Bringing Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Into The Classroom

VR

There was a time when AR and VR were the stuff of science fiction. Then, there was a phase when they appeared to have little more value than as expensive novelties for the amusement and entertainment industries and costs were still very prohibitive.

Today, stand alone VR and AR materials are a lot cheaper than they were, but would not be considered cheap by any means. The uses and potential are now better understood and costs are continuing to drop. Both are seen to offer career options for the future and for this reason alone it’s important that children get some exposure to them. However, in addition, as time goes on, more and more are finding uses and benefits in education that are effective because of the highly immersive nature of the medium.

So, it becomes even more important to ensure that AR and VR are made accessible in schools. However, whilst this is very practical for well-off private schools or even public schools in countries with well funded education systems. Therefore, I am always pleased to see initiatives that bring free or cheaper AR and VR access to the education environment. In too many schools, even when financial assets are not a challenge, I’ve seen too many instances where these things are treated as some sort of novelty to be parked in an extra curricular activity  – then selected by a few children who happen to have an interest. In these situations i also often see the classes being lead by outsiders, companies that offer VR and AR services to the schools as a bolt-on activity. The ideal is for teachers to integrate VR and AR in to the existing curricula activities.  Too often, teachers will shy away from this approach because they are not the experts. However, far better to acknowledge this and figure it out alongside the pupils.

Here’s a very good Edutopia article that shares some resources;

Edutopia – 5 Worthwhile Augmented and Virtual Reality Tools

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