I used to think that VR was tailored to the gaming world and was a niche product with limited shelf life.
Now, I think that VR is getting to the point where it is gaining in recognition to be used in a myriad of industries and due to the advancements in technology, could lead to viable training for real life situations.
Currently, Virtual Reality (VR) consists of technology that enables a user to become immersed and interact within a three-dimensional environment (Reality Technologies, n.d.). While technology now allows for realistic scenarios there continues to be questions about the actual pedagogy utilized to build authentic learning (Fowler, 2015).
My interpretation is that VR continues to become more realistic as technology evolves which can then lead to integration of the technology into learning environments. Going forward, companies and educators will have to ensure that they use the technology to enhance or grow the learning environment rather than just utilize VR for the “coolness factor”.
As technology evolves and costs start to drop, I predict that the use of VR will become more commonplace within a learning context which could encompass traditional schooling (why just talk about a historical event when you can immerse yourself right into that environment?) to specialist training (mechanics can work on various vehicles or surgeons could practice operations) which is exciting but there will have to be strategies put in place for the learning rather than relying on bells and whistles.
Fowler, Chris. (2015). Virtual Reality and learning: Where is the pedagogy? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46(2), 412-422. doi:10.1111/bjet.12135
Reality Technologies. (n.d.). The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Virtual Reality. Retrieved from https://www.realitytechnologies.com/virtual-reality/
October 21, 2018 at 1:23 pm
Hi Gavin — Thank you for participating in our VR/AR course. I agree with you that VR is becoming more than the ‘coolness’ factor in education and VR will provide context and depth, enriching lessons. The need for teaching strategies is in place as you don’t want VR to feel like a gimmick. How well can VR be integrated as an everyday learning tool and when will this happen? Do you see the use of these tools in your setting?
October 21, 2018 at 8:08 pm
In my eyes, you’ve hit the perennial nail on the head here. It’s all about using these amazing tools in the right context, and not just because they provide a new perspective or ‘way’. They need to be the best way, not just flash. We are totally on the same page in this respect. The Fowler (2015) article was chosen due its somewhat pragmatic viewpoint as you’ve pointed out on how the pedagogy needs to evolve to reveal best practices in instruction as well as how learning design can be constructed using VR. I was fascinated by the TED talk on VR, and how Chris Milk was using VR to develop empathy for the lives of those in 3rd world contexts. This is definitely a context where workers like doctors, social workers etc. could benefit from a ‘real’ understanding of the places and cultures they may work in. There are many avenues where VR could be greatly advantageous, but we aren’t there yet. It would be great to have a job building learning using it in the right context, wouldn’t it? Thanks for your contributions this week!