Over the last several years, virtual reality (VR) has moved from being the purview of the military and aviation to the mainstream of professional development, as managers, instructors, coaches and therapists have claimed increasing benefit from immersive experiences.
Much of this early foray into VR-based learning has centered on the hard sciences — biology, anatomy, geology and astronomy — as the curricular focus and learning opportunities are notably enriched through interaction with dimensional objects, animals and environments.
The content share of this market is of particular interest, as this segment of the tech industry has historically been dedicated to gaming — but the world is changing. We are shifting from the now relatively universe to a VR paradigm
While statistics on VR use in K-12 schools and colleges have yet to be gathered, the steady growth of the market is reflected in the surge of companies solely dedicated to providing schools with packaged educational curriculum and content, teacher training and technological tools to support VR-based instruction in the classroom.
Perhaps the most utopian application of this technology will be seen in terms of bridging cultures and fostering understanding among young students.
In other areas of education, many classes have used VR tools to collaboratively construct architectural models, recreations of historic or natural sites and other spatial renderings. Instructors also have used VR technology to engage students in topics related to literature, history and economics by offering a deeply immersive sense of place and time, whether historic or evolving.
Potentially, a collaboration between these innovative VR platform offerings could result in a curator or artist guiding a group of thousands around a museum exhibition or cultural site, or an actor or professor leading a virtual master class in real time with students from all over the world.
Educators and students alike are seeking an ever-expanding immersive landscape, where students engage with teachers and each other in transformative experiences through a wide spectrum of interactive resources. In this educational reality, VR has a definitive place of value.