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Schools Undecided on Whether or Not to Implement Virtual Reality Technology

Schools Undecided on Whether or Not to Implement Virtual Reality Technology

Big companies have been putting forth their best efforts to get virtual reality technology into schools, but a recent announcement from Extreme Networks indicates that teachers and administrators are still largely undecided on whether or not they deem the technology to be useful.

Using results from its survey “Virtual Reality in Education,” Extreme Networks concluded in August that while many schools are optimistic about the benefits that using virtual reality brings, implementation is still a work in progress that will likely take years before becoming mainstream.

"VR isn’t regularly used and 40% of schools still aren’t sure if they’ll use the technology in the future. Very few, only 3%, are taking VR to the next step and teaching students how to code and create VR content,” said Extreme Networks.

Teachers who have yet to use virtual reality say barriers include not enough related content being available yet as well as implementation being both expensive and difficult.

eSchoolNews, however, pointed out this week through using the survey results that overcoming these barriers might be in education’s best interest as virtual reality can be used as a unique tool to inspire student engagement in several different ways; it points out that virtual reality provides a unique way to navigate dissections, an easy way to travel to far lands via virtual field trips, and an interactive way to learn both coding and design.

Indeed, the survey revealed some interesting findings about the teachers who do use virtual reality right now. 52 percent of the Extreme Networks’ survey respondents, for example, said that they have tried virtual reality out to specifically teach science lessons, indicating VR is particularly useful for teaching the STEM subject.

The survey also revealed some good news for Google: 74 percent of respondents who have used virtual reality said they have used Google to do so, indicating a major success for Google’s innovative Expedition Kits.

For teachers interested in using virtual reality in their classrooms but unsure of where to find related content, there are several resources that can be of use.

A partnership between Google and TES Global, for instance, provides teachers access to lesson plans that accompany Google field trips; available resources include aligned lesson plans to Google Expedition field trip sites to provide educators stepping stones as they begin to integrate virtual reality into the classroom.

Read more about the survey results here.

 

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Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

10/17/2016

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