|Photo: Casey Sapp |
By presenting a complete view of the world in which it is situated, VR offers a new opportunity to close some of the pedagogical gaps that have appeared in 21st century classroom learning. These gaps stem from the fact that curriculum and content in education have not caught up with rapid technology advancements.
Below I introduce three of these gaps and how they might be addressed by virtual reality content soon to be produced and distributed commercially. Put aside, if you will, considerations of budget and adoption that accompany any new technology entering the education world. (That’s another article.)
The Attention Gap
Much has been written about social media’s impact on our diminishing attention span, which may now be even shorter than that of a goldfish.
There are exceptions; many of us are able to engage for extended periods of time when gaming or using simulations. Research has shown that we remember 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, and up to 90% of what we do or simulate. Virtual reality yields the latter scenario impeccably. SingularityHub's Alison Berman describes, for example, how VR might allow a student to simulate flying through the bloodstream while learning about different cells he encounters.