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The 7 Ways to Use VR Content in Education

Education

November 1, 2019 | 7 min read

The 7 Ways to Use VR Content in Education

As a teacher, you live for the spark in your student's eyes signifying you’ve made an impact. While we wish we could influence every student being a teacher is hard work and it’s easy for distracted students to get bored or fall behind. As the speed of technological progress increases educators find themselves competing against social media, smartphones and video games for the attention of their students. 

The Power Of Virtual Reality in Education

When it comes to education, not all technologies are created equal. Many educators are beginning to realize the power of Virtual Reality to recapture a student’s attention and drive engagement. Imagine taking students on a field trip to the bottom of the ocean to study sharks or to the center of a galaxy to see the effects of a supermassive black hole. With VR, students can build a molecule, sculpt a piece of art or relive important historical events. 

VR grabs students and immerses them in a powerful experience that feels real. 

The biggest challenge for educators is finding content that fits into what they’re already doing. As a complement to the SpringboardVR Content Marketplace, we’ve created this guide with 7 basic categories to help teachers and professors think about how VR can be used to help supplement their lessons and captivate students. 


7 Ways to Use VR in Educational Institutions

  1. Lab Content
    Go practice what you've learned
  2. Complementary Content
    Engage and supplement the learning process
  3. Exploration Content
    Experience what you normally could not
  4. Collaborative Content
    Build, explore, and engage with classmates
  5. Creative Content
    Build and develop anything you can imagine
  6. Casual Content
    An opportunity to relax
  7. eSports Content
    Competitive after school programs or physical education


A lot of educational VR content falls into one of these categories. By understanding each category we hope you’ll gain a stronger understanding of how VR can be used to connect with your students in a more impactful way. 


Lab Content

Go practice what you've learned

Victory VR: Dissection Simulator

VR dissections are the ultimate example of user-friendly science education solutions. Unlike classroom dissections, there is no setup required. Just pop on a VR headset, load the program, and you are ready to learn.

How it Works

A national award-winning science teacher, digitized into a hologram, provides classroom instruction following the Next Gen Science Standards (NGSS). Animals are represented to scale inside the virtual environment and a full set of virtual dissection tools lets you see the detailed inner-workings of the subject’s body.

How it Can Be Used

While Victory VR: Dissection Simulator might not immediately replace the need for real frogs it can be used to practice what students have already learned. Having this available in the library or a VR lab enables students who were absent or would like additional practice to go through the dissection exercise over and over again. 


Complementary Content

Engage and supplement the learning process

Physiology of the Eye

Manipulate a model of the eye and learn the complex interactions of the cranial nerves and eye muscles.

How it Works

Physiology of the Eye offers 7 chapters of learning. The program begins with basic anatomy terms followed by a breakdown of every aspect of the human eye. It’s simple to use and highly specialized. Practice quizzes offered throughout the experience, help students know what to work on. In addition to seeing the anatomy and physiology up close, students can also click on each part to hear how it’s pronounced.

How it Can Be Used

We’re all familiar with basic anatomy models in the science lab. These models are expensive and there are usually only a few to go around. Having Physiology of the Eye in a VR Lab enables students an alternative to using physical models. Along with real-time quizzing, Physiology of the Eye is almost like having a personal tutor.


Exploration Content

Experience what you normally could not

Historium VR - Relive the history of Bruges

Travel into the city of Brugge as a 15th century trading merchant.

How it Works

Historium VR - Relive the history of Bruges takes the user on an immersive journey along trading routes in the 15th century. Students sail, row, fly, explore and interact to learn about the history of Bruges from the perspective of a trading merchant.

How it Can Be Used

It’s impossible to go back in time and actually experience what Bruges was like or why it was significant. Textbooks can explain that there is a place called Bruges and that it was an important port but this high quality experience takes students through a 20 minute journey that gives them a real sense of what life would have been like and how traders lived.


Collaborative Content

Build, explore, and engage with classmates

IDR

Teaches people to program in VR using Object Oriented programming within a VR headset. Teams work together to learn to code and animate their creations.

How it Works

One student puts on a headset while the other follows a lesson plan from outside. Working together, the students create an animated 3D model using block based object oriented programing. In his first studies the creator of IDR, Jens Zalzala, says that most students go from knowing no coding at all to creating their own basic VR experiences within 30 minutes.

How it Can Be Used

Jens says that a first time student can learn the basics of programming in as little as 30 minutes with IDR. Being in VR with other students adds an extra level of immersion and helps students remember their projects better. Some collaborative content allows multiple students to be in the same virtual experience. Other content like IDR leverages one student outside the headset teaching the other student inside the headset how to program from a lesson plan.


Creative Content

Build and develop anything you can imagine

Masterpiece VR

Use 3D drawing tools to create detailed artwork.

How it Works

Use a drawing tool and a vast selection of brush types to create masterpieces. Sculpt and paint using intuitive, dynamic tools that allow you to easily build tangible objects, colourful environments, and high quality models. Students can sculpt alone or together in the same virtual room in real time then export the model to a 3D printer.

How it Can Be Used

Creative tools like Masterpiece VR, Make VR Pro and Gravity Sketch allow for CAD creation and the ability to export to a 3D printer. Some teachers/students report they can create CAD models faster and easier than with traditional 2D tools. 


Casual Content

An opportunity to decompress in VR

Nature Treks

Take relaxing walks through scenic landscapes to relax and reflect.

How it Works

Casual content like Nature Treks places students in interesting environments to simply relax and take a break from studying. Being able to walk on a beach in the winter or in a forest after a stressful day allows students to recharge.

How it Can Be Used

Casual experiences can be used by a councillor to help students meditate or simply take it easy for a little bit.  


eSports Content

Competitive after school programs or physical education

Beat Saber

Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game. Your goal is to use laser swords to slash blocks to the beat of the music.

How it Works

Competitive games like Beat Saber and Audioshield offer a fresh take on healthy competition. The VR Health Institute has studied these games and claims they burn 6-8 calories per minute which is the equivalent of playing tennis.

How it Can Be Used

With eSports on the rise, VR adds a physical and immersive element that captivates students. This is perfect for extracurricular clubs, teams or simply to replace a gym class on a rainy day.


Thinking About Adding VR to Your Educational Institution? 

As the VR industry continues to grow, so will the possibilities of how we can connect this powerful medium to learning. SpringboardVR is passionate about helping educators find content that fits their student's needs. To see a full list of educational VR content on our platform click here

To speak with us about our 30-Day Plan and how you can implement VR at your institution contact us today. 


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