Learning in 3D
The education system is at a time of change. Traditional instruction lags behind in igniting the desire to learn in a generation that’s not only tech-savvy, but fully tech-integrated. The rise of STEAM and the need to prepare students for success in the future workforce requires developing education models that break the norm and extend education beyond the classroom. More educators are doing just that by bringing VR and gamification into the classroom and transporting students into immersive learning environments.
The adoption of VR as a learning tool began with training scenarios, most notably the flight simulator. One of the most influential uses, flight simulators allowed the training of a large number of pilots in a safe, controlled environment. As technology advanced, so did the sophistication of the detailed virtual scenarios.
Today VR is helping students explore everything from the microcosm of the human body to the far edges of the solar system in vivid 3D. High-performance CPUs put the realism in virtual reality, bringing experiences to life through great animation, physics, spatial audio, and more. Intel works with partners to develop cutting-edge solutions and powerful classroom hardware that support VR technology and its educational integration.
Truly Amazing Experiences
Most of us can only dream of piloting a spaceship to a black hole, tour the International Space Station, building a robot, or get a surgeon’s view of the human anatomy. A range of new VR technologies are combining the physical, digital, and biological worlds, helping to encourage deeper engagement in areas like science, engineering, and technology. This allows students to take learning out of the textbook and immerse themselves in 360-degree experiences. Students can practice real lab skills to complete virtual experiments, create, and test robotics with a high-degree of realism, visualize scientific concepts and environments that would be otherwise inaccessible, and more.
Beyond bringing the complex concepts of sciences to life, VR is also opening the door to cultural experiences to a wider range of young people. Intel and the Smithsonian American Art Museum recently partnered, allowing audiences to take a virtual field trip thought collections from SAAM and its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery1, starting with the exhibition, “No Spectators.”
Better Retention, Increased Engagement
VR content has been shown to boost student learning and test scores. A study conducted in Beijing had a group of students learn using VR while a control group learned via traditional teaching methods. In the immediate post-test, the VR group scored an average of 93% while the control group scored an average of 73%. After two weeks, a follow-up test was conducted and, again, the VR group performed better than the control group: the average score for the VR group was 90% while the average score for the control group was 68%.2
The same study also showed that students who tested below average on a pre-study test outperformed the test’s top scorers after having undergone the VR-enhanced curriculum.
The Future of VR in Education
How do you raise innovators, engineers, researchers, and leader who can solve the most pressing challenges facing the world today and in the future?
By fueling curiosity, breaking down the physical and socioeconomic boundaries, and embracing the gamification of learning and the technology that that will further change the landscape of education over the next decade.