There’s no denying the impact that Virtual Reality (VR) technology has had on the way we live our lives. According to published reports, by 2030, 23 million jobs will be heavily reliant on VR technology, with brands such as Sony and Samsung driving change. Given that the price of entry into VR education has dropped over the years, hardware manufactured by HTC, Oculus and other brands has become accessible.
Introducing VR headsets and peripherals into higher education and corporate training is slowly becoming a viable solution for both universities and businesses looking to innovate. What are some of the more inventive and creative examples of applying VR in education in 2021, and what are the upsides of using VR?
Based on recent data, 37% of businesses think that VR adoption will increase in the next 2-5 years, with COVID-19 accelerating it by 38.1% in 2020. The practical advantages of using VR to educate in 2021 thus include:
Whether in higher education or corporate learning, vocational training can be significantly improved through VR headset use. Participants can use VR technology to place themselves in virtualized scenarios based on common problems found in any given industry.
This can include anything from IT-related exercises, mechanical problems, and medical procedures to name a few. In terms of mechanics-related VR training, AdeptXR is a great platform to consider integrating into your educational modules. It features over 60 different fields of training and collaborative education exercises which your team can use to improve their skillsets in a safe environment. As for medical training, Immersive Health Group is a healthcare-centric VR training platform with immersive educational modules. These range from clinical simulation training to patient experience and education, providing your team with an all-in-one platform for medical practice.
Being able to experience different scenarios specific to the student’s or employee’s field repeatedly for learning purposes is invaluable. The benefit of using VR for vocation-specific training is that there is no risk of damage to items or patients while learners can still practice.2. Media and Art Creation
Content creation has become something of a staple of the modern internet and social media platforms. It has also become an inherent part of marketing, PR and social exposure.
Relying on VR technology to learn how to create innovative content types for public consumption is the next step forward in advertisement and PR. Using a reliable resource for essay samples in tandem with VR can also help professionals create engaging content to augment their articles or case studies. For example, Drawlight by Early Adopter is a AR-based application that can help students and visual artists turn reality into an interactive canvas. It features a plethora of filters, brushes and textures for users to enjoy in tandem with a VR headset – the app is also AR-friendly. Students and employees whose focus lies in marketing and creative fields can make ample use of VR technology to brainstorm experiment and innovate without risks.
While virtual reality cannot be a substitute for real-life experience, students and employees can still rely on VR for communication skills training. Soft skills which are commonly associated with collaboration, negotiation, servicing and other forms of peer interaction can be practiced ad infinitum via VR.
This is an opportunity for inexperienced or socially-anxious individuals to break the proverbial ice and learn how to handle different parties through verbal communication. Given how public speaking is taboo for many students and professionals, you can practice presentational skills through VR-based platforms such as Foretell Reality. This platform goes beyond public speaking exercises, as it can help users in therapy or support groups, as well as soft skills development through VR. Senior employees and college professors can serve as proxies, monitoring and advising the trainees on how to improve their soft skills further based on observations.4. VR for People with Disabilities
People who want to specialize in certain fields but have no way of physically attending classes or corporate training events can do so through VR. While not ideal, VR can allow people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to travel or commute to participate in various activities alongside their peers.
Using VR technology for people with different disabilities goes beyond travel from one place to another and can extend to sight and sound as well. For example, SignAloud Gloves enable people to communicate using sign language without VR and then broadcast it as human speech. This, alongside VR headsets which are becoming common-place, can open the doors for countless ambitious people who want to learn and develop despite their hardships.5. Virtual Touring and Onboarding
As we’ve mentioned before, COVID-19 has effectively uprooted our way of living and introduced things such as social distancing to the common vernacular. With VR technology, even the global pandemic can be overcome more easily thanks to long-distance education, training and touring.
For example, every year, college campuses and hallways are filled with passionate young people looking for information on how to apply and join academia. Likewise, job interviews and junior employee onboarding take not only time but bring the risk of COVID-19 infection to businesses that can’t afford the downtime. Thus, introducing VR into traditional touring and onboarding practices can make them safer and help trainees get accustomed to new colleagues and facilities more easily.6. Social Diversity and Inclusion Norms Training
We live in an age where personal freedom of expression is extremely important. However, it is also important for universities and businesses to set the standard for their personnel through rules and regulations regarding diversity. While it may be completely normal for some to work with people of different ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, others may not be so accepting.
Virtual reality can be an extremely useful tool for group learning and training related to social norms on campus or during work hours. With proper monitoring and guidance, such exercises can lead to a fundamental change in the way school and office conflicts related to diversity are handled. Both students and employees will be able to shape their behavioral and collegial patterns to better match the expectations and standards of their respective institutions.
Only time will tell how VR will be adopted over the next few years. The inventiveness and creativity inherent to the technology cannot be overstated, however, and new and exciting ways to train and educate through VR are coming. As the barrier for entry into VR lowers rapidly, more and more universities and corporations will rely on VR-enabled platforms for education and training. The benefits of adopting VR outweigh the initial investment and through it, we can help future generations make the world a better place for everyone.
Linda Ferguson is a professional research paper writer and CEO of Subjecto. The texts she writes are always informative, based on qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.
The Glimpse Group is a Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Platform Company Comprised of Multiple Software & Services Subsidiaries Creating Innovative VR/AR Solutions (products, software, and consulting services)