Not very long ago, the idea of combining technology and teaching was foreign. These days, classrooms are filled with smart boards instead of whiteboards, digital projectors instead of paper printouts, and laptops instead of notepads. While VR technology is by no means commonplace in most educational institutions yet, its ability to create an entirely immersive, engaging and fun learning experience suggests it won’t be long before it is.
Enhancing education through virtual reality has always been part of our core mission as a business, and the learning application of our VR experiences has always been at the forefront of their creation. Education is, after all, expected to be the fourth biggest investment sector for VR¹.
Given that our VR experiences are voyages into history, to make them relevant to educators, we had to ensure they could compete with the history books (and win!). They needed to be completely historically accurate. Thanks to our team of experts and their thorough research, diligent fact-checking, and incredible 3D-modelling, they are.
VR is only going to get bigger and better, and a myriad of practical learning applications can be immediately adopted. We have already begun our foray into the educational sector, partnering with the prestigious Hale School, for whom we are currently creating a bespoke interactive learning experience. If budget and bureaucracy weren’t hurdles, VR would already be enhancing students’ learning experience all over the world. Let’s take a look at a few potential applications of VR in our current education system.
Early childhood learning may seem like a premature point in students’ lives to bring in VR, but realistically, young children are more accustomed to modern technology than anyone else – they’ve never known the world without it. In fact, with such high exposure to smartphones, computers, video games and tv, it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture the little ones’ attention with a non-interactive device – or book, as it was once called. Children love the mystery and fantasy of the ancient world, so why not show it to them in a way that will really grab their attention and interest? We believe that by incorporating our VR technology into teaching young age groups, educators will be empowered to truly inspire a whole new generation of historians, archaeologists, and explorers.
Fast forward a few years and you have a history classroom full of distracted teenagers, who are more likely to be secretly scrolling through Instagram than actually listening to the teacher elaborating passionately about Roman gladiators. Unveil the VR goggles and introduce an interactive, immersive VR experience of Ancient Rome, and you’ll have all eyes to the front. This gamification of learning should not be overlooked or underestimated, especially when the ‘game’ is, in fact, a historically, archaeologically and socially accurate picture of the past. In these crucial years of learning, where students are beginning to recognise their passions and forge their future career paths, engaging content is paramount.
History and history-related studies have always had a place among the classic subjects offered at universities, but because of the ancient nature of the content, real engagement has been limited. A biology student might be running a hands-on experiment on lab rats; a geography student might be getting his hands dirty in a local river. And yet, until recently, the history student was confined to the stories told by textbooks and museum artefacts. But VR eliminates this barrier to engagement and discovery by creating an immersive, hands-on way of learning about history which, we think, actually has the edge over lab rats and river banks. By delivering the learning content through cutting-edge technology, universities can position history as a modern subject that takes advantage of futuristic capabilities to explore the ancient world.
Lithodomos VR’s innovative work with VR technology is the future of education.
– Professor Angela Ndalianis, Melbourne University
At every point of the education system, VR has the potential to enhance the learning experience both in terms of how enjoyable it is and how much information is absorbed. In a 2017 survey, 93% of teachers said their students would be excited to use virtual reality². So let’s make 2018 the year they do. Educators can now fully convey their passions to students and breed fellow historians from younger generations, not just through a story and a textbook, but through the students’ own mind’s eye – with a little help from VR.
If you’re an educator interested in adding VR to your students’ learning experience, get in touch. You can also explore all of our VR experiences on the App Store or Google Play Store.