Three-dimensional worlds have emerged as a new trend in education; starting the new era of interactive and experiential learning. Traditional classrooms and distance education both can avail the merits of these technologies. We can redefine three-dimensional worlds as the integration of desktop interactive Virtual Reality within the ambit of chat environment. The best education system constrains pedagogy, social interaction, and technology. The education system confining these things beyond the classroom walls promises an immersive and learner-centered self-exploration.
The virtual or augmented world is the latest technology that emits a ray of a constructive learning environment for distance education. These latest technologies can enhance the pedagogical limitations of various teaching and learning tools. Virtual world sorts out the major pedagogical problem of distance education which is an immersive self-exploration. A traditional classroom also lacks the same experience. The theoretical explanations mar the empirical spirit of the learner and his interest turns to a monotonous routine.
Virtual Reality learning environment can lead the educationists towards an easy learning and teaching mechanism. This mechanism seeks out the new horizons of easy VR tools to add a new level in pragmatic teaching practices. Let's look at some of the prominent impacts virtual reality makes into the education delivery system.
1. Constructive learning tools
The rapid growth of VR-AR has matured enough to expand the various aspects of teaching and learning experiences. If the creativity gets wings to fly into infinite, education would come out of restrictions and theoretical complications. VR-AR enables the learners to actualize the abstract concepts into fully immersive and interactive models, without any technical expertise. It is like upload the pictures and edit them with editing tools. Instead of making diagrams these immersive 3D models would facilitate the learners and teachers to make a creative and innovative class.
These activities would take the present static and didactic education to an exciting level. It would also enhance the learners' participation in the process which has been one-sided so far. The VR-AR tools would enable the learner to use preloaded Virtual contents easily per his requirements. He can use the contents for a new creation and use it to explain other learners. You can get VR-AR educational tools customized that suits your teaching curriculum. The abstract concepts can come to life and dangerous places can be created for a risk-free tour like the crater of a volcano.
Just imagine, if you are teaching about Jurassic era and immersive dinosaurs pop up in the class even without creating awe and chaos. This would lift your theoretical class to an exciting adventure and ultimately would ignite the curiosity of students. Your creativity and imagination now can become a presentable part of your class. Your thoughts are now virtually visible to others. They can also walk through your 3D creations with handy VR educational tools.
1. Enhanced response stimulation
By Interaction we mean the spontaneous physical and emotional response through the haptic, visual and phonetic ads. The studies show these technologies have an amazing potential to induce the feeling of presence in the artificial virtual world. The feeling of presence and ability to manipulate the artificial world creates a strange emotional environment around the user. This environment boosts the illusion of reality and confirms the emotional and sensual satisfaction of the user.
· Visual response:
The visual response is one of the sensual satisfactions that make us believe about the reality around us. Virtual Reality has changed the way we have been treating the videos or pictures so far. One flat screen is insufficient to arouse the immersive effects. While Virtual Reality enables the user to walk through an immersive experience just by mounting VR headset.
This immersive experience allows the user to feel the presence of his own and interact with the virtual objects within. The user can manipulate the things and control them in a better way as he can experience a 360-degree view. The 360-degree view creates an illusion of real world as the user's vision is not limited to a flat screen. Like the real world, he can see anywhere just by turning his head.
Proxemics (distance related effects) of this virtual world can be improved to create a feeling of real distance from the object.
Such Visual effects can revolutionize the learners' experience about his virtual tour. This tour would arouse a sense of the first-hand encounter with the virtual objects like real one. Thus, with VR Educational tour to unvisited places and unknown adventure, a classroom is going to be rocking.
· Acoustic response:
When we talk about the sensual response through ICT (information and communication technology) Acoustic techniques play an important role. The sounds and their direction with other essential effects become a mandate for a complete illusion of the real world. VR-AR in their new incarnation, are equipped with the latest phonetic technologies that not only get you feel about the surrounding but amaze you with its minutest details. Whether it's the distance, nearness, roughness, loudness or pitch of sound all things are enough to create a real like illusion in this virtual world.
The sound effects having nearness to reality can create an interesting and musical experience in the classroom. Now the classroom would not remain only a classroom but would be able to expand its meaning and would become a learning room.
· Haptic response:
Any sensual satisfaction cannot get accomplished unless we feel the sensations by touch. The new haptic technologies that are the part of these tech trends help the user feel an abstract virtual object. The feel of touch only by gestures can create a hand free experience. The digital hand-gloves or the whole-body suit would help you feel the heat of desert, chilled gust of wind in tundra region or toughness of rocks even in the virtual world.
The haptic capabilities in this artificial world have a lot of scope to cater an unforgettable teaching and learning experience in the future virtual education.
1. Ease and usefulness:
A classroom can be useful for common learners if the meaning of classroom is expanded. And so, the technology can be useful; if it helps in the expansion of classroom education in a versatile manner.
"A technology is useful when it's accessible to all whether they come from a technical or nontechnical background"
When the technical things come out of their typical operating systems then their easy go appearance helps them to reach deeper into the common folk. VR and AR is very easy in use for everybody regardless of user's age, qualification and profession. This latest technology can be prolific in different ways for all the professional lives. So, the future education cannot deny its scope and utility at various teaching and learning levels. VR and AR is useful for both the classroom studies and the study anywhere and anytime. Thus, it expands the class and breaks the restrictions of time and physical presence of teacher and learner.
This concept of Study by anybody; anywhere and anytime would change the whole education system. This system would not deprive the learner of his right to higher education, who is working professional. This education system would also save time and labor of the learner as he is free to attend the virtual lectures just sitting back his home.
The role of a facilitator is very important for a learner in the learning process. And the good use of technology in the education system can make a good access to a good facilitator. Whenever the learner comes in need of help in the form of right guidelines or instructions his facilitator would be nearby him. These technologies can become a good facilitator as they make good teachers and their techniques accessible to all. The enhanced accessibility of good educational content to all regardless of their status and nationality would actualize the dream of an expanded classroom even beyond the walls.
On one hand, Virtual-Reality creates an utterly different world while Augmented-Reality adds the information on top of your existing environment. The combination of the good things of both sister technologies is called Mixed Reality. So, MR or mixed reality can create the existing classroom a smart and augmented one even without transporting you to a different virtual land.
For an example, if you are teaching periodic table then mixed reality based application can help you a lot as it does not take you to a different virtual world but helps you to retain the classroom atmosphere with the additional 3-dimensional world. In this mixed reality, you can play with different elements of the table and can learn their characteristics by experimenting with other elements.
These all new tech trends are potentially capable of bridging the gap between the teachers and learners. This first step to getting them closer is the first need of a smart education system. As good teachers are unable to reach a great mass at a time and a real learner becomes a fool in the hands of ill-experienced teachers. But these technologies have opened the new avenues where the dream of experts to reach the grand mass of students would come true. And learners would avail of their expertise beyond the geographical and cultural obstructions even sitting back their home.
Though these technologies are taking their baby steps yet its potential in the field of education is widely accepted. When learners don't have to wait for the instructors at every step, they would be free to explore new per se. the things are changing day by day and so the mode of teaching and learning. The inclusion of technologies can redefine the education and shift it from the traditional paradigm to self-exploration. These tech trends have given just a glimpse of future education as the time passes, things would become more immersive and economic. This fairy tale is not without reality but full of potential to provide easier access to an utterly new world.
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