What Is the Impact of using Virtual Reality in the Classroom?
In teaching, you get used to things coming and going: teaching initiatives, curricula, assessment tools, approaches. Sometimes it seems that you can be just getting used to a way of working and then it changes. What really stands the test of time in teaching? Whatever it might be will need to have an impact on students’ learning otherwise what is the point of it? So, what is the impact of using virtual reality in the classroom?
We’ve lost count of the number of times we have have heard that you can tell how good a lesson is within a few seconds. This snapshot may not be representative of the entire lesson but it says a lot about student attitudes and behaviours. This is key. If your students are captivated by what they are learning about, they become the driving force; they are eager to learn more and incredibly they can’t wait to tell others about what they have discovered.
An increasing number of schools using VR are opting to have their students work in partners and it is easy to see why. The students talk. They talk like you rarely see them talk within the classroom. Why? Because they want to. They are not discussing something abstract because it is what they’ve been asked to do which inevitably ends up with the same few being very vocal about what they already know and the same many sitting back and trying to look busy or desperately try and think of something to say when an adult approaches. With VR, they describe their experience; something that they are used to doing. Their partners ask questions which help develop their descriptions or perhaps make them think more deeply about what they are seeing, challenging misconceptions or assumptions.
It is like when you give your class a few minutes to chat with their friends about what they did over the holidays. If they have experienced something exciting, they will be eager to share that with their peers. With VR, they can talk about it at the same time as experiencing it, meaning increased levels of enthusiasm and detail in their descriptions.
Whether you are eager to embrace new technology or you find yourself fearful of changes in the classroom, the impact of using ClassVR cannot be ignored.