Why Schools Need Access to Virtual Reality Now
Why Schools Need Access to Virtual Reality Now
How Virtual Reality is Going to Make Our Roads Safer
How Virtual Reality is Going to Make Our Roads Safer
Virtual Reality is About to Unlock a Disruptive New World of Possibilities
Virtual Reality is About to Unlock a Disruptive New World of Possibilities
University Study Explores the Efficiency of Virtual Reality as Educational Tool
University Study Explores the Efficiency of Virtual Reality as Educational Tool
New virtual reality tool allows you to see the world through the eyes of a tiny primate
New virtual reality tool allows you to see the world through the eyes of a tiny primate

The Ongoing Case for VR Education – 3E Insider

I’ll be writing an ongoing series on the case for Immersive Education, why we need it and the global benefits we’ll gain per participation. Let’s stop for a moment to consider the impact of Location-Based Education in Immersive Technology. Not entertainment, but Education. The hardware has landed, I repeat the hardware has landed. With the landing of Oculus Quest and Varjo’s VR-1, there’s a true excitability being shared throughout the Virtual Reality (VR) community. We finally have two headsets that do what we’ve been asking them to do. Oculus Quest is a powerful, standalone, six degrees of freedom, untethered headset. The Varjo VR-1 is a human-resolution, tethered device that has an exceptional showcase for viewing. Although its field of view is small, it still gives us in-depth capability on things we’re wanting to explore.
Promotional photo of a young man using the Oculus Quest. Image courtesy of Oculus.

Now, with that said, herein lies the obstacles.

The biggest obstacle firstly being the lack of appropriate content to compliment the power of today’s headsets, and secondly the lack of high-functional fidelity in said content per experience that do not present the strongest of cases yet.

With the advent landing of good headsets, we’ll hopefully be afforded great content experiences. As for hardware, HoloDecks are next in line in the eco-build of Virtual Reality.

VR Headsets models are moving from computer and phone powered to standalone (no other device needed to jump in VR).

Psychological and physical fidelity paired with non overly-extensive hyper-fidelity experiences is key, amongst other things.

However, let’s tone it down a notch. Per adventure, let’s journey to what we’re seeing in education and why Virtual Reality can make it so much better.

For starters, we’ve been imbued in a textbook culture in school education, mainly since the 1900s. Preceding that, we can go back throughout the annals of time, even as far back in the days of Plato of the Grecians and begin to see the beginning of text scripts as a new form of media communication beyond the standard form of recital communication. In other words, communication has progressed over the centuries, and in education, the time for updating our media options for academic distribution has arrived. No, not just digital tablets and laptops. It’s time to go further.

This brings us to Virtual Reality. It’s at this point that we must realize and consider that books and printed images in books can and will only ever show us so much, visually.

A classroom full of students reading about Cairo, Egypt is really cool. From page-to-page they flip and flip and flip; they’re reading about pyramids, sphinx statues, and Ramses. But what if they could visit Egypt? No, not by way of planes, trains, or automobiles. But right from their class rooms. Virtually.

How much more would they see? How much more could they remember?

The Virtuality Group Arcade Machine Experiences. The 1990s saw huge developments in virtual reality. With the rise of the arcades and arcade games, it was only a matter of time, before developers started coming up with new and exciting concepts and ideas. A company known as The Virtuality Group was at the cutting edge of virtual reality, launching a wide range of arcade games and machines that let either one or a couple of players immerse themselves into amazing 3D visual experiences. This happened in 1991, a year before the movie The Lawnmower Man further introduced the Virtual Reality concept to a wider audience of people.

Christopher Lafayette in Venice, Italy for the European Immersive Computing Summit (EICS). Source: The Armada
Don’t want to go to Egypt? Fine and fair. Let’s visit the Robben Island Museum, or the beautiful city of Venice, Italy.

You see, the future of education, digitally, to me looks like immersive teleportation systems in which students from around the world can come together to congregate. Where a teacher is no longer limited to the space and size of their classrooms, but could arguably teach a class in VR with over 100,000 students from around the world in real-time in attendance.

Can you imagine that?

Sitting at home in Seattle, Washington attending a class in Bangalore, India? Or walking inside a local Holodeck center in Oakland, California attending an unlimited capacity course on potato farming in Boise, Idaho.

In the medical arena, we’ll able to have live, surgical theatre training with the capability to see from the surgeons lenses. Thousands of students from around the world, day and night taking courses available around the clock, with classes constantly happening every hour and every day of the week. This is education at its finest. Accessibility and communication are essential mechanisms for the delivery of better teaching.

The Stuntmaster and the Cybermaxx. The 1990s were huge for the development of VR, even though the devices didn’t truly capture the market the way they did now. However, they were nonetheless extremely immersive for the time. Two of the most notable head mounted displays are definitely the Cybermaxx by Victormaxx and the Stuntmaster. They basically had an LCD screen embedded in a visor, that had a head tracking system, colorful stereoscopic 3D with a price tag that was a bit below $1000. Both devices also had huge support from games on both console and PC, but they didn’t achieve the huge success the industry needed.

Why be limited to the teacher who lives in your city or works at your university? We’re breaking through to the other side. I may not want to take Calligraphy classes at an Oregon university or art school in San Francisco, nor can I afford to travel all the way to Japan to attend a class in Tokyo. However, I can take a class in Japan, Virtually; here I am, sitting in a classroom with my digital brush kit and keyboard, ready to draw, type, and take notes.

Virtual, visually-constructed, artificial world simulations are here. It’s not arriving. The need for appropriate curated and accurate experiences are key.

Taipei University Opens World’s Largest VR Anatomy Lab
Taipei University Opens World’s Largest VR Anatomy Lab
Company Profile: High Fidelity – Connecting Virtual Reality to the Real World
Company Profile: High Fidelity – Connecting Virtual Reality to the Real World
VR Education’s Titanic VR Followup Raid on the Ruhr Lands in March
VR Education’s Titanic VR Followup Raid on the Ruhr Lands in March
Why Children Should Learn to Code
Why Children Should Learn to Code