Virtual and augmented reality are making their way into the world of education. Elementary schools all the way through colleges/trade schools are migrating towards a more technologically focused model which includes the influence of virtual and augmented reality. Today’s children, teens, and adults all have the opportunity to truly enjoy the process of learning. In some cases, virtual and augmented reality help students learn more effectively than traditional classroom methods do because they can overcome language barriers and also accommodate visual learners. And with the cost of augmented and virtual reality becoming more affordable, they are becoming much more accessible to teachers.

One exciting way virtual and augmented reality are already being used in classrooms is through virtual field trips. While there may have been a few issues to work through initially with Wifi networks and charging stations, may educators feel that virtual and augmented reality are the ideal way to engage students.

“Melinda Lohan, a Massachusetts high school teacher, has been conducting virtual field trips for three years and reports that “The kids love them.” Introducing the technology has changed what happens in her class. Students watch lectures and take notes at home so they can get immersed in these types of learning experiences during school hours.” – Bart Schachter

Not only are virtual and augmented reality a fun and exciting way to learn, they also improve motor skills, can enhance imaginative play and thinking, and also inspire learning. More and more educational applications are now being created with technologies that focus on applying critical thinking skills to problems found in the real world. Students are beginning to see how they can take the skills they are learning out into the workplace. This makes what students are learning that much more applicable to them.

In Schachter’s article he mentions that according to Forbes, “Goldman Sachs estimates that roughly $700 million will be invested in AR/VR applications in education by 2025, on simulations for everything from forklift operations to architecture to invasive surgery. Gartner projects that 60 percent of all higher education institutions in America will be using virtual reality in the classroom by 2021.”

“VR is the perfect vehicle to help students put themselves in others’ shoes. Kids of all ages could benefit from experiences that require them to work in teams or that show them what it’s like to be discriminated against. Social-emotional skills like empathy are valuable both within the classroom and throughout life. They may not be written into the curriculum like history or math yet, but they’re every bit as important.” – Melissa Pelletier, MDR’s education research editor

To learn more or to read Schachter’s article in full, click here.