Education in 3D
The days of books, pencils and pens is fast become a thing of the past. Education is now integrating interactive technologies to help impart knowledge and understanding to the youth, and virtual reality is the next stop. The ability to introduce practical knowledge to the classroom without actually leaving it, makes educational experience invaluable.
Student experiences are no longer confined to just observing. They can now be transported into a completely different world where they can interact with programmed scenarios as if it were reality. It can change the way we learn about our world and even the way we live in it.
Students remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see and up to 90% of what they do or simulate. This is where virtual reality comes in. Students can now interact with the virtual environment in person and manipulate the various objects within it. It makes it possible to present complex learning to students in a way which is both fun and easy to learn. Plus, these students can interact with objects in that environment in order to discover more about them. For example, astronomy students can learn about the solar system and how it works by physical engagement with the objects within. They can move planets, see around stars and track the progress of a comet.
Another revolutionary field for virtual reality is in medicine. This makes surgery simulations or three-dimensional images of the human body possible for students.
Students need inspiration and encouragement in order to keep them yearning to explore and discover. It can also bring people together from around the world to engage and interact — regardless of social, economic or geographic differences.
Despite the fact that virtual reality is still in its developmental stages, real progress has been seen in the economic scaling of the technology. The cost of virtual reality hardware devices, such as Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR, has steadily declined making it more accessible to consumers.
As this kind of technology becomes more affordable, it will filter through to developing countries. This may be exactly what learners from these parts of the world need to leapfrog into a standard of education that is on par with the rest of the world. This is just another innovation that may define a new age of education, where access to high-quality education is no longer a privilege of the few.