Virtual Reality and Education – 2025-Style

In his latest post Joshua Kim reviews Robert Scoble’s  and Shel Israel’s new book The Fourth Transformation. The first transformation was from mainframe computers and typewriters to personal computing. The second was from typing to clicking. The third transformation, the one we are in now, was the shift to mobile phones and tablet computers. The authors say the fourth transformation will be to virtual and augmented reality glasses. They say that by 2025 these glasses will be as small and light in weight as a pair of eyeglasses like the ones we wear today. I hope these glasses will not make their wearers dizzy and disoriented by then. I agree with Joshua Kim: I don’t see virtual and augmented reality glasses ever replacing the keyboard for typing.

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Microsoft and Pearson’s HoloLens Project

Microsoft and Pearson Publishing Company have announced that they are going to run educational augmented pilot projects at Texas Tech, San Diego State, and Byrn Mawr College. If you want to learn more about Microsoft’s HoloLens, you can watch this video: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us/why-hololens 

Five Ways Virtual Reality is being used in Education Right Now

Extreme Networks polled nearly 350 schools in higher-ed and K-12. 23% of respondents have tested VR, and 40% are not sure if they will use VR in the future. 43% of respondents said VR is too expensive to implement. Ways it is being used in education include:

1. For new research
2. For coding and 3D design
3. For anatomy and dissection
4. For engagement
5. For field trips

New VR Program Designed with Education in Mind

Engage, a VR program, was designed with education partly in mind. It lets up to 30 simultaneous users join in an immersive, interactive virtual reality meeting. It is compatible with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It is available as a free preview, but the price has not been announced.

Virtual Reality Comes to the Classroom

had the opportunity to use a pair of virtual reality goggles at the Southwest by Southwest Education Conference in March. They are surprisingly easy to use. The cardboard ones Google sells only cost $6. Educators are only just beginning to explore the many ways they can be used in teaching and learning.

Will Virtual Reality Really Change Education

Joshua Kim does not think virtual reality will ever really important in education, for these reasons:

1. Technology is not really all that consequential – Platforms and content are becoming less important because educational content is becoming a commodity.
2. VR is only a tool- Same old story: Just give students shiny new tools and they will learn better.
3. Technology is not the challenge