Education and virtual reality – a match made in heaven?

Teaching is constantly evolving and students crave new ways to learn. The use of novel and unique methods to teach have helped engage both teachers and learners and technology is paving the way. One area that is just beginning to enter the classroom is that of Virtual Reality (VR). VR opens the world up for students, allowing teachers to utilise another style of teaching that can motivate students and teach them things that were not possible to access before.

VR is not only immersive and engaging, but also a great way to teach theoretical concepts, personalise the experience and cater to different learning styles. Devices like the Lenovo Explorer can open up teaching in various subjects, from history, geography and science to art, design and mathematics.

Brian Hawkins from Stott Hoare said this can help change learning for the better, “Schools often struggle to make certain subjects interesting and exciting for students – VR is the first technology we have seen that really does give that totally immersive experience”.

Through VR, students can visit other countries, other time periods and other planets with ease. They can conduct experiments without risk. Teachers can help their class render abstract concepts and explore complex ideas. Art classes are transformed with the ability to create buildings and artefacts or model and test conceptual ideas that are difficult to physically replicate in the classroom.

This kind of learning has so many benefits for students and teachers alike. VR can boost motivation and shine a light on achievements. It can create a personalised experience that suits the student’s style of learning. Learning is more flexible and understanding is deepened.

According to the Virtual Reality Society, using VR in education offers:

  • An active rather than passive experience
  • An immersive experience that minimises distractions
  • Immediate engagement that suits limited attention spans
  • Exploration and a hands on approach aids with learning and retention
  • Help in understanding complex subjects and theories
  • An approach that suits all learning styles

Hassan Baickdeli, the Mobility & Smart Devices Lead ANZ for Lenovo, said VR gives the opportunity to not only consume content but also create content, “This really takes it to the next level and the immediate benefit we see from this is memory retention”. In fact, VR and the immersive experience have been proven to achieve a 75% increase in memory retention when applied in the classroom.

With students’ part of a digital generation and craving learning that is engaging and exciting, VR is a powerful tool but still very new to schools and there is a lot to consider in order to make it work for your institution.

If you want to see how VR and mixed reality could apply to your classroom, we can help. We can organise a demonstration and assist in implementing a VR solution like the Lenovo Explorer. Get in touch to find out more.

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