01 Feb 2018

VIRTUAL REALITY: BENEFITS TO LEARNING

In today’s world, “glueing” up with technology from games to mobile apps use has become a norm among the younger generation, however, bring it up into their learning environment will be of great benefit to their learning pedagogy.

Virtual Reality, in simple term, is an artificial computer-generated world that can be experienced and interacted with. This term refers to experiences where the user or player uses special technology equipment to block out the real world and to be in the version of the real world. VR is usually delivered to the user through a head-mounted or hand-held controller. Such equipment connects people to the virtual world and allows them to control and navigate their actions in an environment similar to the real world.

With virtual reality in the classroom, you could bring the benefits of trips or excursion and real-life experience to the classroom without the logistics or expense needed for an educational trip.

Imagine sitting in a classroom and taking a trip to The Great Wall of China, Sahara dunes in Tanzania, Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe or you can also be on exploration of history at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or at the Mountain gorillas in Rwanda while still seating in the class.

It can make the disengaged digital age student from being slumped on the desk and transport them to a place where learning is fun, engaging, dynamic and retentive. For instance, a student interested in surgery or medicine can learn how to operate or even fix a broken ankle or work on the internal organ of the body in a virtual environment. This will allow him to develop his passion and skills more quickly.

The benefits of this concept include the ability to share numerous experiences in ‘real life’ kind of simulation, and facilitating access to school for learners living in remote communities. Similarly, it makes possible for students to choose the subjects of their interest, and to specialize in the areas where they know they will excel.

Virtual reality gives learners a learning experience that is active rather than passive. Experts have backed this up claiming VR technology has been shown to improve users’ performance in tasks and to interact using natural techniques

Helping students to understand complex subjects and theories. Subjects like history, literature, medicine, engineering etc. and other subjects that are theory based sometimes prove to be quite uninteresting and complex to students but virtual reality technology will make learning these subjects simpler and more interesting.

Virtual reality also lead to immediate engagement, just like when on excursion or field trip, students get excited mere thinking of going outside the school wall and immediately they get to the site, they get really intrigued. This is exactly how virtual reality will turn learning, students will be engaged with the virtual world and experience what they are learning, this will limit distractions in class, aids their exposure, their exploration, learning and the of course retention.

There are some students who engage in the use of technology than the other and virtual reality is better taught with some subjects then others, however, blended learning approach can be adopted in learning in which a mix of traditional teaching method and computed based learning like virtual reality to meet the needs and learning styles of all students and give awesome learning experience for all.

 

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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