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/