Recently, Extreme Networks conducted a survey titled “Virtual Reality in the Classroom” for teachers, educators and teachers in elementary schools (K-12). Virtual reality is fundamentally changing education.
The exponential growth of computing, display graphics, audio processing, and tactile feedback combined with mobile computing and the Internet of things are creating real virtual environments – the experience which has been described as “mind-blowing.”
Current technology does not seem to like precursors presented by Nintendo Virtual Boy or Sega VR. Although the term virtual reality is the most common, the version that best fits the classroom is augmented reality; which combines a computer – generated objects and relates them to the real world. This allows students to see and touch virtual objects in 3D. They also see the teacher and other students to the extent that interact in the world of mixed reality.
Extreme Networks conducted a survey called Virtual Reality in the Classroom for teachers, educators and teachers in elementary schools (K- 12). The study found interesting data:
- 23% of respondents have used or attempted to use virtual reality in any educational initiative
- 53% of respondents are somewhat familiar with the concept of virtual reality and begin to investigate
- Only 5% of respondents use virtual reality in the classroom today.
- Science is the subject that monopolizes the use of virtual reality in the classroom.
- 68% of respondents believe that the use of virtual reality in the classroom encourages students to study.
- 47% think that not enough educational content for use in virtual reality.
- 32% of respondents are sure that the network infrastructure of your school/academic institution can support virtual reality technology.
The main challenge in conducting this survey is that virtual reality has an increasingly important role in education, but it will take time, perhaps years, to reach all schools.
Virtual reality is not used regularly and 40% of schools are still not sure whether they will use the technology in the future. Very few, only 3% are carrying out initiatives of virtual reality as a next step, teaching students how to code and create virtual content.
Some advances in virtual reality that have occurred since it was held in this survey are:
- Google has removed restrictions on Expeditions, the travel program of virtual reality. Google Expeditions is one of the virtual reality programs that is more ambitious and better reception for the quality of its content in virtual reality.
- Intel recently announced the Alloy Project, confirming the importance in the development of virtual reality, considering the size and importance of a player like Intel. In the words of the company: “Alloy Project is a solution that strengthens Intel RealSense technology; it will be offered in 2017 as an open platform.”
- Samsung Gear VR has become much more comfortable. It is one of the virtual reality systems more affordable in the market. Its weight is now ultralight, making it a perfect choice for young people.
In ISTE 2016, virtual reality sessions were very popular. The conference on technology in education joined by various sessions, panels and demonstrations of virtual reality in the classroom. Particularly impressive were the demonstrations ZSpace, Google and Lifeliqe.