Week 10: Virtual reality and learning.

This was an enjoyable lab session that got me hands on with my first experience using VR goggles. It was fun to use. However, I think it is a technology with much more development needed to create a polished product and further the potential experience. Various heritage institutions and tech companies alike are looking to use VR to create a new dimension to the learning experience. People have said that VR will revolutionise education. I don’t think it will. In 1922 Tomas Edison said that ‘I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.’ In the 1930s it was radio, the idea being that teaching could be beamed into class rooms, requiring less qualified teachers. Educational television in the 1950s and 60’s were seen to be the new thing. In the 1980s it was computers. Today it is smartboards, smartphones, Tablets and open online courses.
Various studies have been conducted on comparing learning mediums. Such as static diagrams or animated diagrams, videos or books, live lectures or recorded lectures. In all well-controlled studies, there is no significant difference. Therefore, it does not matter what surrounds the learning for no technology is more superior than another.
It is the means, not the medium, to which information is presented to create meaningful thought processes, which is the key to creating effective learning. Interactive tools like mapping and VR can be used to enhance the learning experience, but it is the social interactions with a teacher and peers that motivates learning and meaningful thought processes.

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