Just a couple of years ago, virtual reality technologies were considered to be something from the area of a long-term future: they, as it were, exist, but no one knew exactly where they were used. This specific attitude and reputation arose, first of all, because of the high cost of the technology and equipment for its implementation. But thanks to the gradual improvement of the very tools for implementing VR and the emergence of a variety of software products for its use, it is now mentioned that in these or other areas of manufacturing, in social development and even in education a virtual reality is used.
The Merit of Virtual Reality in Education and Training
The main advantage of the use of virtual reality in education is the maximum involvement of the student in the process, which gives the most effective result, so one lesson in the virtual world successfully replaces dozens of ordinary ones.
Experts highlight the undoubted benefits of learning in the virtual world – visibility and security. Due to the maximum degree of detail in VR, it is possible to show evidently what cannot be seen under normal conditions, for example, nuclear fission before a nuclear explosion or the process of awakening a volcano. As for security, then in VR-space, mistakes that cost people’s lives in the real world are not terrible. That is why VR-technology is actively used to train specialists in the medical, military and other areas related to risk, allowing you to get the basics of the profession and improve your skills on virtual simulators.
Education In Virtual Reality – Where Is It Implemented
Having in mind the main benefits let’s firstly divide the whole audience to the groups of the potential consumers of VR in education.
- The first group where the virtual reality education software can be implemented are, actually, children. From the kinder garden to the college graduates – that’s a wide range of possibilities to use it with considerable success.
- Students are the second main group to which the educational virtual reality apps could be applied.
- Industry pros or candidates on a vacancy that is connected with the specific work are also the potential targeted audience for VR education.
- Sportsmen, astronauts, army or navy soldiers – they are already using the virtual reality in education and training.
If we look closer at each of the options, we can single out exactly how virtual reality is used in education.
Scholarship and VR
Children learn much better at school if there are some special conditions in learning:
- Classes in a game form allow you to not get bored and learn with interest the knowledge that is given by means of virtual reality in the form of a game or video of full presence.
- For children, classes using virtual reality are a real world of discoveries in which they can see a variety of forms and laws of the universe not from the words of the teacher or from the pictures in the book, but in three-dimensional space, interacting with reality.
All these conditions are included in virtual reality application in education.
VR for Students – The Way of Experimenting with All the Possible Science Discoveries
In university courses, it’s very important to learn how to apply the theory to the real world conditions. But for some of the occupations that’s hard to practice in the university labs. Such professions as chemistry, astronomy, medicine, physics, bioengineering and others require the special and sometimes very expansive equipment and is bonded with the technologies or experiments that are dangerous for performing by inexperienced students even under the teacher’s sight. In those cases, the educational uses of virtual reality technologies are essential.
The same thing is with the pros training – the doctor’s internship for example – to find his feet for a newcomer surgeon is easier on the VR app imitating the real surgery operation than practicing on the patients. That’s why virtual reality platforms for education and training in the industry are a perspective root of the VR development as it is.
The Physical Aspect of The VR Education and Training
VR training complexes are already in great use in military training. Imitating the real conditions of the combat, planning the reconnaissance of the terra or just working under strategy planning – that are the most obvious ways how to teach apprentices the basic military science things on practice. But not only that is useful. Various training complexes for the pilot or driver training and practicing, VR rooms with the full immersion in the enemy territory area and fighting skills training simulators are also implemented.
That’s not only military industry who requires training for its pros with VR means. It gains a great curiosity in it from the professional sports trainers for achieving the greatest results from the sportsmen with the help of VR modelling of competitions or sports game. That option helps the athlete to develop his strategical thinking and also to train in the most appropriate conditions without quitting the country or a city for sports gatherings.
Some kinds of industry are hard-conditioned ones so the physical and mental training are essential for their technicians. It causes space exploring, petroleum production, geological survey or emergency service pros. For their qualification training, the VR is the most reliable and cheap option.
Distance Education – The Great Perspectives with The VR Implementation
In Western scientific and educational centres, the practice of creating visualization centers (the concept of 3D for everyone and everywhere, development in one centre of responsibility) is widespread. This practice implies the creation of one or several visualization centres at an institution of higher education or a scientific organization to which all interested departments have access, while the units themselves develop virtual models of their projects, or order these developments (visualization of their work) to specialists from the visualization centre, within cooperation (the concept is similar to the previously existing information and computing centres of research institutes and universities).
That’s good news for those who needs or chooses the distance education. And it doesn’t cause only those who have health restrictions for visiting schools or colleges. You can study at home or just visit the greatest museums or exhibitions with the help of VR helmet and your PC – that’s all!
Some Examples of Education and Training Using VR
If you need some examples of how it works just today, we have some for you.
- Right now the spring camp in Miami Frost Museum of Science is held. Its main topic is the Mars Colonization and to explore this theme correctly and appropriately for the children the VR simulator is used for describing how the shuttle launches the surface of the planet.
- In the army training, the future paratroopers are taking part in a simulation of the landing with the parachutes and surviving in the jungle of bog areas.
- The VR simulators for doctors help the future anaesthesiologists or surgeons to learn how to implement the theory on practice and how to go on with the extreme situations while operating.
- Archaeologists use VR to recreate lost architectural masterpieces of antiquity. Scientists from the University of Sydney have joined forces with the company Lithodomos VR to create a mobile application for a virtual walk through the ancient city of Nea Paphos in Crete, which plunges during its heyday in the 150s AD and you can use it right now, downloading from Google Play!
Resuming all these facts, you can see that VR is a powerful tool for the reformatting the study process on all the stages from the K-grades to the pro’s training for the successful work.
Author’s bio: John Lang is a member of ServReality team specializing on the developing mobile virtual apps on the Unity3D. His wide experience he also puts in words to share it with those who are interested of VR industry development.