What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality (VR) refers to computer-generated environments that simulate the physical presence of people and/or objects and realistic sensory experiences. At a basic level, this technology takes the form of 3D images that users interact with and manipulate via mouse and keyboard. More sophisticated applications of virtual reality allow users to more authentically feel the objects in these displays through gesture-based and haptic devices, which provide tactile information through force feedback. While enabling people to explore new environments has compelling implications for learning, to date, virtual reality has been most prominently used for military training. Thanks to advents in graphics hardware, CAD software, and 3D displays, virtual reality Is becoming more mainstream, especially in the realm of video games. Oculus VR, a company focused on designing virtual reality products, is developing the heavily-anticipated Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display for gameplay to make the game environments and actions more lifelike. As both games and natural user interfaces are finding applications in classrooms, the addition of virtual reality can potentially make learning simulations more authentic for students.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • VR can have great benefits for learning by allow you to "be there". I think many subjects would benefit to show thing in VR to make it feel more real. - johan.nordberg johan.nordberg Oct 18, 2016- morten.soby morten.soby Oct 26, 2016 - kristineploug kristineploug Nov 11, 2016- Anna.Carlsson Anna.Carlsson Nov 14, 2016- LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016 - jakob.harder jakob.harder Nov 16, 2016- Dorte Dorte Nov 20, 2016
  • VR open opportunities for everyone to take note of things they would not otherwise have the opportunity to. With VR technology increases the possibility for an equivalent learning. (- johnny.andersson johnny.andersson Oct 31, 2016)
  • I agree with the arguments above that the possibility to "be there" could mean real added value in an educational setting. - marianne.barland marianne.barland Nov 1, 2016
  • I agree, too. To be able to dive inside a human being or walk in the jungles of Amazon will help understanding and remembering things. Learning can be an adventure and an unforgettable experience, and open completely new worlds - even if the reality is virtual. However, what I'm missing here is the collaboration and sharing dimension. I hope that this technology can be developed in the way that teams or the whole class can share their impressions while visiting the virtual reality. Perhaps they could make comments and mental notes that could be saved and checked later. - tiinsari tiinsari Nov 6, 2016
  • The aforementioned experience of 'being there' there is huge. Coupled with cheap google cardboards, ubiquitous smart phones and increasing amount of good content from i.e. New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/marketing/nytvr/) and Discovery. - kristineploug kristineploug Nov 11, 2016

  • Let's not forget the factor of budget. Even if something is possible to do in real life, like conduction a laboratory experiment in chemistry class for example, many times it is too expensive lo let students do it, not to mention over and over until mastery. Some schools don´t even have access to the right kind of facilities. This too is a factor for equivalent leraning. - Anna.Carlsson Anna.Carlsson Nov 14, 2016
  • I agree with what is said until now. But I think we have to be very precise when we define the purpose of using VR. It gives us a glimpse of the real world - but it is not the real world. We have to be aware of that and to discuss the "why do we use the VR in teaching and learning and what are the pro's ans con's" with the pupils and students. - Dorte Dorte Nov 20, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • VR in games-simulations with real GIA data gives the user the experience of been in the center of the action. Let the user experiment with real problems, what happens if i do this... - LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016
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  • - morten.soby morten.soby Nov 4, 2016 At one end of the we a “complete virtual reality simulation,” the participant is immersed in a virtual world that fully replicates at least three sensory inputs—vision, hearing, and touch (the last is more technically known as a haptic/kinesthetic system)—and allows complete physical interaction with the world. At the other end is a screen-based simulator, which generates a limited virtual world, but it restricts its output to a screen display and provides interaction with the virtual world only through a pointing device.- LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • I think it is easier to understand and learn about thing when you can experience them and "feel" them the way that VR can achieve. - johan.nordberg johan.nordberg Oct 18, 2016
  • Global competency becomes more and more important and will be tested in PISA 2018. I believe a huge part of global competency is to understand the living conditions of people from around the globe, their thoughts, hopes and dreams. Dollar street from Gapminder tried to give a small glimpse into that, but with WR you can experience live through other peoples eyes. I believe that will really open up the eyes of both adults and students to global competency. - Anna.Carlsson Anna.Carlsson Nov 14, 2016
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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