New technology has the potential to better prepare students and trainees for the working world. Experiencing hazardous or complex work conditions before setting foot on the job. Touring the Neuschwanstein Castle. Seeing different species of fish and other underwater life swim before your eyes. Taking a stroll through a pyramid. These are some of the possibilities virtual learning allows students. Perhaps it’s not as exciting as the real thing, but the ability to learn is the same.
Theory and Practice
These are often two aspects of learning that classroom education often fails to address in equal measure. Reading texts and listening to lectures provide theory, but can’t give the student a hands-on experience. Getting personal, first-hand experience often doesn’t take place until on the job, where employers are thinking in terms of cost-effectiveness. Learning on the job could be more efficient.
New virtual reality technology very well bridges the gap between these two essential aspects of learning in a cost-effective, fun and imaginative way. True, not all learners are wide-eyed school children, and that’s all the more reason to apply a light-hearted and fascinating way to learn. (Studies show that more information is retained when students perceive they are having a good time).
Virtual Reality to the Rescue
Virtual reality devices such as Oculus Rift and the Virtuix Omni possess the features to make virtual training effectively simulate job situations. Oculus Rift is a headset that blocks out the outside world so that the wearer can immerse themselves in the world they are presented with, in this case, the job world. The Virtuix Omni works with the headset, and adds the feet and hands as part of the interactive situation so that students can get their hands on what they are learning. This is extremely important in linking the theoretical aspect of learning with the practical part.
We can imagine the following scenario: students will get to personally explore and see before their eyes, the lessons they learn. They will see theories in action, and integrate them effectively in their own minds as they take on functions. Medical students can learn about surgery, and then perform it on virtual patients. Those learning construction can build using the methods instructed. Architects can see what they learned put into practice. The possibilities are numerous and possess the potential to revolutionize education.
Education of the future won’t be about memorizing useless trivia—it will be about learning processes that will immediately get utilized in real world situations. The latest technology comes with the ability to make things a lot more fun and interesting, and is also a lot smarter.