The use of virtual reality in education is now a reality (if we may say so again). The digital ecosystems that the education sector uses today increasingly incorporate this technology, creating more training content for them, like VR learning games.
But what exactly is virtual reality, and how can it be applied in the education sector? We will define the concept and list its benefits in the following lines. We will also propose a series of VR learning games to apply such immersive technology.
What is virtual reality?
Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that allows users to interact with a virtual environment in an immersive way. VR is often used in gaming and entertainment but can also be used in medical, military, training, and other applications. Users can use special devices, such as VR glasses or gloves, to interact with the environment naturally and feel like they are really there.
Through this technology, we can access new realities generated in a 100% digital way in which users can interact with each other and with everything around them. An example of this is the already well-known metaverse.
Differences between virtual and augmented reality
There is often a tendency to confuse augmented reality (AR) with virtual reality (VR).
And the truth is that they are similar technologies that allow users to interact with a virtual environment. However, there are some crucial differences between the two.
Virtual Reality is an entirely virtual environment created and projected through devices such as VR glasses or gloves. Users are entirely immersed in this environment and experience a sense of immersion.
On the other hand, Augmented Reality is a technology that adds virtual elements to the real world rather than creating a completely virtual environment.
Augmented Reality can be used to overlay information or virtual elements onto a camera image on the phone or in a video game played on a console. Users can interact with these virtual elements through the screen of their device.
Virtual reality and education: why is it important for the sector?
Can you imagine students walking among dinosaurs? Or a medical student performing surgery? Virtual reality can offer students various opportunities to learn and experience in ways that would not be possible in the real world.
Well, with virtual reality, all this can be possible. Let’s look at several benefits that this increasingly developed technology can bring.
Benefits of virtual reality for education
VR can have several applications in education. Some ways in which it can benefit education are:
- Allowing students to experience environments and situations that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reproduce in the real world, such as traveling through time or exploring the bottom of the ocean.
- Facilitating the visualization and understanding of abstract concepts, such as the solar system or the structure of atoms.
- Helping students develop practical skills, such as surgery or equipment maintenance, through immersive simulations.
- Promoting collaboration and teamwork through group activities in virtual environments.
- Offering students the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in a self-directed manner through VR online learning platforms.
In summary, VR can offer students a wide range of opportunities to learn and experience things that would not be possible in the real world.
5 excellent educational apps that use VR
VR learning games can be an effective and engaging way for students to learn new concepts and skills. VR games can provide a fun and interactive way for students to practice what they have learned and apply their knowledge in a simulated environment.
One advantage of VR learning games is that they can provide students with a sense of immersion and motivation. The interactive nature of VR games can help keep students engaged and encourage them to continue learning.
In addition, VR learning games can be tailored to different learning styles and difficulty levels, making them suitable for a wide range of students. They can also be used to assess the progress and achievements of students, which can provide valuable feedback for both students and teachers.
Here we leave some examples:
- The Body VR: Journey Inside a Cell is a VR game that allows students to explore the inner workings of a cell in a fun and interactive way.
- Museum of Other Realities is a VR game that allows students to explore and learn about different historical and cultural topics through virtual exhibits and interactive experiences.
- The VR Museum of Fine Art allows students to explore and learn about famous works of art in a virtual museum setting.
- VirtualSpeech VR Language Learning helps students learn and practice new languages through interactive exercises and simulations.
- Anatomy 4D is a VR game that allows students to explore and learn about the human body in a 3D environment.
And as a final gift, we leave you two more applications. They are not games, but they can be used to immerse your students in incredible journeys and make them visit exotic places.
– National Geographic Explore VR is an application that allows you to travel to Machu Pichu or visit Antarctica from your classroom.
– Google Earth VR: Why not take a walk through the streets of any city thanks to Google maps?
If your company or institution decides to use any of these applications, you should keep in mind that the identification and security of students should be a priority, also in virtual reality.
SMOWL products can help you in this task. Ask us for a free demo to learn all the advantages that proctoring can bring you if you decide to implement virtual reality in education.
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