After doing research during this lesson on virtual reality (VR), I can say my opinion has shifted some to the other side of supporting VR in the classroom. When I initial think of VR, I think of the sci-fi stuff you see in the movies such as the Matrix. To me that is VR. Living in another world. But in reality, it is not. It can be as simple as taking a virtual tour of the something. I think VR will keep the students more engaged in learning if used in the correct way. A teacher cannot solely rely on VR to teach the lesson. The teachers still need to teach the knowledge portion to the class first, but VR will enhance the lesson and further deepen a student’s understanding. I remember my teachers throwing on a video from the 1950’s after a lesson to try to enhance our knowledge of the subject. All it did was put me to sleep. But if they had had VR, I might not have felt that way. If in science class when you are learning about the human body we had seen VR videos of the systems in the body after learning about them, I would have totally been into it.
The VR world is a great alternative if you cannot use/see the real thing. For example, if you live in Texas and are learning about the American Revolution, a VR trip to Valley Forge will do the class well. But if you live in PA and are learning about Valley Forge, a real field trip is in order. While the VR trip if good, you still do not get the same effect as actually visiting the site in person.
The other problem with VR is students might not take is serious since it is not real. Or they might view it as just a game, etc. The students might see VR as fake. I think video games these days give the younger generations a feeling of “false hope” and they might not be able to differentiate between VR and real life since the games are such life like.
VR has some great attributes, but it needs to be used in the correct way or else it will not enhance the learning environment. This will then just be a waste of time for the teacher and the students.