Questions to consider when implementing Virtual Reality in the classroom.
Now that you have researched the view opposite of yours, how have your thoughts changed?
Do virtual worlds offer more advantages over more traditional learning environments?
Do virtual worlds give students a better learning experience than real world experiences?
How can we prevent our students from looking at virtual worlds as just games and view them as learning experiences?
Before I began this assignment I would have said I was on the fence in terms of my feelings around using virtual reality in the classroom. First, I would like to point out that I do see a tremendous benefit in students being able to use virtual reality as a tool to see, examine and evaluate what my not be possible to see with the human eye. This is especially true with many science concepts. Using virtual reality can help students to deepen their understanding of concepts that without this aid would be more challenging to visualize. However, one reservation that I have when using virtual reality in the classroom is when a teacher is having students work in isolation. In the past I have seen teachers use tools like these when students are working independently on their own device. I am a strong proponent of students communicating and collaborating in the classroom. I believe that a when done well communication and collaboration in the classroom promotes thinking and helps students to be more metacognitive around their learning and helps them to examine and evaluate their own ideas and the ideas of others.
I would like to propose that when using virtual reality teachers purposefully integrate collaborative work and opportunities for all students to communicate with each other. I see this as a very valuable piece in terms of students deepening their understanding of the content and ideas. For example Forbes recently reported virtual reality is currently being used as a way to increase the collaboration between engineers. In the past engineers might not have been able to work simultaneously on a project, but now advancements in technology and specifically in virtual reality have made this possible. According to Forbes, Visionary Render VR software allows companies to collaborate in new ways. “Users are able to access and experience, in real-time, an interactive and immersive VR environment created from 3D datasets. Engineers, marketers, project managers, and others involved in a product’s creation can virtually collaborate with each other as avatars.” In conclusion, its imperative when utilizing virtual reality in the classroom to not lose sight of the importance of communication and collaboration and to also recognize its importance in preparing our students to be successful in college and career.