Virtual reality in education, though still rather new, can no longer be thought of as a gadget, used for fun in a classroom. Many forms of research have been performed, the results of which are positive and encouraging, if not profound. A virtual environment offers a unique opportunity to catch and retain student attention, unlike anything else before. That may sound to be a heady claim, but where else can you feasibly attain the following:
This is the unique power of virtual reality, when used properly, and the economics of adding VR into a school environment obligates that this opportunity not be squandered. Respecting this chance to connect students with topics, ideas, and concepts means that a close examination of content must be enacted before purchase, to ensure that full value of this learning tool can be properly achieved. This also respects the fact that true value from a VR purchase lies in the veracity of the content. At Veative, we lay our content bare, for the entire world to see and explore. Here is but one example:
Due to some questionable claims we see in the market, it is important to make sure that everyone is armed with enough knowledge to make the best decisions for their own school needs. Let’s look at the ways that content can be created, and then later viewed on a VR headset.
(Refer to this Content Types sheet for a better understanding. Below is a synopsis.)
The cost and difficulty in making good, vetted, educational content, which is rich in features and function, makes it a tall order for most companies. This is why it is important to reserve this kind of investment for the most abstract, conceptually challenging topics that students face. Economics necessitates this type of prioritization. This is understandable
What is not understandable would be to make the following equation:
A simple 3D model may have a 1-word description (methane) and that is the extent. It is up to the teacher to fill in the rest. In this case, the value of buying a VR is to visualize only. However, a full learning module on methane could be 800-1000 words, with meaningful activities to perform, and interactivity inside the environment to drive learning. It is also voiced for students with reading or sight difficulties, and has on-screen text for those with hearing loss, or a preference to read. It is a meaningful activity trying to reach the minds of all students. One VR module could very easily be worth 100 models. At Veative, we have over 30,000 3D models and animations (that we have used in the making of our content library). It would be disingenuous to say we have 30,000 content pieces for learning. Those are building blocks, and not lessons.
Many of us in Veative are, or have been, teachers ourselves. As a company, we would never make a questionable claim with regards to content, trying to obfuscate the truth. We make our content available for all to judge, as this will be the most important part of your immersive learning purchase.
We ask our students to be critical thinkers, and we need to expect that of ourselves with regards to choosing how and what will be done in virtual reality.
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