That virtual reality holds a huge potential to be part of an educational setting isn't so farfetched. In fact, it's one of the biggest visions of VR and augmented reality pioneer Tom Furness, who exhibited the technology's potentials at the Air Force as far back as 1966. His work with research applications in VR has significantly contributed to social sciences, education, and medicine.
With the leaps and bounds VR has undertaken in recent years, what other potentials does it have to offer in a classroom set-up?
Heightened enthusiasm among students
A VR device as a teaching aid also requires less of a learning curve and instructions, as today's digital generation is already familiar with the basics of its technology. The graphics appeal to the visual nature of younger pupils, while an immersive experience will set their imagination (plus decision-making and critical thinking) in motion in a non-passive way.
Dealing with the creatures of the nanosecond (AKA today's students) means attempting to broaden their attention span to that when they can actually learn something. VR has the capacity to do precisely this. It can engage students immediately without the dull preamble of many traditional classroom activities. Which also brings us to...
More focus, less distractions
The immersive experience that VR offers also means students soak up the experience with much more focus than, say, having someone lecture up front (while trying to hold their attention for at least an hour).
Even more complex subjects and concepts can be explained better by virtual reality. Immersion is key in using this tool to further broach these subjects, and it helps students retain what they learn far better and for longer.