LEARNING IN VIRTUAL REALITY
VR presents a unique opportunity for students to create high quality 3-dimensional games that they can actually participate in. VR gives kids a chance to design, make games, acquire, and apply skills. This is necessary for the education of citizens of the future.
3D modelling is another important aspect of applied design. But in VR you can actually learn 3D modelling by physically manipulating virtual objects around you. In this way, VR builds on students’ natural curiosity, inventiveness, and desire to create and work in practical ways.
INTERACTIVE 3D ART
Creating works of art allows students to experiment in a variety of ways to discover new possibilities. Creative expression is a means to explore and share one’s identity and VR allows new ways to explore and express themselves that would have been unimaginable even ten years ago.
WORK AND PLAY IN ZERO GRAVITY
People often ask, "Does VR offer anything that they can't already do in real life?" Well, unless your child already has access to the International Space Station, VR provideas a chance for students to visit the ISS and complete missions including a spacewalk (and the app is free). EchoVR lets students compete in a Zero-G sport similar to handball.
As a longtime science educator, I find one of the drawbacks of teaching online is the challenge of having students do hands-on science demos and experiments. There are apps in VR such as Gadgeteer that allow to students to create incredibly complex Rube Goldberg Devices and to solve problems by trial and error. They can learn about pitch and yaw by literally flying a car in a futuristic world. Climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest while in the safety of your living room is also a nice benefit of virtual reality.
SAFE SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Obviously it can be a challenge to find safe ways to socialize and make friends during a pandemic. Once again, VR offers ways for students to meet with friends near and far in multiplayer apps and games. Students can play games together, get exercise with Beat Saber and compete in the incredible parkour race, Stunt Runner. Incidentally, the more friends they make around the world, the more they will need to learn about communication and time zones.