Renewed emphasis on Virtual EducationBy
Educators, instructional designers and those in the virtual environment developer community have long known about the benefits of using 3D spaces for education. The merits of educating students, both young and old, using immersive environments stand alone and have been written about extensively. While these communities have held these beliefs with the notion that the future of learning will be driven by these merits alone, it may be current economic that propel full validation of these technologies and methods instead.
Over the last number of months many, many news articles have been published demonstrating that improvements in education are required not only for the benefit of our society, but also to the meet the growing demand to reduce costs. While reducing costs is a good goal, educating our younger generation should not suffer due to temporary reductions in spending. It is more important than ever that a society remain competitive, smart and be innovative thinkers.
A simple online search term using virtual education reveals hundreds of articles describing the desire to improve learning with greater efficiency. Schools across the US, and the world, are now using virtual environments to support visual learning. Educating our younger generation using visual learning environments has been shown to improve the retention rates of curriculum to upwards of 85%.
Specific areas of education that are benefiting from using virtual reality environments include design, medical and nurse training, engineering, communication and distance learning. At the highest level, visual environments deliver experiences, while text book learning is quickly representing a more outdated form of education. If a new concept can be touched, set in motion, taken apart and even acted out by virtual bot characters, why would simple reading continue to be the standard? Sure, there are inherent and important skill benefits to reading text books, but we have entered a new world. Reading will always be important. However, technology now supports learning in ways that deliver much better and satisfying results.
Education needs to be tailored to the demands of today's students. The younger generation works and thinks differently. Instant access to friends, media and news are fingertips away. Entertainment now comes in the form of 3D games that are taken for granted, it is the expected form of gaming. To capture the imagination of today's youth, and to propel them forward to leaders of tomorrow, we as a global community needs to stay in sync with the expectation of students. Should we fail this challenge, a better society hangs in the balance. The silly Idiocracy movie is an image that comes to mind should we fail to challenge the learners of today.
In closing, we not only have a duty train our youth in the best manner possible, but also meet the challenges of current economic conditions. The quality of education should not suffer due to temporary setbacks in tax revenue, nor should it. Using virtual 3D environments to meet this goal won't solve every education challenge, but is an effective move forward. The benefits of virtual education, virtual schools and innovative distance learning are all possible using today's technology.
If you would like to learn more about this field, please contact Cranial Tap to learn how your community can benefit.