Introducing Virtual Reality (VR) in the K-12 classroom
Education is the only approach towards acquiring knowledge and information. Thus, it is necessary that the teaching methodologies and tools provide a conducive environment towards learning. The rising use of technology in various sectors around the globe makes education part of it. While previous teaching tools provided an excellent environment for learning topics and subjects, the adoption of VR allows the learners to explore, and experience the content as if they were actually at that particular location, thus getting a feel of the content (Dutra, Passerino and Pereira 296). The need to complement learning and also cut down on the rising educational costs is a key motivation for adopting technological innovations in education. The current mobile revolution through the proliferation of smartphones has provided VR with greater propulsion, considering their portability and inclusive characteristics. Virtual reality presents complex information in simpler ways to learners that are both fun and easier to understand (Dutra, Passerino and Pereira 295). The ability to interact with the content allows the students to make further discoveries about the content on their own.
The significant innovations in the education sector currently are the use of computer-assisted instructions focused on providing the same content across each learning level in the state. The other trend is the use of XO laptops, which are simple but resourceful gadgets, considering their approach to global issues and access to extensive educational materials (Smith 5). On the other hand, websites and social media have an impact on the education system indirectly, considering that parents, teachers, and students can interact and maintain communication about classroom events and other activities over the platforms.
Innovation in education is an essential aspect towards decentralizing knowledge and information from the teachers and making them available at all times when needed by students. Innovations in education aid in providing solutions to the various challenges faced by both teachers and students during the learning process. Students have a higher tendency of responding to content through the use of technological gadgets like computers compared to oral discussions (Smith 9). Students get more engaged with innovation, hence improving the learning process and in return providing a positive outcome.
The innovation falls in the ‘Process’ level of Bessant’s 4Ps model, considering that the change involves an improvement of a learning process through the adoption of technology. Students can have a better experience of the learning process through a virtual interaction with the content being learned, creating an imaginary feel of the information at hand and improving their understanding. The innovation also relates to the ‘product” level, considering that a new item is introduced into an already existing system. The introduction of VR into the system implies that new gadgets and equipment are included in the learning process, relating to the ‘Product’ Phase.
The innovation falls on the incremental side of the spectrum, bearing in mind that the education system is not entirely changed, but a change is adopted to improve the learning process. Previously, students would interact with content and environments through visuals in the form of pictures or diagrams and in other cases, travel to a location of interest to learn. However, with the adoption of VR, students can interact with the content and environments within the classroom setup enhancing learning and cutting down on cost that could have been incurred through travels. VR is a great innovation that is expected to transform learning for the better and improving student performance.
Dutra, Piovesan Sandra, Liliana Maria Passerino and Adriana Soares Pereira. “Virtual Reality as a Tool in the Education.” International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (2012): 295-298.
Smith, Kim. Innovation in Public Education: Problems and Opportunities. 27 August 2009. 8 July 2017 <http://www.newschools.org/files/innovation-in-education.pdf>.