The rise of mixed realities such as VR and AR closes the gap between methodical teaching innovations and physical tech in schools, with educators now looking to adopt cutting-edge tech, despite the current budgetary constraints - if it delivers the right outcomes for learners.
This year at Bett we caught up with Nikos Samiotis (EMEA workstations program lead) from HP. While presenting at the show, he shared ‘Project Mars’, demonstrating how European students are enabling life on Mars with VR. We asked Nikos what he sees as the most important factors to consider when bringing VR technology into the classroom…
What kind of advice would you give to an educator who would like to integrate virtual reality into the classroom?
“The best advice when integrating this technology is that they experience VR first, because X reality (XR, which can be virtual or augmented) can affect education in two different ways. It can extend the way we are learning within education today, or it can be a separate learning curriculum for students, especially in universities and in STEM universities. The best way to integrate this kind of technology into schools and universities is for educators themselves to become familiar with it, and understand what VR is.”
What kind of challenges would an educator expect to find when implementing VR, and how can they overcome them?
“Education is very elegant and sensitive - it’s not easy to introduce a different way of learning, or to deploy a new learning curriculum. It requires a lot of thinking, and a lot of digging in, to see if it is appropriate based on the learning curriculum that you are providing. To bring VR into your classrooms, you need to find a trusted advisor; someone who can show you how to either bring VR into your existing curriculum, or reshape your curriculum around VR - and feel comfortable doing it. That’s the biggest challenge, but if you can overcome that, VR can be something that becomes a part your school’s daily activities.”
Will you take the leap, and immerse yourself and your students into the world of VR? To read more about the findings and trends for the year ahead, download our full Innovation Index report.
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