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Technology has changed how communication is done and has impacted the work environment and the learning environment. Some technologies have been readily adopted in auditoriums and classrooms. In spite of the benefits of technologies that use smartphones and computers, some critics have proposed that technology is a distraction to learning (Choi et al. 43). New technologies such as augmented reality devices, virtual reality technology and other types of wearables are becoming popular. If these gadgets are allowed into schools and traditional universities and managed effectively, they are expected to enhance the classroom experience. Virtual reality technology is projected to fill the learning gaps in the classroom and augment the learning experience.
Virtual reality describes computer technologies which use virtual reality wearables such as headsets in environments and physical spaces to generate images that appear real. The effect of using virtual reality equipment is that it enables an individual to interact with virtual items and features in their environment. Sounds and audio are also experienced by the individuals who use headphones and speakers in virtual reality technology (Hill 44). Although virtual reality was initially meant for video games, it can be used in training and education to allow the learners have an immersive experience. This technology has already been seen to be useful in teaching languages. To this end, significant progress and development are being done to create a collaborative environment to connect learners in one virtual space. Virtual learning environments are facilitated by virtual technologies to allow students to study digital books, send homework and view statistics.
Virtual reality in education is expected to cause an improvement in instruction and teaching. This is because this technology creates opportunities for classroom learning gaps to be filled. It is expected that virtual reality will increase the attention gap since research shows that if an individual simulates an action, they are bound to remember 90% of that content (Hill 44). Virtual reality is also expected to assist the students to prepare for the job market through the use of photorealism which depicts the real world in ways which are as realistic as possible. It is expected that the integration of virtual reality in education will assist students to be better in aviation or even surgery.
Virtual reality is expected to encourage learning and exploration in the classroom. Virtual learning is expected to benefit students by providing them with a relevant learning experience which is more engaging and effective. Virtual reality provides learners with experiences which are phenomenal through the interactions which are not possible with other technologies. The potential of virtual reality in education is immense as integration in the education curriculum is expected to allow the students to use powerful visualization mechanisms (Choi et al. 66). Learning which is based on visualization and exploration is expected to engage the students at a higher level. These tools are expected to assist the students to comprehend complex phenomena which have been difficult to understand before. This technology is also expected to be critical in fostering the understanding of complex concepts such as the Cartesian plane.
Content that was previously difficult for most students is expected to be easier to master by high school and middle school students. The advantage of virtual reality is that it has graphic software which is three dimensions (Hill 71). It is expected that this technology will assist in developing a visual language which will merge the world of abstract concepts and the real world.
The importance of virtual learning technologies in education especially in the learning of sciences and mathematics is that they are expected to assist students to create unique mental models. These models will be helpful in integrating relationships, misconceptions and ideas to determine the ways in which the students interact with reality and to ensure that they develop a deeper understanding of the concepts taught to them (Lee et al. 59). Virtual reality has been integrated into education due to its ease of availing content and its affordability. This is because the use of virtual reality is beneficial in the reduction of costs required to make long distance trips to view geographical sites. It is expected that learning effectiveness will be improved through the integration of virtual reality in the learning environment since it will be used in moderating the learning style and the spatial ability of students.
Virtual reality technology in education is expected to reduce tension among students which is experienced during role-playing since they will be able to practice in their virtual reality environment. Moreover, this technology is expected to accord students with an opportunity to repeat lessons for several times to ensure that their understanding of major concepts in enhanced (Hill 44). In the course of using virtual reality, social interaction between students is expected to improve. Additionally, this technology is expected to allow students to communicate with their tutors independently. In the use of virtual technology, avatars are expected to assist students to use nonverbal cues thereby increasing their level of interaction in the classroom environments.
Research has provided situations that would allow virtual reality to be used in enhancing the learning experience. Studies have shown that increased collaboration, better classroom practices, the construction of knowledge and improved motivation among students are some of the benefits of virtual reality technology. The use of this technology is also expected to allow students to experience an immersive learning experience. Since virtual reality technology is relatively cheaper, it is expected to expose students to new technological advancements.
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