Whether VR takes this time around remains to be seen but I feel it is important to introduce children to the world of VR as it is an example of a future technology, something that could change the world by challenging the status quo. Often the future technology builds on what has gone before but often it can replace it entirely. Recent examples of this are:
- The iPod changed the way we consume music.
- YouTube has changed the way we distribute content.
- Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have changed the way we watch films and television shows. These services are now producers themselvese.g. Daredevil, The Man in the High Castle etc
- Steam, an online video game purchasing platform, has changed the way millions of gamers play their video game.
We must prepare the children for the changing face of the world by preparing them for things that haven’t even been thought of yet. I feel strongly that VR could change the education system. As teachers and educators we like to immerse our children in topics to interest and excite them. With certain topics this is easy as we have to facilities and resources nearby to engage them, however with certain topics like history this can be difficult as the places we are discussing are often not within reach.
How much more thrilling would it be to stand in the place we are learning about? We can't take our classes on an educational visit to Egypt for example when we are learning about the Pharaohs but what if we could take them there virtually. Well, with the power of VR we can.
In this spirit of embracing the future (and past) the pupils in my school made their own Google Card VR headsets. It may not look like much, a simple unassuming little cardboard box but through the use of magnetometers, accelerometers, gyroscopes and external head cameras, which come as standard in most mobile phones, we have the opportunity to transport our children to amazing places.