“By using VR in education material now considered too difficult for many students and taught even to advanced learners only at the college level could be mastered by most students in middle school and high school.”       

 -NASA Software Technology Branch

Virtual Learning is learning without boundaries, a technology that allows students to step into a three-dimensional, interactive environment and enter a world where everything is possible: visiting Mayan Cities, exploring a plant cell, or sitting on the edge of a black hole. Children now have an unprecedented opportunity to explore their coursework in a highly engaging manner.

Virtual Learning is multi-sensory, experiential learning. Students “travel” to a virtual recreation. They are “there.” It allows students to “see” the subject especially benefiting students who learn best through experience instead of only reading or hearing about a subject.  It provides an important sense of engagement and context for kids to build an initial mastery of an idea. It becomes a great new tool for educators to use to present information, especially ideal for presenting complex ideas and phenomena that students have little prior context to fully grasp.

Virtual Learning consists of exciting technologies that engage the student. Because it expands the learning environment and conveys large amounts of information, it is extremely effective as a learning tool.  When students learn about something in real-time 3D, it becomes clear. Evey attribute- from the  event horizon of a black hole to a Ancient Greek scupting style to a part of a human cell- becomes apparent.  In a 3D environment, complex ideas can be understood;  ideas are both amplified and simplified, but always obvious.  

 

Virtual learning makes ideas easily accessible to students, helping them to create a solid understanding of a subject. It is an effort to make learning more relevant and engaging to today’s technology-savvy kids.  It helps students bridge the gap between the concrete world and the abstract world of concepts and models.  This gap is where students often fail.

Click here for a full list of lesson plans designed to help teachers integrate virtual learning into classroom activities:

Lesson Plans for Teachers

 

Further Reading:

The Learning Technology

Learning Foundations of Virtual Learning Technology

Virtual Learning, STEM, and US Competitveness

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