With the research I conducted this week my viewpoint on virtual reality has not changed much. I still see a lot of educational value in the use of virtual reality and simulation tools. What the research has shown me is how to be more aware of some of the possible setbacks of the tool and how to counteract some of the negative results. For example, isolation or escapism can be combatted by limiting the amount of time students are engaged within this type of environment. It can also be combatted by having students discuss their learning together as a group after each virtual reality lesson. This gives them the in person connections with one another.
The health side effects are fairly minor and fairly common at this point. One way to help students prevent these types of issues is by promoting digital literacy among students. Teachers can provide them with demonstrations on how to properly use and interact with wearable devices. Additional electronic resources can be provided so that students may revisit literacy topics on their own as well. Finally, educators can provide students with some warning signs and what to do should they experience any adverse effects from using the device.
The one area I became more aware of through my research was in regards to safety. Many technology tools pose safety concerns and virtual reality is no different. However, I was astounded by how much safety could be of a concern in the virtual world. The biggest impact came from the PBS article in which Jeremy Bailenson discussed how these tools tracked user movement to predict behavior outcomes. Another item he mentioned was how developers have been experimenting with morphing a person’s image with another person’s image to get viewers to form a connection with that person. The example they gave was presidential candidates. It is concerning to think about how that can be used to compromise student safety. Clear digital safety measures would be the best way keep students safe in this environment.
While overall my views on virtual reality have not changed the research conducted for this week has made me aware of possible issues. By being aware I can help students avoid these obstacles and receive the full benefit of this learning tool.
Solman, P. (2013). Seeing Is Believing: Using Virtual Reality to Change You and Society. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/seeing-is-believing-using-virtu...
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