Augmented and virtual reality technologies provide new teaching opportunities

Virtual reality - Teaching in class

Teachers are using the metaverse to discover new ways to reach and inspire their students.

Teachers have been using everything from calculators to computers to help enhance the education experience for their students, and now augmented and virtual reality tools are entering the classroom as well.

Metaverse technologies including VR headsets and AR glasses can help inspire students to learn.

Augmented and virtual reality can be combined into mixed reality technologies that combine components of the real world with those that are entirely digital, providing the user with an entirely new environment that is both physical and digital. This experience is clearly more immersive than a standard classroom, as the three-dimensional components can make a student feel as though they have been transported to another place, or as though they are an entirely different person.

Virtual reality - young person waring VR headset

Teachers can build on this technology that forms a sense of shared space and presence. That said, it’s important to remember that it remains early days for the tech, and it is far from cheap. As most classrooms remain on a tight budget, to say the least, it is unlikely that this school year can expect to have VR headsets in every class.

Still, the promising indicators that virtual reality can enhance learning could be a sign for the future.

A recent PwC report determined that 40 percent of VR learners feel more confidence in applying what they have learned. Moreover, there was a 150 percent increase in engagement during class. Similarly, the XR Association (XRA) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) published a report stating that 77 percent of educators believe that curiosity and engagement improve in class when immersive technologies are used.

The Prisms VR mathematics program conducted a randomized control study in which students using virtual reality achieved test scores that were an average of 11 percent higher than control group students who learned in conventional classroom environments. That same study found that students using VR were more confident, engaged, and able to describe mathematical concepts.

Atlanta, Georgia’s Morehouse College, which has been using VR for some time, has found that when this technology is used, students achieve 85 as their average final test score. Students learning through traditional online methods scored 81, and those in conventional in-person classrooms scored 71.

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