December 9, 2016
When it comes to education, nothing provides a better learning experience than a field trip. But with all the permission slips, bus fees, and rowdy children, out-of-classroom experiences are often much more work than teachers, administrators, and even parents can handle.
However, with recent advancements in virtual reality technology, field trips are going to be easier than ever. But new tech comes with a lot of caveats and benefits and taking both into consideration is important when it comes to testing out new tech, particularly on school-aged children.
Virtual reality has been primarily used to improve the entertainment experience. But with more and more uses becoming available every day, education seems like the next best move. Not only does it provide an inexpensive means of exposing students to new, educational settings, it seriously cuts back on the potential dangers of immersive education.
Chemistry, biology, and even physics classes deal with infamously dangerous materials, making protective eyewear a necessity in every classroom. But with virtual reality, students will have access to every experiment on the books without having to worry about chemical burns, gauged eyeballs, or an anvil falling on your head.
While virtual reality can provide an incredibly immersive education, there is naturally no substitute for real world experience. Students will inevitably be forced to come out from behind the VR headset and get their hands dirty with some actual experiments in order to truly get the education they deserve.
In addition to that, the regulatory and parental obstacles that will have to be hurdled could prove problematic for struggling educational systems. This could make the education gap that much more of an issue for poorer areas around the country.
Yes, technology is scary. And testing it out on kids is even scarier. But education is all about being prepared for the real world. Nothing better encapsulates the progress of humanity than the skillful use of technology.
Not only does using virtual reality to educate make sense from a core curriculum teaching stand point, but letting kids get more comfortable with the technology that will be a big part of their life will prove more beneficial than any biology class possibly could. As Whitney Houston once said, the children are our future, and virtual reality is going to be a big part of that future.
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