Virtual Reality is gaining popularity in higher education. By 2023, virtual reality devices will increase by 85 percent. Gaming and educational applications are driving this growth. What areas should educators focus on in VR and what technology can they watch out for? Here are five promising areas for educators.
1. More affordable Headsets
While high-end headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens (which Microsoft calls a mixed reality device) are highly sought after because of their advanced applications and content, they can be expensive. In the future, as VR becomes more popular and commercially adopted, educators should expect to see high-quality headsets available at lower prices. Education gave a recent industry talk at the conference where she discussed with educators the options and headsets that would allow them to experiment with virtual reality.
Microsoft is working with partners such as HP Acer Dell Lenovo to create VR headsets compatible with low-end desktops. The companies plan to launch headsets. This is much cheaper than HoloLens. These headsets will be tethered PCs but will offer a more immersive experience. We expect them to quickly find their ways to campus labs or makerspaces. Education gave a recent industry talk at the education conference. She shared with educators the types of headsets to expect and the options available to them that would allow them to experiment without breaking the budget.
Microsoft is working with partners such as HP Acer Dell Lenovo to create VR headsets compatible with low-end desktops. This is much cheaper than HoloLens. These headsets will offer a more immersive experience, even though they are tethered. We expect them to quickly make their way into campus labs and makerspaces.
2. Hand Controller for Enhanced Interactivity
I have been using Google Daydream, and I love it, because adding a handheld controller to mobile VR makes a huge difference. Craig also pointed out that Samsung had implemented its own handheld controller for Gear Virtual Reality.
While we have yet to test these devices for quality, it will no doubt open up new possibilities of experimentation.
Both HTC Vivi & Oculus come with hand controllers which allow full-motion interactive experiences to be powered by experiential learning. “We’ve already seen interesting applications in STEM education. “It will also be interesting to see how platforms such as space with their stylus, AR glasses and AR glasses continue to develop their immersive apps.
3. Easy to Use Content Creation Platform
VR content is currently undergoing a lot of testing. The majority of content is developed in entertainment, sports and games, but “a lot is being drawn toward the development and maturation of virtual medical simulations.
Craig draws a parallel between mobile phones and virtual reality and the fact that most students now have their own mobile device. I use with my students in the classroom because I believe they are an incredibly powerful device. We use many apps that are developed by developers in the classroom. I believe the same will happen in virtual reality. The hardware will be manufactured by external vendors, and the platforms developed by content creators or other VR community members. Both K-12 and higher education communities will adapt those platforms to our learning needs.
Unity and Unreal, two popular game engines, are often used as a base for simulations. These platforms can be a bit complex for non-technical people. Digital Bodies believes that other platforms will emerge to make it easier for educators and students to create virtual experiences. Craig stated that “very targeted platforms like Lobster which creates virtual labs for chemistry will be important in specialized subject areas. To be in a simulation, where we can play and make mistakes, and not have to do it in real life is a powerful learning tool.
There are also a number of apps that allow users to manipulate VR content. They can add layers, tag content and more. “We’re seeing a wide range of mobile apps mature and we expect to see even more developments over the summer.
ThingLink has, for instance, introduced a new editor that is tailored to schools for the creation of 360-degree content and VR. Lifeliqe Aurasma, and Adobe also work on interactive tools.
4. 360-Degree Cameras
The newer 360-degree camera has more user-friendly functions, such as video stitching and Live Streaming, that educators can use to introduce more video in course materials.
“I have spoken to students and faculty, and they say is easier to produce. Craig explained that they can also create stories out of it not only a fieldtrip but a more storytelling-type experience or project.
He has used 360-degree videos in several of his College of New Rochelle classes and helped some faculty members experiment Virtual Reality content. It’s fascinating for students to start exploring this area, and to think about what they could do as future artists or nurses who may transition their work into a 360-degree world down the road.
Education sees this category expanding, with more products like the Samsung Gear 360 Camera that was released in March. It is capable of capturing video at 4K resolution. Users can also live-stream content in 2K resolution.
5.Social VR spaces
Another challenge of using VR in the classroom or laboratory is the isolation that students feel within the experience.
Education is best when people talk to each other crag stated that eye contact was crucial for the learning environment. “This collaboration, communication and connection must get into our Virtual Reality platform and it will. I believe that within the next year you will see several social Virtual Reality platforms.
AltspaceVR is a powerful tool, according to him, as it allows for user interaction and socialization through avatars. With the front-row feature, you are able to be a part of an audience or event. You can go with your friends or alone. “No matter what option you select, you will feel as if you are in direct contact with your performer.
Facebook continues to develop its Virtual Reality platform Facebook Spaces. It is currently in beta, and it will be released later this year. Lecture Virtual Reality, a platform similar to Facebook Spaces is on the horizon.
Education stated that “Facebook Spaces could be a great example of how to leverage the social aspect VR. From inspiring virtual clubs and tutoring, to experiential learning which can enhance both onsite and online students’ experiences,