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Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by 01mbailey, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. 01mbailey

    01mbailey New commenter

    Hi All,

    As an ICT integrator who work in China, I was curious to know what the average class looks like in terms of tech integration. Has this become a big push or is there still a lack of knowledge and a reluctance from teachers? One thing I am interesting in is virtual reality and how that will make its way into the classrooms.


    I'd like to know if anyone has had any experiences of using VR in their school or lessons.
  2. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Be surprised if anyone has had experience as its too expensive for budgets and too new for most of us to have considered if it could make a positive impact

    However, I'm sure there's no reluctance in its use - it's just (as with iPads) that this seems to be trying to jam something new into our teaching without any consideration of its educational usefulness.

    I'd be more than happy to do some action research if anyone has some kit they want to give me and some computer science based vr programs to utilise to see if this could make a difference (and I think we all know the chances of a) getting any stuff for free, and b) it making any impact)
  3. 01mbailey

    01mbailey New commenter

    I think it will enter the class through APPs and Mobile Viewers first. You can pick up Cardboard viewers off Ebay for a small price, but the Smartphones are expensive. If your school allows students to use their own phone it could be a feasible way of testing. The Chinese Government have put a lot of money into VR development so maybe I am lucky to have more exposure to it.

    I do agree that the chances of you getting anything for free are slim! However, I do think the impact on education will be huge in the future. Having tried out the more expensive HTC VIVE I can say it is a truly extraordinary immersive experience. Unfortunately, measuring impact is always a pain point.
  4. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Having started teaching in a world of blackboards and chalk. I've seen lots of new technologies come and go. I've never believed that any were going to "transform education" or raise attainment. Indeed they haven't ,but they have all added a little something to the mix. AR and VR will no doubt eventually do the same.

    I was invited to an AR/VR demo earlier in the year. There were some great things there - the AR car engine and rainforest VR particularly stick in my mind. As I said then, this sort of stuff could well form parts of lessons in a schools but the kit would have to be the a much, much cheaper than at present . Cheap enough that every child could have a set - believe me there is nothing more boring than watching someone in a VR head set while waiting for "your turn".

    Of course in madcat's "School of the Future" ( imagine echoy voice and wavy text) Students will just stay at home locked into their VR head sets , Watching madcat draw out his logic gate diagrams and truth tables in virtual chalk on a virtual blackboard.
  5. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    Will you be wearing a virtual mortarboard for that?
  6. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    I intend to model my avatar on Dr. Doon (yes really) my old Latin master.
    Virtual mortarboard, virtual gown and the finishing touch... the virtual cane for those who cannot chant off their truth tables precisely.
  7. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    I am having Google Expeditions come into school in November for the day. Hopefully it will be good day and we can take it from there whether we will take it further.
  8. 01mbailey

    01mbailey New commenter

    Do you think your school will invest in buying the phones or iPods to use with the Cardboard? It would be great if you could feedback what the workshop is like when they do come in. My school is starting to push back because they are unsure about the implications of how it impacts eyesight. Hopefully I can get some research together to help disprove this.

    Dr. Loon sounds interesting...
  9. Nancha

    Nancha New commenter

    I am currently doing research in the direction of VR in educational use, so did anyone make some new experiences in the meantime? I'm very interested in hearing about what a VR solution would have to provide to be useful in the classroom, especially for younger children.
  10. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    A number of companies were promoting educational use of VR at BETT this year, Discovery VR was the biggest of them. The offerings are not terribly inspiring at the moment.
    Nancha likes this.
  11. Nancha

    Nancha New commenter

  12. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Nearly all of the reports on the impact of IT on learning that I've seen (e.g. the OECD one) have said that it's either negative or neutral, so I think I'd want to see pretty convincing evidence about the effectiveness of anything before I spent money on it. I can't help thinking that, with VR, students are going to be distracted by the gimmickry of it (at least in the short term), and would be better off looking at diagrams in books, etc.
  13. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I still think VR is about 10+ years off where it needs to be for it to be useful in most situations. Apart from 10k rigs, the technology just isn't there yet and the software development is just too expensive and niche a skill
  14. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    In schools the key issues are value for money and student access. To even begin to be useful, each child would need individual access to a VR headset and the result (in primary) might be some slightly more descriptive writing from a few kids and of course a room full of "wow" the first time they use it. Beyond that, I see no value added above that offered by the myriad and often free 2D resources available and so I feel no compulsion to direct my already thin budget in the direction of VR.
  15. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    I work as an It consultant and we use VR quite a lot - headsets are pretty cheap - you need old phones etc though to go in the headsets and a tablet. We use expeditions in schools - plenty of good resources to cover topics in schools
  16. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Can you give some info on what you use the resources to achieve, with what age range and how they improve the learning outcomes over established methods?
  17. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    All VR technology is notoriously pisspoor at the moment, schools have got on fine without so far.
  18. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I recently went to the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry and had a look at their VR facilities. They can be used for designing new factories, etc., to make sure that everything will fit in and that things can be moved around, etc. I can see that that might be useful - although they said that a lot of businesses didn't want to pay to use it.
  19. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    We use them across the primary age range , they are used as a learning tool which provides a different approach to traditional methods and the children feel they are actually visiting the places they are studying. That Wow factor is what we are aiming to achieve and it works. Whether it's body exploration, historical places, inspirations for writing. VR is like every other learning tool it can only be effective if used properly - I feel we achieve that.
    drvs likes this.
  20. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Thanks. As a consultant, do you bring a "wow factor" experience to the school as a one off, or are these schools taking up VR themselves to put into regular curriculum use?

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