The Reality of New Technologies in the Classroom

Virtual reality has taken the educational world by storm over the past few years, allowing students from ages five to eighteen the chance to partake in various simulations that contest the world of reality. From creating 3D art to traversing the globe, virtual reality utilizes technology in a groundbreaking way, granting students the opportunity to learn and grow like never before. It may sound like there are no cons to incorporating virtual reality into the school curriculum. There are, however, some common misconceptions regarding VR and how it can enhance education.  Here, the team of edtech professionals at SchoolMart outline 3 of these misconceptions and whether they are true or false:

FALSE: 360 Virtual Reality Field Trips Provide Students With a True Understanding of a New Place or Culture

A field trip’s main benefit for a student’s education is the physical and social context of visiting that particular destination. With virtual reality, students may use glasses and headphones to “visit” a field trip destination to the best of the teacher’s ability. This method, however, does not allow students to become fully immersed in this new place or culture. While some students may argue that VR is a “cool” way to experience something new without actually having to leave their classroom, others suggest that there is no comparison to being physically present in a different place and interacting with real people. 

FALSE: The Largest Obstacle to Using Virtual Reality in the Classroom is The Implementation of Technology

It is not to say that technology implementation is not an obstacle to incorporating VR into the classroom but to express that there are actually several other hurdles that may have more of an impact. Many teachers find VR exciting to use at first, but over the course of the school year, they become more frustrated, eventually resorting back to their original methods of teaching. Not only does VR invite  common technological problems, but other obstacles as well, such as administration approval, physical classroom infrastructure, and both IT and parent support. Before deciding to introduce VR to the classroom, schools should evaluate their particular situations in order to determine whether the incorporation of VR will reap more benefits than costs. 

FACT: Using Virtual Reality With a Strategic Purpose Can Be Beneficial For Students

No matter the device or platform, technology should always add something to the classroom environment, whether that means extending into future learning, enhancing a current activity, or encouraging student engagement. For example, if a teacher has an idea to facilitate a quiz through a virtual reality environment only to make their classroom more “engaging,” is that really a worthy use of VR? Developing new activities, assessments, and ways of learning will most definitely prove to be a challenge for future educators. Teachers will need to learn and understand the difference between whether VR is actually bringing real value to a student’s learning or if it is simply making it “more fun.”

Consult With an EdTech Profesional at SchoolMart To Learn More

It is no question that virtual reality will have a massive impact on education or an even greater one than it has already. It is important to remember, however, that with amazing new technology developments, there can be downsides. That is why SchoolMart encourages educators to remain cautiously optimistic about the potential of virtual reality in the classroom setting. To learn more about the great potential of VR and its role in education, contact an edtech professional today by visiting our website.