Computers and the Internet have long been an indispensable part of human life. One can buy food or clothes, find any information in a few seconds, contact a lawyer, a psychologist, an online essay editor or any other expert without much difficulty. But progress does not stop. Introducing virtual reality to all industries should become a new innovational step. Thanks to it, people will receive not only data but also more vivid experiences when learning.
Several years ago, most people perceived VR as just a fictional concept. But now, it ceased to be an entertaining toy or a whim of fashion and turned into an indispensable demonstrative instrument. VR is used in art, architecture, design, cinematography, medicine and, of course, education. This article will show you how this technology works and contributes to an efficient learning process.
What is wrong with a traditional educational system?
How do you think, are students excited with long lectures, outdated textbooks, purely theoretical discussions at seminars? An answer is obvious – no. As a rule, young people get bored after the first 10 minutes of a lesson. A professor should have a talent of a genius narrator to attract their attention, and not everyone can boast of such gift from God.
Students are not motivated to attend lectures and learn contentiously, become disengaged, avoid academic responsibilities by any means possible, prefer to order works from the academic writing services instead of performing assignments independently because all educational processes seem to be senseless and tedious. Professors complain that students are lazy and often do not want to realize the real problem: a current approach to learning needs drastic changes.
An old educational format is focused on providing ready facts. That is why modern graduates are erudite but do not know how to apply their knowledge when solving real-life tasks. In our progressive era, books are not enough to interest and benefit students. It is necessary to create conditions in which all data may be received through practical experiments. Such an approach will help learners comprehend intensive information flows, understand meaning of facts and not just take them for granted. VR may be of great use for implementing these changes.
Advantages of virtual reality for education
VR is a digital world full of boundless opportunities for development and learning. It can reflect real places and objects or immerse learners in a fantastic universe, just like a bright and fascinating video game. Guests of this world can interact with it, modify it, observe the results of their actions without any risks and material losses.
As a result, students make less cognitive efforts to understand what a professor wants to explain to them, can pay more attention to practice and acquire valuable skills. Learning becomes interactive and pleasant, motivates young people to strive for good academic results.
Book descriptions and illustrations will never awaken such feelings as VR. A person feels fully immersed in a topic, can study it from within, understand how certain rules and patterns work. It is very easy to forget that learning takes place in a digital world and a body stays in a classroom because a brain receives impressive and realistic images. Every lesson turns into an unforgettable adventure and brings many more benefits than traditional lectures.
Learning becomes more affordable. Not all educational institutions can conduct large-scale, expensive experiments. With VR, they can save money but receive the same perfect result. A professional chemistry lab may be fitted in one small device. Also, it is possible to learn to operate a jet without a jet itself.
An emotional response eliminates the problem of boredom in a classroom. Vivid experiences form memories and skills, help young people realize how certain things should be done. Learners do not get distracted from an educational process because they perform some actions and solve practical tasks constantly. All this contributes to the creativity and birth of new ideas.
VR application in learning
There are many ways to apply VR in education, and these are only the most popular of them:
- Virtual trips. It is much easier to learn historical, geographical, literary topics if one can see certain things instead of reading about them, feel time and place where some events happened. For example, when studying Egyptian pyramids, one can get to the era of the pharaohs and see how ancient people lived. When considering jungle fauna, one can walk in a tropical forest, see animals and birds. Students can even get to Mars surface without leaving a classroom. VR erases territorial boundaries and allows people to get to any place at any moment. Of course, it cannot replace real-life experience. But digital means are very useful when a trip is impossible due to safety or financial considerations.
- High tech learning. It is very hard for medical students to understand how a human body functions if they just read textbooks. With a VR headset, they can study anatomy and conduct virtual operations without using corpses or hurting any patient.
- Distance learning. Young people do not need to spend money and change their life drastically to move to a new country and pay for rent. If one wants to study at a foreign university, it is easy to do without even leaving home. Also, universities can invite foreign specialists to hold lectures for their students. VR allows all participants in an educational process to feel that they are in the same room and there is no distance between them.
- Virtual internships. When studying at a university, most students do not know what their working day will look like. Adult life seems to be something far and vague. But VR allows one to feel like a certified professional, try to perform official duties in a digital space. This helps young people to understand whether they move in the right direction. It often happens that graduates understand that they made the wrong choice only after getting a diploma. A virtual experience may save them from such disappointments. Persons satisfied with their major may prepare for work, and employers will spend less time to train them.
- Teamwork. When a student gets ill, it seems that one is isolated from the surrounding world. VR helps to communicate with groupmates and professors even if one stays at home.
Virtual reality technology is at the starting stage now. It has great potential and bright development prospects. Its prevalence in educational institutions is just a matter of time. More and more innovations will appear each year, and learning process will become more interactive and practically oriented.