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Virtual Reality Enters the Classroom

Students and teachers, already adept at using tablets and games for lessons and research in the classroom, are beginning to explore how the latest in game technology – virtual reality – can transform education and game-based learning.

Nearpod Inc., a startup that makes education software for classrooms, recently launched virtual reality lessons for students. The lessons – which are currently used in over 10,000 schools across the U.S. – invite students to participate in interactive history, science, and math lessons all while in virtual reality.

Virtual Reality Enters the Classroom

Virtual Reality Enters the Classroom

According to Nearpod Chief Executive Guido Kovalskys, the most significant hurdle facing virtual reality in the classroom is the notion that it is expensive and complicated. The company is working to break this misconception by offering much of their content for free and relying on student-owned and school district-supplied devices like smartphones and tablets.

“I think once teachers have tried virtual reality with their classes, they will realize it opens up their students’ imaginations to the world beyond their textbooks, Chromebooks, and tablets,” said Rothenberg Ventures partner and Nearpod investor Brandon Farwell in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Nearpod isn’t the only virtual reality platform making its way into classrooms. Last September, Google launched its Pioneer Expeditions program, offering thousands of schools kits containing everything students need to take a virtual class trip – from the Great Wall of China to Mars. The company provides smartphones, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, a library of 100+ virtual trips and Google Cardboard viewers or Mattel View­Masters that turn smartphones into VR headsets.

“It’s a really practical application of VR and a way to use cutting edge tech for schools,” Jen Holland, Expeditions product manager told Smithsonian Magazine. “We’re not just taking old tech and throwing it over the fence. We thought a lot about how this would be helpful.”

Other international programs have hinted at virtual reality’s promise to change game-based learning. In the Czech Republic, a project called “The World of Comenius” employed a Leap Motion controller and specially-adapted Oculus Rift headset to demonstrate how educational applications allow users to interact with teaching materials.

“‘World of Comenius’ aims to utilize VR to show people things that weren’t possible before,” said project developer Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík. “Play around with atoms and get intuitive ‘feel’ of their behavior on the quantum level, swim in the cell or meet with people from history and explore the environment they lived in, while having feeling that they’re actually in there.”

Many teachers see the power virtual reality holds for the classroom when applied correctly. “I think it is so important that teachers are making sure that the learning activities they design with virtual reality are thoughtfully connected to learning objectives,” said Monica Burns, a fifth grade teacher and EdTech and curriculum consultant based in New York. “When it’s executed properly, and not just used for fun, VR can be incredibly powerful.”

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About me

My name is Sayed Ahmadreza Razian and I am a graduate of the master degree in Artificial intelligence .
Click here to CV Resume page

Related topics such as image processing, machine vision, virtual reality, machine learning, data mining, and monitoring systems are my research interests, and I intend to pursue a PhD in one of these fields.

جهت نمایش صفحه معرفی و رزومه کلیک کنید

My Scientific expertise
  • Image processing
  • Machine vision
  • Machine learning
  • Pattern recognition
  • Data mining - Big Data
  • CUDA Programming
  • Game and Virtual reality

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