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Virtual reality in education - how can it transform your classroom?

Not since the introduction of computers to the classroom has a technological advance threatened to reshape education quite as dramatically as Virtual Reality (VR).

It is easy to imagine what a powerful tool it would be for teachers. Students could strap on a headset each and be guided through a tour of ancient Rome, have Shakespeare deliver a reading of Macbeth or do a lap of the galaxy with Dr Spock as their host.

VR has the potential to bring lessons to life, lifting geography, history, the arts and sciences, humanities and, well, just about anything out of books and straight into a student’s consciousness.

It is not a thing of the future. VR is already helping inform young lives. Myriad articles, studies and conference presentations attest to the great success of 3D immersion and VR technology in hundreds of classrooms in educationally progressive schools and learning labs in the US and Europe.

Cost barriers are dropping as more technology companies focus on providing educational curriculum and content, teacher training and technological tools to support VR-based instruction in the classroom.

Google, for example, launched its Pioneer Expeditions project last September, in which thousands of schools around the world – including Australia – receive a free kit containing everything a teacher needs to take their class on a virtual trip: Asus smartphones, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, a library of 100-plus virtual trips (from the Great Wall of China to Mars) and Google Cardboard viewers or Mattel ViewMasters that turn smartphones into VR headsets.

“The power of VR is that it gives students a unique sense of connection to people and events,” says Peter Hobbins, Vita Enterprise Solutions’ Practice Lead for Mobility. “It’s only a matter of time before VR will be the standard teaching aid in schools and universities.”

Vita Enterprise Solutions is already positioning itself to meet the exciting challenges this technology will provide, teaming up with partners such as Samsung and virtual reality content developers to provide educational tools.

Our expertise in rolling out complex ICT solutions from end to end and providing ongoing device management and user support makes us the ideal partner to facilitate your VR project deployment. To find out more, contact us now

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