VR Technology Advancing in the Field of Education [e-learning in the World]

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VR Technology Advancing in the Field of Education [e-learning in the World]

Hello. I’m Motoki, I’m in charge of marketing.
This is the sixth installment in our [e-Learning around the world] series.

We’ve covered adaptive learning, MOOCs, and many other topics, but this time we’re going to focus on the most advanced technology in edtech and e-learning services in the U.S., the VR.

Table of contents

  • 1. What is VR?
  • 2. Application in the field of education
  • 3. Example of Services in the United States
  • 4. Summary

What is VR?

The word “VR” itself has already become very familiar, but to reiterate, VR is an abbreviation stands for “Virtual Reality”.

Generally speaking, it is a technology that allows you to experience the world of virtual reality by expanding your field of view across 360 degrees with a special display or VR goggle.

VR is often associated with games and entertainment, but it also has a high affinity for education and is one of the most advanced fields of edtech in the United States.

▼ Image
VR Education

Use of VR in Education

In the field of education, it is difficult to express the content in a book format whereas it is easier to understand if expressed in 3d form, including experiences in virtual spaces such as outer space and the deep sea and simulated occupations (STEM education related, e.g.) The shape of the human body organs.
VR is beginning to spread as a tool to make learning easier to understand and give more fun
.

In the U.S., the U.S. government launched a project called the VR Education Project in an attempt to popularize the education using VR, and it is now being used to provide the education.
There is a grant mechanism for developing technology products
.

→U.S. Government’s “Ed Tech Developer’s Guide” (all in English)

Services in the United States

So, let’s take a look at some case studies in the U.S market.

First, “Nearpod”
VR Education

VR experience on a tablet

Nearpod offers more than 100 different VR courses for students from kindergarten to high school, which serving as a platform to promote classes to enable teachers to use as classroom contents, and Nearpod allows teachers to collect students’ answers and feedbacks.
Tablets are mainly used to watch VR and replace textbooks/notebooks.

Next is “Zspace”

▼ Demo video (with a sound of heartbeat)

Zspace is another VR teaching resource for students in elementary school and high school. As a feature, if you wear special glasses, you can use a display device similar to a laptop computer and it looks like an object is in front of you. When you wear the special glasses, it looks as if there is an object in front of you. You can then use the special pen tool to move it around freely.

Like the Nearpod, the goggles aren’t the main focus here, and this style of learning is probably the result of the quest to ensure that the learner is comfortable with the VR learning process.
As you can see in the demo video, In fields where it is easier to understand three-dimensional representations are easier to understand (STEM-related, for example, the shape of the human body’s organs), teaching materials that utilize VR to make learning easier to understand and more enjoyable is very appealing.

Summary

Furthermore, VR technology is being used in corporate training as well.
The American retail giant Walmart has replaced instructor-led, in-store, hands-on training with a VR-based training program.

▼ Using VR for training

As you can see, VR is not only in the entertainment field, but it is also being used and promoted very much in the education field.

When you think of STEM education, you might think that programming education is the main focus, but the evolution of VR technology like this one is likely to lead to the optimization of science, technology, engineering and math education.

So we have been focusing on the United States, but this is the end of the series on e-learning in the United States. Next time, we’ll be looking at China.

Thank you for your time.

*Reference: the future that Edtech will change Author.

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