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

January 29, 2019 / Mark S Steed
SHARESHARESHARE

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 trans...