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Improving Student Engagement with Virtual Reality

And back we are! Providing another Virtual Reality (VR) post for you all. Please don't get sick yet, there are still a few more to go (lol).

Today's topic is student engagement. By providing immersive and interactive learning experiences, VR can help students become more invested in their education and develop a greater love for learning. It is hard to find resources that will fit the curricula nowadays (but maybe in a few years?). However, if we use VR as a tool to promote engagement (where there was not), I do have a thing or two to tell you. I want to talk about Engaging students with immersive and interactive VR experiences, how to create stories, games or simulations as well as encouraging hands-on with VR.

Engaging Students with Immersive and Interactive Learning Experiences VR technology provides a level of immersion and interactivity that can be incredibly engaging for students. After all, students do like new exciting tech, right? And an opportunity to get out of the classroom routine. By allowing students to explore and interact with virtual environments, they can learn in a way that is both fun and meaningful. As usual, an example. in one of my partner schools, Strathcona Tweedsmuir School (the only school I know that has many opportunities for students to try VR), I often offer after-school clubs using VR technology about design and creativity. From day 1, students already dive into VR to design whatever they would like. By allowing children to design something of their preference while using fancy new tools (VR), kids get over-engaged. The amount of questions and discussions I have with students is a bit (good) overwhelming. Kids ask for my opinion on my design, on how to use tool X vs Y from the app and even interact with their peers to see and get inspiration from other designs. I have seen children creating dresses, plants, castles and much more! These moments show me the power that VR has in letting kids engage in a given subject on their own terms.

Use of Virtual Reality to Create Interactive Stories, Games and Simulations In addition to traditional educational materials, VR technology can be used to create interactive stories, games, and simulations that help students learn in new and exciting ways. For example, still at the same school, with the same after-school clubs. I asked students to form groups, dive into VR using a collaborative environment (up to 4 students co-creating in the same room) and told them to create a scene about a story of their choice. Some kids created a food fight, others a beach day vacation. The discussions on what to create and how to create were endless and extremely positive. Kids even defined specific functions during the club (i.e. one person designs the food, others the people, etc.). That is a level of engagement that is only achievable in a group project if kids are familiar with each other. In this specific club, students were from different grades and classes, so a good mix, and they still interacted like there was no tomorrow. Win for VR again :D.

Encouraging Hands-On and Exploratory Learning As a kinesthetic learner, I prefer hands-on over other ways of learning. That is why VR and I go well together. The same is valid for many students. By using VR to provide them with hands-on, exploratory learning experiences, VR can help students become more invested in their education and develop a greater love for learning. Rather than simply reading about a concept or topic, students can actively engage with it, exploring and discovering for themselves. For example, in a VR workshop, I asked students what they were learning or liked more in their classes. Music was picked as a topic and I took the students on a journey through many music concerts using VR videos. From Disney Opera classics to a full-blown rock and roll concert, students were exposed to many different types of musical styles and their deliveries. Of course, that brewed conversations about what was cool and not and kids really enjoyed the experience. But that did not stop there. I challenged the kids to play their favourite instrument using an app. By giving them the hands-on, students were able to practice what was learned while using their own skill set on the music subject but translating it on VR. This added a bonus - kids had to translate their real-world musical skills into VR (similar but not the same). That in itself allowed them to understand a few transversal skills - how they can use skills from one area to another (real world vs VR). In conclusion, virtual reality has the potential to greatly improve student engagement and enthusiasm for learning. By providing immersive and interactive learning experiences, VR can help students become more invested in their education and develop a greater love for learning.

Bring VR to your classroom by hiring us to teach an immersive and engaging experience to your children! All you gotta do is click here.

Nik Zetouni

Next Gen CEO

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