to send classes on virtual field trips of the ancient pyramids of Egypt, the caves on Easter Island, and important landmarks in the U.S.
Google recently announced that it is expanding its Expeditions Pioneer Program, which brings virtual reality field trips to classrooms using Google’s cheap, smart phone-based VR viewer, Cardboard. The goal is to expose students to places they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
Institutions are using virtual reality as a way to entice college athletes – one example is the University of Michigan Football program that gives potential recruits a chance to feel what it’s like to play in front of 100,000 screaming fans.
Design & Architecture
The benefit of using virtual reality in architecture has long been apparent. Drury University is one of the many architecture programs beginning to take advantage of this technology. Students are able to visit popular buildings and explore a construction sites before any work has even begun.
Toyota is using Oculus headsets as part of its TeenDrive365 campaign, to educate teenagers and parents about distracted driving.
The Medical Virtual Reality group at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies studies use cases of virtual reality simulation technology for clinical purposes.
Tagged in: Education Technology, virtual reality