Immersive reality is bumping us into the deep end, virtually speaking. Colleges and universities large and small are launching new labs and centers dedicated to research on the topics of augmented reality, virtual reality and 360-degree imaging.
In addition to computers, students of today often have access to such tech as smart boards and tablets as learning aids. In fact, technology has become so integrated into education that many are looking to once-futuristic, now realistic tech such as augmented and virtual realities (AR and VR) to lead the way in the next-generation classroom.
Augmented and virtual reality tools are enhancing biology and health and wellness classes for K-12 students through safe, virtual labs and field trips that go inside the body. Growing demand for mixed reality content, to increase engagement, has sparked a wave of creativity in how immersive tools are used in the classroom, especially in traditionally abstract topics such as math and computer science.
For teachers that have always wanted to use augmented reality in the classroom -- technology that superimposes digital images on top of a view of the real world through a smartphone or other mobile device -- but haven’t had the chance to explore it, author, speaker and edtech consultant Jaime Donally has some suggestions.
Virtual and augmented reality in the classroom has proved to be effective for history and chemistry lessons. However, a new use for these tools is now emerging: teaching computer science. Currently, one of the few setbacks to integrating virtual reality is a lack of readily available content. While this may seem like a negative, it opens a new door for teachers to encourage students to explore the world of coding and create their own virtual reality worlds.
In a new study by Cornell University, scientists explored whether the compelling, immersive nature of virtual reality (VR) provides a better learning outcome than conventional hands-on activities. The study provides better intellect how the novelty of technology affects how people use it.
The United States Department of Education is betting on virtual reality to help students with high-functioning autism and learning disabilities in schools across the country. This month the Office of Special Education and Programs announced its investment of $2.5 million toward a new program that will use VR to nurture social skills in students with disabilities - an extension on earlier funding for versions of the program designed for desktop and tablets in 2011.
Picture this: You’re walking through an organic chemistry lab on NC State’s campus. You put on your safety goggles and follow the professor over to a whiteboard, checking out the equipment around you along the way. A pretty standard student experience, right? It would be, except for the fact that you’re actually sitting at your kitchen table in front of your laptop.
Can being in the middle of an opera take your mind off pain? Here at the University of Maryland, scientists are studying the therapeutic value of experiencing a virtual-reality recording of Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites.” The hope is that, at least in some situations, the distraction of an immersive virtual experience can provide pain relief without having to turn to opioids.
Immersive technologies such as virtual reality and 3D scanning are becoming so hot that educators across the country are beginning to roll them out for students of all ages. The problem is that, while technologies blending elements of the physical and digital worlds in simulated environments offer enormous academic value, too many institutions fall prey to what I call the “buy it and forget it” approach.