Projected to reach over $84 billion by 2028, the virtual reality market is one of the fastest-growing in the world. These technologies are blowing up industries like business, entertainment, healthcare, and, yes, education.
Since it’s difficult to pinpoint where a solution is headed without looking into its past, we’re going to dive into VR’s history today, Here, we’re going to talk about the history of virtual reality specifically in the education sector. Read on to learn about VR’s development… and to understand where these platforms are headed in 2022 and beyond.
The History of Virtual Reality in the Early Days
The foundation of virtual reality dates back to 1956. Morton Heilig, who had a heavy background in the film industry, designed a Sensorama machine to help people feel like they were inside the movie. This 3D picture allowed people in the theater to simulate a motorcycle ride through a city, complete with multisensory experiences.
This paved the way for Ivan Sutherland to build a head-mounted device that immersed people inside a picture in 1965. This device was a sort of prototype for the VR headsets that later became popular in schools and other educational settings.
In the 80s, NASA developed a Virtual Interface Environment Workstation (VIEW) that allowed astronomers to move through a virtual version of space. These workstations used head-mounted devices in addition to gloves for tactile immersion.
As you can imagine, this wasn’t just groundbreaking for research. It also gave educators a look into what VR systems could do for students. They could examine new environments such as space, faraway locations, art galleries, and even historical settings.
In the beginning, these were just dreams. However, they later did become a reality.
VR’s Foray Into Education
In the early days of virtual reality, the technologies weren’t just limited. They were also extremely expensive. They couldn’t immediately become mainstream in educational settings for both practical and financial reasons.
However, researchers and educators still wanted to shift classrooms to the use of virtual reality for some applications. While there were (and still are) practical limitations on what augmented reality is capable of, it can simulate environments that students otherwise would not have access to.
In 2000, a mainstream study by researcher Alessandro Antonietti and his team proved that VI could benefit learning. Children were given a virtual tour of a complex painting and, after being allowed to examine all aspects of it, were better able to describe it than the non-VR-using control group.
In 2010, when contemporary virtual reality devices began to emerge, their integration in schools became more widespread. PC-connected headsets allowed students to zoom in on parts of a desktop screen and “immerse” themselves in an image. This interactive learning method was similar to a film but allowed learners to click on and explore an image on their own terms.
From there, educational VR continued to develop into today’s augmented reality technologies. 2014-2017 saw the progression of PC headsets to console and mobile-tethered alternatives. Eventually, VR was made into the independent platform that it is today.
The Present and Future of Educational VR
In 2021, virtual reality is used in a ton of different settings. Experts can receive training in how to improve their businesses with these technologies. Educators can come up with new ways to integrate them into classrooms regardless of the subject that they teach.
Some applications that educators currently use virtual reality for include:
- Training people in new skills
- Letting people explore places they couldn’t practically visit (virtual field trips)
- Language and cultural immersion
- Interaction with virtual people within the augmented setting
- Teaching architecture, art, design, and other visually-based fields
- The ability to collaborate long-distance with teachers and other students
- Learning by playing engaging and interactive virtual reality games
Because augmented realities have been increasingly normalized in educational settings, it seems likely that there will be huge leaps in the next few years. Smart learning is sure to become more common, especially with distance learning.
The Power of Immersion
Currently, there are a few problems with the education system that virtual reality can solve. Fact retention isn’t conducive to learning skills with applications, making this common classroom format ineffective. Additionally, since students can become overwhelmed with boring information, students often become disengaged.
Virtual reality relies on experience-based learning to teach students. This allows all learners to remain engaged and interested, whether they’re visual learners or go-getters. The full sensory experiences emerging in virtual reality also give learners something to remember when trying to recall and apply their teachings later.
Students who learn things by doing them also allow them to more easily understand how to use the skills that they’re developing. Active learning inspires them to discover various aspects of the world around them and to take action within that world. After someone learns something in a VR and applies the knowledge there, they’ll have an easier time with related real-life tasks.
All of these factors mean that virtual reality is one of the best advancements in education. Its history switched up the way that learning works today, and its present is bound to make the future even brighter.
Get Agile Training Today
Now that you know the history of virtual reality in education, it’s time to begin reaping its many benefits. Agile certification can help to make your team more productive, scalable, and adaptable in their project management.
We’re committed to training experts in how to integrate VR into their existing frameworks with Agile systems and mindsets. Contact us with any remaining inquiries about how you can make your educational organization more efficient and effective with Agile training and virtual reality technologies.