All people know and understand what is altered, virtual, or imaginary reality because all human beings, from children to elderly adults, have fantasies and dreams. For most of us, such reality seems to be something unimportant and irrelevant when it comes to education, profession, or business and global economics. Perhaps, only artists, musicians, painters, and entertainers give credit to the phenomenon of virtual reality, and that is exactly the reason why IT companies began mass production and distribution of Virtual Reality headsets which allow people to simulate any visual and sound experience. However, VR technologies proved to be highly effective in the realm of education because they provide students with all the necessary means to develop communication skills, enhance the real-life experience, support specific needs of the disabled people, and develop empathy. Students who go crazy over the intimidating set of words ‘Pay, Essay, Writing’ and thus order their custom paper at services like Essay Bulls will avidly use the VR tech to enrich their academic writing skills.
Let’s take a look at 5 real uses of Virtual Reality in education.
1. Developing Communication Skills And Improvement of Literacy
Needless to say, language is one of the most important components of our lives because we communicate with other human beings via spoken or written language. Thus, life in a community is an endless sequence of dialogues, either successfully and mutually grasped, or misinterpreted. To make communication more quality, schools and educators make efforts to teach students how to speak, write and speak in public. However, to make the process of education more effective, tutors have to consider Virtual Reality because the immediacy of any experience helps students to establish the stronger association between the object or phenomenon itself and the word that signifies it. According to ClassVR, “the best way to build vocabulary and awareness of sentence structure is through real-world experiences. Early years educators around the world offer enriching, stimulating provision to their students every day – and virtual reality gives them an additional immersive tool.”
Moreover, Virtual Reality allows students who have paralyzing fear of public speaking to practice public appearances through special applications where students can see and hear hundreds of spectators gathered in a conference room; students’ task is to deliver a speech in front of the audience, maintaining eye contact and overcoming the trembling of voice.
2. Enlarging Real-Life Experience
Our time on Earth is relatively short, but the world is so vast, there are so many places we would like to visit, things we would like to try, and sites we would like to see. Quality education involves the enhancement of real-life experience because students have to broaden their horizons by receiving new knowledge and experience. Thus, during the process of education, students, so to say, travel in space and time to different historical and geographical locations. To achieve that goal and, thus, save both time and money, Virtual Reality can become a time machine for the students where they can receive new real-life experience. Interestingly, according to Emma Kennedy, “in some cases, children who experienced swimming with whales in a VR environment developed false memories of having visited SeaWorld in real life.” Therefore, VR assists education by enlarging real- life experience.
3. Supporting Specific Needs of the Disabled Students
Inclusive education is essential for public schools, but even the best conditions cannot provide disabled students with all the necessary life experience, such as swimming, or climbing, or running. However, Virtual Reality can compensate for the lack of active physical experience in the lives of handicapped students by opening up new learning opportunities for them. As Claudia Cahalane emphasizes, “For those who are physically disabled, Virtual Reality means the potential to try out-of-reach experiences such as climbing a mountain, skateboarding or swimming in the sea, perhaps for the first time.” In other Virtual Reality can partly remove the effects of disability, which hinder the process of learning.
4. Developing and Improving Empathy
The social and cultural well-being of the nation partly depends on the citizen’s abil-ity to sympathize with victims, needy people, and outcasts because, otherwise, the world would be indifferent about social problems. The best way to cultivate empathy during childhood is to tell stories and show some pictures related to the problems. For instance, students have to see some pictures of Nazi concentration camps to become more empathetic and compassionate. Or, for another example, students have to hear the explosions of some war in order to feel empathy towards soldiers and veterans. Virtual Reality allows teachers to provide their students with the best materials that cannot harm teenagers psychologically but are sufficient to develop and improve their empathy.
5. Receiving Workplace Experience
There are so many students who do not know which profession to choose because all their knowledge about the existing jobs are limited to what they see in parents’ lives and on TV. Nevertheless, vocation is the foundational element of everybody’s life, and that is the reason why Virtual Reality is needed for those who find it difficult to make up their minds regarding a future job. Thus, through Virtual Reality, students can experience various and numerous types of workplace activities such as fire fighting, patient care, auto repair, and animal care.
In conclusion, VR technologies proved to be highly effective in the realm of education because they provide students with all the necessary means to develop communication skills, enhance the real-life experience, support specific needs of the disabled people, and develop empathy. For example, Virtual Reality allows students who have paralyzing fear of public speaking to practice public appearances. Or, Virtual Reality allows teachers to provide their students with the best materials that cannot harm teenagers psychologically but are sufficient to develop and improve their empathy. Therefore, Virtual Reality is absolutely necessary for the educational process.