Can We Use VR to Transform Education in the Age of Experience?

PaleBlue NewsroomBlog

Information Age, Experience Age, Virtual Reality, Education… What do all of these terms have in common? Is there anything to tie them all together? One thing we all know for sure: change is the only constant and change can lead to major gains. And it hasn’t skipped education nor technology.

For the former, the transformation hasn’t been huge as many of its conservative approaches to learning are still kept. Most teaching scenarios include a professor, a classic classroom with a blackboard and in some cases computers instead of notebooks.

On the other hand, the technology has not been shy from diving head first into the vast sea of innovations, as was the case with virtual reality.

And then there is the Experience Age, fully blooming and slowly taking over the Information Age. It is not enough any longer to have readily accessible information and build profiles based on the amount of collected data.

More and more, all the mobile screens usage, virtual reality, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) advancements lead to a connection with experience rather than have you focused on informational facts.

With this shift into the age of experience, the question is: how does VR fit in here? Can it contribute to a better educational process? This immersive technology has been on the market for quite a while, with its ups and downs, but is it ready to take the plunge into the new era?

We believe it is. Especially good designed VR products, made within the context of customer experience, aiming to innovate the creation and delivery of experiences that connect with the user. But who would benefit the most out of it?

VR meets Learning Styles

If considering the general known learning styles, VR in education advantages and eases the learning process for visual, kinesthetic and tactile learners (around 70-80% of all students). The Learning Pyramid we came across, further proves this point. Using simulators for education allows sharing one’s direct observation with others and learning about their own experience.

VR enables students to connect with each other from anywhere, practice hands-on collaborative learning in a digital real-time environment. In the end, participating in a discussion and simulating the real experience is the most effective way to learn. Knowledge may also be gained from repeating the same act over and over again – possible with VR.

Having VR for your class means that personalized learning is possible. You can have classes tailored to each group of students’ competence levels or understanding, from the basic stage to the most advanced one – similar to what you’d get in a video game. This way the learning experience will be unique – as is the learner.

Another perk of having a well built VR application is that you get to look at a detail or process you cannot otherwise see in real life. Basically, you can enhance any learning experience through VR.

Is Virtual Reality Learning better than Classic path?

Let’s take a classic molecule representation. In a conservative educational approach, you might need years to understand such a complex entity. Can take you a lot of time to learn about its interaction with other molecules and processes it is a part of. In addition, you have to visit and revisit and revisit and so on until the information sticks.

As an alternative, you have VR. And that is a game changer. Imagine being able to shrink down within the molecule and study it from within! Such a thing would definitely decrease the time it takes to learn about a molecule.

PaleBlue_MolecularVR

What is PaleBlue’s say on this?

We initiated a product, called Molecular VR, that allows you to literally walk inside a molecule, learn about its internal close-up structure, manipulate its atoms and see what your actions lead to.

Explore PaleBlue Biotechnology

Curious to see the inside of a molecule? Check out on our dedicated technology simulator section. And more is to be added in the near future.

Explore

Wrapping things up, you can state that VR can spur curiosity and help students better understand perspectives other than their own. Through VR you get access to some completely unprecedented learning experiences. We now know the least likelihood of long term retention of information comes from using just our eyes and ears for learning. On the other hand, the more deeply information is processed and the more connections someone can make with the material, the better it is remembered.

Now let us ask you: How do you learn best or easiest? Have you ever tried using some sort of VR for your educational efforts, either as a student or as a teacher? If yes, what do you think and how do you feel about it? If not, what prevented you from doing it or why have you not considered it? We would be glad to hear from you on this matter.