When it comes to student learning with immersive tech, the research is still in its infancy. But related research…experiences, field trips, simulations, visuals, and engagement aren’t. It is not a huge leap to make a few assumptions about immersive tech, such as augmented and virtual reality.
Looking back as a past technology integration coach in schools, implementing tech seems almost scarily easy. When my entire district decided to “go Google,” we spent years training teachers, administrators, parents, and of course, students the various Google-Suite apps. Honestly, it was a game-changing miracle. Needless to say, AR/VR/MR doesn’t seem nearly as daunting. For AR, the trickiest part is finding the content and getting the apps on your devices. For users, point your mobile device, and the magic happens. In educational institutions, there are a few more barriers to use VR, especially regarding hardware/headgear. Of course, I’ve oversimplified my case, as an educator. But let’s face it, many terrific lessons don’t start out “ideal,” and they still get the job done.
At this time, perhaps the biggest barrier of all is realizing the possibilities. Just imagine…your eighth-grade students who read at a fourth-grade level asking questions about the Battle of Gettysburg after an immersive experience and researching (translate…read and think) on how the geography of the area proved to be one of the main characters in the story. Just imagine…a third-grader who gets help from the actual characters as they pop up to review what happened in the last chapter and set the stage for the next one? Just imagine…a high-school student living in rural Wyoming “walking the halls” of an art museum in the Netherlands and discovering the Flemish basically invented oil paints that he still uses today.
The Institute for Learning Perspectives, or Perspectives XR, is an educational non-profit dedicated to helping educational institutions use immersive technologies to teach the humanities.