Virtual Reality and Education

Education is another area which has adopted virtual reality for teaching and learning situations. The advantage of this is that it enables large groups of students to interact with each other as well as within a three dimensional environment.

It is able to present complex data in an accessible way to students which is both fun and easy to learn. Plus these students can interact with the objects in that environment in order to discover more about them.

Virtual reality astronomy

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. This also enables them to see how abstract concepts work in a three dimensional environment which makes them easier to understand and retain.

This is useful for students who have a particular learning style, e.g. creative or those who find it easier to learn using symbols, colours and textures.

One ideal learning scenario is medicine: virtual reality can be used to develop surgery simulations or three dimensional images of the human body which the students can explore. This has been used in medical schools both in the UK and abroad.

The use of virtual reality in medicine is discussed in a series of separate articles in the virtual reality and healthcaresection.

Virtual reality and tech-savvy children

Then there is the fact that children today are familiar with all forms of technology and use these at school as well as at home. They have grown up with technology from a very early age and unlike adults, do not have any fear or hesitation in using it.

Plus we live in a technological society. So it makes sense to implement virtual reality as one of several forms of technology in order to educate tomorrow‘s technological elite. Education has moved on from books, pencils and pens to the use of interactive technologies to help impart knowledge and understanding.

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