The arrival of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology has sparked a new dawn in education for all ages, but nowhere is this more pronounced than in our schools.
While young people might be across some of the latest apps and new technology outside school hours, the realm of learning in schools is still one where teachers are the guiding lights – even in the most student-centred settings.
As more schools invest in developing their technological nous, investing in STEM initiatives and e-learning specialists to create new opportunities for students, the way in which we use technology in the classroom continues to evolve.
VR and AR technology is one of the most immersive educational tools we’ve seen. Its application is vast and diverse – and unlike the walls of most classrooms, VR and AR technology can break through space, while bringing students along too.
At TFE Solutions, we recognise that technology is evolving, redefining how we teach and learn. As former STEM teachers, tech gurus and academics, it’s one of the reasons we love introducing schools to their first experience of VR and AR.
For students, teachers and schools, VR and AR technology brings countless benefits to any classroom. Google Expeditions – one of our most popular VR products – can take students on hundreds of virtual field trips, to places in the past and present.
From the trenches of World War One or ancient Egypt, the solar system or the Great Barrier Reef, Google Expeditions allows students to move through and interact with new environments as if they were really there.
Such an immersive style of learning is one of the many reasons why VR and AR are being praised for their ability to transform classrooms. By literally breaking down the walls, floors and ceilings, students can now experience new subjects for themselves.
Five more benefits of bringing VR and AR technology into the classroom include:
- Students are more likely to retain information and remember their learning experiences in a sensory and hands-on setting like Google Expeditions.
- Creating immersive learning experiences means fewer distractions and a more direct and personal level of engagement for all students.
- By experiencing subjects in VR and AR settings students are more likely to develop different neural pathways for making sense of complex information.
- Google Expeditions and other products like it are designed to cater to all learning styles, but especially the visual, aural, social, verbal and physical.
- Introducing students to VR and AR in school helps to develop their curiosity about the world beyond, developing empathy and life-long learning skills.
At TFE Solutions, we work with teachers and schools to adapt VR and AR technology to suit each classroom and school environment, providing professional development for teachers and hundreds of lesson plans to enhance new learning.
Once schools have adopted VR and AR technology into their curriculum, students then have the opportunity to build their own expeditions, recording their own footage and creating new learning experiences for their peers.
This adaptable new technology is changing the very definition of our classrooms – for good.