Virtual Reality in Education

Other than the obvious attention grabbing visuals and game-like experiences, virtual reality (VR) has the opportunity to improve and enhance learning through the use of multiple modalities. Students can see, move, and even touch, within their VR experiences. They can climb Mount Everest, walk on Mars, and explore coral reefs. Students across the educational spectrum can now thrive without barriers once limited by opportunity, funding, and disability.

Reality Defined

Virtual Reality: A 3-D artificial world of imagery and sounds that can be manipulated by the actions of a person within an experience most often through a head-worn device (Intel).

Augmented Reality: An enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information in real time on an image or something being viewed through a device, such as a smartphone or tablet or glasses (Intel).

Mixed Reality: An environment that brings together the physical world and virtual reality where physical and digital objects can co-exist (Intel).

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn - Benjamin Franklin
The software . . .

Virtual Reality Apps

Through the works of acclaimed storytellers such as Michael Bay and James Cameron, virtual reality is gaining the momentum and notoriety only once claimed by the silver screen. Large studios, gaming companies, and independent VR imagineers are taking note and cleverly developing VR products that fit the needs of all. While there is still a lot to accomplish and gaps to be filled, the educational market is coming to fruition.

VR Companies

The above VR apps and experiences are easily accessible through iTunes and Google's Play Store. Others can be found through independent websites such as viveport.com and store.steampowered.com.

The hardware

The Accessibility of Reality

The key to educational accessibility already lies in the hands of the teachers and students alike, the cellphone. While the technology required for VR encompasses more that just the phone, it's deliberate utilization poses a direct link to ease of use and application viability. Additionally, more comprehensive VR systems qualify on their own merits due to their high quality output.

Multiple companies are now developing VR headsets but only a few are grabbing the public's attention.

  • Google Cardboard $15
  • Google Daydream $79
  • Merge VR $79
  • Samsung Gear VR $99
  • Razer OSVR $299
  • PlayStation VR $399
  • Oculus Rift $599
  • HTC Vive $799
  • Microsoft HoloLens $3000

While educational AR apps are on the rise, the market would benefit from additional options such as these:

  • Space 4D+
  • HoloTats
  • Dinosaur 4D+
  • Anatomy 4D
  • Octaland 4D+
  • ARFlashcards

App pricing and products vary per developer.

Now students can go

beyond the textbook

beyond the internet

beyond the cellphone.

They are

the experience.

Created By
Diane Pawar, Ph.D.


Created with images by Pricenfees - "Virtual Reality Oculus Rift - Credit to https://www.pricenfees.com" • epredator - "Augmented Reality on Augmented Reality" - Intel - Life - Vershinina, T. - Pawar, D.

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