|Virtual Reality and Experiential Learning will impact the Future of Education|
The Future of Education will be influenced by Virtual Reality and Experiential Learning
Methods of education have not kept pace with the development of technology but the imperative of change is becoming more evident.
Virtual Reality (VR) is being adopted more readily as the benefits of experiential learning are being realized.
Education is the foundation of a strong economy. It increases human capital, increases productivity and increases economic output.
For individuals, education paves the way for acquiring new skills, developing critical thinking and analytical knowledge, contributing to economic well-being, developing a sense of purpose and shaping one’s career. Therefore, its impact on individuals, societies, governments and the world is undeniable. Yet methods of educating people have not always kept pace with technological advances. That said, change is imminent and will come rapidly over the next decade.
Development of education technologies for experiential learning
In fact, progress is already visible during the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when governments were forced to close the doors of schools and universities around the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) supports the global education sector with digital tools, programs and resources to ensure continuity of learning. Other countries around the world launched online educational tools such as Aleph Education in the UAE, vSchool in KSA and MOE e-learning in Egypt to name a few.
While these solutions were important, they mostly focused on transferring knowledge, not the practical and personal experience students needed to understand the concepts. After all, while some learn through theory, others learn through practice. Thus the ongoing educational technology development must address experiential learning. Innovative learning, when coupled with augmented reality, virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality, to meet this need and create a competitive advantage for all stakeholders involved.
Advances in technology have permeated most of the sectors and transformed them into administrative or service delivery. However, change still requires further technological advances to disrupt education. The infiltration of these advances into education systems has become an increasing imperative.
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Disruption and Innovation
The disruption we are seeing in today’s digitized world is helping to increase access, enhance quality and improve the affordability of education globally. Arguably these interventions are enough to drive transformational change. In addition, environmental pressures and the COP26 targets (from the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference) will promote the digitization of education streams, where possible and affordable, eliminating the reliance on textbooks, notebooks and pencils as critical learning tools, both inside and outside the classroom.
We need to adapt to an evolving landscape and nurture our younger generations to help us overtake our success. While schools and universities are focusing more on personal development, some technologies can speed up the process. VR is a prime example and is arguably a game-changer for the next generation of students, graduates and business learners and enables experiential learning.
It allows students to immerse themselves in an interactive experience where they can see firsthand the results of their actions. Coupled with the metaverse, students and teachers can communicate and share while immersing, transcending the boundaries of space and time. Finally, they can consolidate the knowledge already acquired and apply the skills acquired through traditional e-learning.
While research has shown that VR positively affects students’ learning outcomes, it can also improve student-teacher interactions through practical hybrid implementations inside or outside the classroom. With VR as a classroom tool, teachers can inspire students and create a more collaborative and interactive study environment. VR can be integrated into traditional learning to create a unique experience tailored to each student’s ability, style, pace and drive to learn, ensuring their preparation to move on through robust assessment.
Maximizing the impact of VR for experiential learning
VR supports more powerful visualizations, improves educational interactions, enhances collaboration, strengthens students’ practical understanding, and delivers globally. Like any new technology, research and development must be coincided with unlocking maximum production and fully utilizing its benefits.
It should be noted that VR somewhat limits human interaction if not properly monitored and introduced with a guided schedule and can lead to isolation in younger generations. Still, with proper research, development and safety measures, the benefits of VR far outweigh the risks. VR is a technology that can instantly transform the skills of recognized graduates through practical applications. Learning through play, direct experience and practical knowledge creates a more engaging environment for students and results in stronger skills.
Whether through VR or other experiential learning tools, educational technology is at a critical juncture for leaders, educators, regulators and other stakeholders to invest in future generations and take a proactive approach to ride the wave of change. We have begun to see these plans in national transformation plans, even in emerging economies such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Museum of the Future, recently inaugurated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates imitates the future through an architectural wonder.
The museum displays an epic display of “Tomorrow Today” through augmented and virtual reality, visually demonstrating how technology reshapes our future and how our “heroes of the future” can learn through play and Can develop new skills.
As governments around the world compete to be more resourceful and invest in social infrastructure, technologies such as VR are making education less traditional and providing opportunities for K-12, higher education and even vocational training. advancing. They are driven to improve outcomes and develop a stronger, better qualified and experienced workforce. These are the forces of change and we believe now is the time to act.