Virtual reality: not the edu-fad it is made out to be?

TES | January 29, 2019

The lift doors closed, and I ascended to the 45th floor. When they opened again, it was not to a generic corridor but to a plank extending out from the building.I was experiencing acute anxiety and the inevitable vertigo associated with looking down from a skyscraper. I froze – I could not leave the safety of the lift. I had failed.Throughout, part of my brain had known that I was in the safety of a classroom in the sixth-form block at my school and that the plank, in reality, was an expanse of carpet extending in front of me.But despite knowing that I was in no immediate danger, I was terrified. My senses had been hijacked by virtual reality and some primal sense of survival deep inside me had kicked in. Try as I might, I could not overcome it.The "Plank Experience" has been part of our IB Diploma psychology unit on fear and anxiety for a couple of years now. It is an extraordinary way of approaching the topic. It is one of many examples of how virtual reality is transforming the classroom experience of pupils.In the past six months, Year 7 went to Africa, Year 3 have been to the Pyramids, Year 4 visited the Vikings, Year 5 went to Ancient Greece and Year 1 even travelled into space.All these "school trips" are available in the classroom within a matter of minutes – a further bonus is that there’s no disruption to the curriculum, no additional paperwork, no buses to order, and the hi-vis jackets can stay in the cupboard.

Spotlight

Gamification of e-learning is where you take the elements of gaming and apply them in learning. Gamification can prove to be a rewarding experience in e-learning as it motivates and challenges employees to take their learning experience to the next level. It also works as a great strategy to ensure that learners complete online training programs.

Spotlight

Gamification of e-learning is where you take the elements of gaming and apply them in learning. Gamification can prove to be a rewarding experience in e-learning as it motivates and challenges employees to take their learning experience to the next level. It also works as a great strategy to ensure that learners complete online training programs.

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