In the coming year 2020 New Zealand's education sector will enjoy virtual reality as the new technology integration in the classroom for all schools. Why is this new implementation important and necessary?
The positive impact that students and teachers will notice as they use this emerging technology is significant for their learning and their future. In the following article you’ll discover the different reasons why utilizing virtual reality in the classroom is so beneficial.
Shift from Memorizing To Higher Order Thinking
VR-based immersive and experiential learning has the potential to create a deeper level of engagement with target topics, in a distraction free environment. Such an environment creates opportunities for students to focus and attend to a topic or idea, which should positively affect their retention rates of the subject matter. Of course, such retention rates cannot be legitimately expressed until longitudinal studies have been performed, but anecdotal data suggests there may be a link between VR and increased retention.
Building Better Learners
One of the possible advantages of VR is the opportunity to gain real-life experience in certain areas, which can be difficult to achieve, dangerous, or just plain expensive. VR can connect students with those experiences, from the most specialized skill-set training, such as welding practice, to performing simple lab experiments. With a look-see-do mode of learning, students are encouraged to choose, explore, manipulate, and comprehend subjects in a different way. Of course, this can only happen when there is active participation within the environment, and not as a passive observer.
Empowering the Teachers and Students
It’s highly beneficial for instructors to have a tool such as the VR at their disposal, but only if paired with the right content. Regardless of the medium, content is king, and always will be. Textbooks, videos and VR share one thing in common, that without proper, vetted content, they will undoubtedly end up collecting dust on a shelf.
VR should be properly set up for academic use, funneling data from a student device, to a teacher. This will empower teachers to better understand a student’s connection with the material being taught, to identify possible gaps in knowledge, and to attend to those issues in a timely manner. It would also make the experience much more relevant and more meaningful for both students and teachers.
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