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7 Applications of Virtual Reality in Education

Education is gradually moving online and leaving the traditional classroom with the introduction of e-learning tools in recent years, paving the way for access to education outside the classroom.

This has seen the emergence of various distance learning programs that now make it possible for someone living in Europe to get a degree from a university on the Asian continent.

However, despite what the education sector has been able to achieve with the introduction of the internet in classrooms, there is still plenty of room for improvement in e-learning.

With researchers highlighting the need to introduce new ways of enhancing education with technology, here's how the applications of virtual reality in education can help improve the learning process.

Applications of Virtual Reality in Education

1. Distance Learning

With the e-learning tools currently available on the internet, most students struggle with technical issues, lack of motivation, feelings of isolation (lack of interaction with their teachers and fellow students) and staying focused.

Virtual reality will address these and other shortcomings of the current learning scope of distance learning.

With virtual reality, students get a better e-learning environment with virtual reality technologies, creating an immersive experience for students.

The immersive experiences will give the students a fun and interactive learning experience in a virtual environment where they won't feel isolated as other students and their teachers will be present in the 3D virtual environment with everyone interacting and sharing ideas like in a real-life classroom environment.

2. Experience-based Learning

Experience-based learning is another use of virtual reality in education.

If you ask most students, they will tell you that their experience during classes is boring because most of the time the teachers do the talking while the students just sit down and listen to and read what the teacher says and writes on the blackboard without actually having a practical learning experience.

With VR technology, students move from a “My teacher said” position to a “I saw” position.

With virtual reality, they not only learn by listening and reading; they also learn by seeing what what is being taught actually looks like in a 3D virtual environment with visual and auditory information that makes the students feel like they're part of what they're learning.

3. Boost Student Engagement Through Interactive Learning

Virtual reality is designed in a way that makes learning, teaching, training, and research more fun for both teachers and their students.

By creating an interactive immersive experience that makes the students keen on learning, VR offers a more practical approach to learning. 

Also read: Pros and Cons of Augmented Reality In Education

4. Alternative Method of Teaching

Some students hate attending classes, some hate their mathematics teacher, and others hate the practical exercises.

With virtual reality, teachers get an alternative way to pass their knowledge across to students, especially those who struggle with the traditional methods of teaching.

5. Game-Based Learning

The industry that has benefited the most from virtual reality since its inception is the gaming industry.

With virtual reality, video games have become a more fun, realistic, and interactive experience for gamers.

With virtual reality, the education sector can change the way games are used for learning.

Creating a game-based method of learning that increases motivation and engagement in students.

6. Virtual Field Trips

Fitting a field trip into the syllabus is hard; getting the timing right is even harder; and making the field trip a reality is the hardest.

Physical field trips come with several challenges, the most glaring of which is the fact that they're too expensive, stressful, and time-consuming.

Virtual reality will make field trips a reality, making it possible for teachers to take students on virtual field trips to places that would have been inaccessible physically.

To illustrate, a school in Australia will find it difficult to take their students to an amazing site in China (a place that may have been inaccessible and expensive), but with virtual reality they won't have to just resign to showing their students videos on the internet.

They will be able to present a realistic experience in an immersive virtual environment.

7. Skills Training

Application of virtual reality reality to practical skills training will obviously make the training better than showing the students videos on YouTube.

In addition, the interactive learning experience that virtual reality offers makes it possible to create realistic scenarios that students can learn from in a risk-free virtual environment where they get to practice the skills they learn.

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