Use VR headset at school

Virtual Reality is not a new technology, more than fifty people are working on VR equipment. When you include painting with works of art such as the Panorama Mesdag from the nineteenth century, these kinds of applications have been around for much longer. The big difference between then and now is the availability of advanced equipment that makes Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality much more accessible. With a smartphone and a cardboard holder with plastic lenses you step into a completely convincing world. In addition to entertainment such as films and computer games, VR is increasingly being used in schools. The possibilities of Virtual Reality offer almost unlimited possibilities within teaching, from primary school to university.

No experience with VR in teaching yet? There are various configurations for rent, from an individual headset to a combination of VR headset that are connected including the computer and software.

How does Virtual Reality work?
To view new VR worlds you need a VR headset. The luxury VR headsets have one or two screens built in and are connected to a modern and very fast PC. In addition, there are smartphone holders that use the screen and the computing power of the smartphone. The second method is cheaper and wireless, but the positioning of the more expensive models is missing. With Virtual Reality, full vision is taken over by the virtual world around you, there must always be help within education.

Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality

Augmented Reality is another technology, with a layer over the existing view. Consider the subtitles, a logo or an additional framework for a television broadcast. AR is very suitable for interactive manuals and, for example, additional information during a museum visit. Mixed Reality also projects information about reality, with the difference that these objects really seem to be “anchored” to the environment. For example a Pokémon figure standing in the garden, or a Dino standing on the kitchen table.

Child-friendly VR
Modern Virtual Reality equipment is new technology that has not yet been extensively tested. Some users experience a feeling of nausea, this can occur when the image you see does not correspond with the other senses. For example, think of a VR roller coaster that you watch from the couch, you can become disoriented.

Another uncertain factor is the development of eyes in children. Because too little research has been done into this, most headsets are not recommended for children younger than twelve or thirteen to use the VR headset. This number is chosen quite randomly. Child-friendly VR headsets often do not have a headband, which means that the child must hold the headset themselves. This prevents staring into the VR headset for too long. When sessions are limited to a few minutes, the chance of future problems is very unlikely.

When using VR headset, the limitations in view and balance of the user are the main factors to take into account. Let children work in groups, possibly with guidance.

Shut off from the outside world

There is a risk of falling and colliding, certainly in a busy classroom. In the near future this problem will be solved with a “depth scan”. Both Microsoft with the Hololens and Tango from Google are already able to analyze the space. By translating this data into the VR headset you know exactly where the real obstacles are in the room.

Teachers opt en masse for VR teaching

Samsung had a study conducted in teaching in which as many as 92% of teachers supported the use of digital technology in the classroom, with even 99% of teachers aged thirty and younger. In addition to VR technology, laptops and projectors are increasingly being used. Although the number of teachers who used VR teaching in the classroom was only 18%, the willingness to use it is about half, to 58% among younger teachers. No fewer than 79% of the teachers indicated that VR makes it possible to experience that are otherwise impossible.

The investment is still too high for many schools, and new developments follow at a rapid pace. It is possible to rent virtual reality headsets. This is not only fun for the students, teachers learn to use this new medium in education.

Knowledge is a human right!

The lower the threshold for teaching,, the faster we develop as a society. The EON Experience VR is an example of a free virtual reality school and AR app that focuses on educational applications. Google has developed an accessible lesson program called “Google Expeditions” where multiple students can participate in virtual tours at the same time. The teacher acts as a “host” and leads the group through the excursion.

Magic with Markers

“Markers” can be used for Augmented Reality, which are images recognized by the software. These types of markers can then call up new information. This technology is increasingly being used in museums to provide additional explanation to visitors. There are even blankets and play mats available for children that bring textiles to life.

Peer has developed a cardboard construction kit that comes to life with Augmented Reality. A simple cardboard shape gets virtual blades, which transforms it into a functional windmill. With VR headsets or smartphone, physical objects can be expanded with virtual information.

Drawing in depth

You can draw and paint with markers, chalk, paint and now also with VR controllers. Drawing packages such as Quill for the Oculus Rift and Tilt Brush for the HTC Vive let you draw and paint in three dimensions. In addition to the creative aspect, the sense of perspective and depth is also stimulated. These packages are more than toys, they are currently being designed as films and computer games.

School trip in the classroom

Panorama photography and 360-degree video makes it possible to travel around the world from the classroom, and to make excursions to companies that you normally cannot visit. General Electric has made a series of 360-degree videos about robotics in which exciting images are used to keep the students involved.

Get the children moving

A frequently heard criticism of modern technology is the passive experience and the lack of movement. With the help of a projector and some smart technology, a gym can be transformed into a high-tech computer game. The advantage of this type of application is the ability to design new experiences based on existing facilities.

From the classroom to home

Homework becomes a lot more interesting when VR and AR are used. There are already blankets with a special image that comes to life through the eye of a tablet camera. There is also a VR application to explain to children the importance of brushing their teeth.

There are many more ways to learn while playing, including instruction and adult education.

Remember more with audiovisual information

Retention plays an important role in the learning process. How can you let a student record more information and remember it for longer? Research has shown that audiovisual information is better remembered than a textbook or oral explanation. With stereoscopic 3D images the retention is even higher, complete VR experiences are stored by the brain as an “actual” experience. The latter is also important for VR education for a younger target group. They sometimes have difficulty separating reality and fiction.

No replacement but a tool

With websites and lesson programs such as Google Expeditions and Unimersiv, as a teacher you will almost think that Virtual Reality will replace the real teachers. That is not the case, it is the developers of these types of applications who put the teacher at the center of experience. The technology is always used as a learning tool, just like a textbook or a blackboard. Virtual Reality in the classroom is not future music, it is already reality in the classroom.

Discover the possibilities of VR teaching without major investment, rent a Virtual Reality set for a day. Experienced supervisors provide the technology so that the school can make optimal use of all possibilities.

Child friendliness of virtual reality

Child friendliness of virtual reality

The emergence of new technologies often leads to concerns about potential risks, especially when it comes to applications in VR teaching. Are there any health risks? Does it affect the development of children and young people? Are there issues to pay extra attention to young children?

This was the case with the rise of television, computer and tablet and their use at school, and that is no different with virtual reality (VR). 

Yet there are things you can keep in mind as a teacher to use VR in a responsible way in the classroom. In this blog you will find a number of tips.

Possible physical risks

With VR headset on, you usually don’t see your real environment anymore. When students look around or stand up or walk around with VR headset, it is therefore important that there are no obstacles in the room that they can hurt themselves and that there are always people without VR glasses who can keep an eye on things.

Looking at a screen for a long time can lead to problems such as myopia and poor sleep. It is therefore not surprising that some people are concerned about the use of VR headset for children, certainly because the distance between your eyes and the screen of the glasses is very small.

However, when you look through VR headset, your eyes adjust as if you look further away into your new virtual environment. Unfortunately, research into the effect of VR on our eyes is not yet available, so we cannot say anything with certainty about this. However, it is advisable to take regular breaks and to invest in good VR glasses.

Many people experience dizziness or nausea with their first VR experience. This is similar to the motion sickness that you can also experience in the car or plane and is called simulation sickness in VR. It is caused by a conflict between what you see through the VR headset and what your body perceives.

Although the VR world basically moves with your head movements, there may be a slight deviation in this. Simulation disease is usually a lot less if you use good VR glasses. Properly adjusting the VR headset can also help. If a student still suffers from simulation disease, it is advisable to stop using the VR headset.

Fortunately, you can build up tolerance for simulation disease: the more often you use VR, the less trouble you are likely to have. Nothing is currently known about the possible long-term effects of VR on the equilibrium body.

Special cases
The above advice applies to students without health problems. In some cases, however, it is advisable to take extra precautions before using VR in the classroom. For example, pupils with epilepsy who are sensitive to light flashes. Before they participate in a VR lesson, it is advisable to consult with these students, their parents and / or their doctor first.

Other considerations

Mental health
Some people worry about the psychological effects of VR. Given the short duration and teaching content of VR lessons from TeachVR, it is unlikely that there will be any negative psychological effects associated with using VR in the classroom. The chance of addiction is also very small because the students work with VR in short sessions.

As a primary education teacher in particular, you may wonder at what age it is wise to expose students to VR. Because it can be difficult for young children to distinguish the VR experience from reality, it is generally not recommended to use VR in children under 6 years of age.

This does depend on the content of the VR experience. Age advice such as with movies or games does not yet exist for every VR experience, but the VR lessons from TeachVR will not be experienced as exciting or scary in view of the educational content. However, as a teacher you know your students best, so always consider for yourself whether a VR lesson is suitable for your students.

How long?
It is advisable not to allow VR sessions with children that last too long.  But what is “not too long”? There are no specific, guidelines to the use of VR yet, but the GGD has the following rule of thumb for screen use: look at a screen for a maximum of 20 consecutive minutes, then look at a distance of at least 20 seconds and then work digitally again for a maximum of 20 minutes .

In our experience, students rarely wear VR headset for more than 10 consecutive minutes. The lesson remains an interactive process in which students consult a large part of the time, make assignments or listen to the teacher without looking through the VR headset.

Little research has been done into the use of VR by children. That is why the most important advice is: always use common sense. Many of the concerns discussed are real with fanatic VR gamers who stay in a virtual world for a long time, but are (far) less applicable when using VR teaching. We want to give at least the following five tips if you want to use VR in the classroom:

  • Take into account the age of students and do not expose (too) young children to VR;
  • Ensure that the content of the VR lesson matches the age of the students;
  • Always have students work with VR under supervision;
  • Make a VR session no longer than 20 minutes;
  • Take a short break between VR sessions and when, for example, a student suffers from dizziness.

If you keep these tips in mind, we believe that virtual reality is a valuable, fun and a safe enrichment of education. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Please contact us.

Use VR teaching at school as a learning tool

Chances are that children have already become acquainted with virtual reality before they go to high school. This can be in the form of a smartphone holder, made of cardboard or plastic. It can also be a PSVR extension for the Playstation game console, or Lab VR for the Nintendo Switch. In addition, the Oculus Go VR headsets and Gear VR headset found in more and more households.

But VR at school, is that actually a good idea? Why use VR teaching for school, does it add anything to the current curriculum? With all the material that children must learn already. Is it wise to take an extra medium with them, or can VR improve the current teaching method at school?

Using VR at school requires training for teachers

When the term virtual reality falls, many teachers will stare a little glassy from their eyes. Most teachers have heard of it, some teachers have already played with it at home, but VR for at school is something new for most teaching professionals. 

The first time tablets came into teaching, was only a few years ago. Nowadays they are almost indispensable in the classroom together with IWBs. Instead of heavy book bags, students can get started immediately with a laptop and digital study books.

Based on interactive teaching material that is personalized for the individual student. Before we look at the possibilities of VR teaching at school for students, We should work on the level of knowledge of the teachers. 

Take the TeachVR platform, this is an easily accessible way to use VR for at school. The platform is intended for VR teaching which teachers can use to compile and publish their own learning programs.

Before you let a student work with VR at school, the teachers will first have to learn something about this virtual world. And this education for teachers varies from a few hours to get started yourself, to complete virtual reality courses. 

Applications that connect to an existing curriculum

Fortunately, it is not necessary to come up with everything yourself, you do not have to look far because the current curriculum already offers sufficient starting points. There are plenty of teaching applications that perfectly match the existing curriculum.

A number of them are specifically aimed at education, there are also “games” with an teaching  character. Visually appealing subjects in particular score well, such as virtual museums in which you get acquainted with Rembrandt in an interactive way, or can ‘walk’ through a series of Van Gogh paintings.

In addition to art, history is also a popular subject in virtual reality. So you can walk through the Colosseum when it was still being actively used, the free application with an interactive tour through the house of Anne Frank is also very impressive.

With VR in school, the pupil will, as it were, dive into the situation, so that you can virtually shrink to the size of a single-celled organism in order to make a journey through the body. That is a lot easier than dissecting a frog, and the student learns more about it.

Work in smaller groups
Although it is possible to offer classroom virtual reality teaching, working in smaller groups often appears to work best. For example, not every child has to wear VR headset at the same time, which is not only cheaper but also safer. In addition, collaboration is encouraged.

Other topics such as virtual excursions, on the other hand, lend themselves perfectly to a group experience. For example, it is possible to use a VR teaching application where the teacher simultaneously serves the presentation for all students. Because the student can look around within this controlled environment, they will pay more attention.

Involving parents with VR for at school
School VR can be used to intensify communication with parents. For example, you can have groups supervised by the parents, it is also possible to borrow smartphones during class to save costs.

Then as an teaching institution you only have to purchase cardboard holders and some apps. As VR gets more ground in school, you can invest in suitable hardware yourself.

Virtual reality as homework?
An additional advantage of easily accessible applications based on smartphone technology is homework in VR. Hand out cardboard VR holders with an imprint from the school and let children practice at home.

This will not be possible in all households, but it can be valuable as a supplement to the existing curriculum. It is even possible to have a student who is sick at home follow the classroom lessons from a distance. This clearly shows that the possibilities at VR for at school are just as unlimited as the virtual world.

Real learning in the virtual world

Real learning in the virtual world

You cannot turn on a television or read a folder without seeing an image of a person with a futuristic headset and a big smile. We are in the age of virtual reality.

This virtual world is not only an escape from reality, but it can also be a powerful learning tool for education. A number of practical applications are explained in this article.

Discover with Nearpod

The company Nearpod makes virtual teaching programs for education. They are compiled on the basis of existing lesson programs. By using virtual reality, they are provided with a lot of visual information.

This way you can view the Mars rover in 360 degrees. The teacher is instructed about the implementation of the lesson and the accompanying course material.

In the school desks with Lecture VR

Sit down and listen to a lecture by Einstein on the theory of relativity. With VR teaching you can follow lessons from the greatest thinkers, live or not, anywhere in the world.

Virtual lessons are developed at Lecture VR, it is also possible to place a panorama camera in an existing classroom that you can follow live via the internet with a headset. This type of remote learning is also ideal for children who are sick and can still take lessons.

Explore human cells with InCell

Edugaming is ideal for virtual reality. With the games inMind and InCell you fly through the bloodstream of a virtual person. The images are stylized, you can shoot with virtual lasers and at the same time you get more and more insight into cell structures and medical science.

School in a bus with XQ Institute

With this initiative a school bus was converted into a full school. By using VR headsets, they can brings teaching to all corners of the United States as a traveling circus. You can explore the entire universe with one pair of glasses.

Teachers are not being replaced

However progressive and high-tech these developments may be, they are not a substitute for a teacher than a textbook or PowerPoint presentation. It is a new way to give students more insight and to improve practical teaching. You learn more about the universe if you can virtually fly into orbit around Jupiter. With VR technology, cooperation between students is also encouraged as long as the curriculum is well organized.

Although professional systems can cost thousands of euros, a smartphone with a cardboard holder is enough to take the first steps in VR teaching. That is really learning in a virtual world.

10 Enter Virtual Reality teaching

Now that virtual reality headsets are available for the general public, they are used in a variety of industries and for different target groups. VR and AR are also increasingly used for teaching purposes. The number of applications and possibilities for virtual reality in schools is increasing rapidly, what will this emerging technology mean for teaching?

There are various terms that are often presented under the name “virtual reality” but in practice they work very differently. These are the most common terms:

  • Virtual Reality: This is an environment that is displayed entirely by computer. You can look around freely with a headset. You can also manipulate this world with special controllers.
  • Augmented Reality: A layer is placed on reality that seamlessly connects with what you see. It is not comparable with image-in-image, the new layer takes into account the perspective of the viewer. You also need a headset for this.
  • 360 Panorama; This is a photo or a video that is displayed in a cylindrical form, making it look like you are at that location yourself. You can look around completely.
  • Mixed Reality: a combination of real and fictional, this often applies to AR.

Virtual Reality teaching

In the classroom with a headset on your head, it doesn’t seem like the best way to promote collaboration. Research has shown the opposite; By having students work in groups with VR headsets, they learn to work better together. There are more and more professional teaching programs that are put together based on proven material. In addition, there is a wide range of panorama photos and video clips that allow you to travel around the world from the classroom.

Remote learning with VR

You don’t even have to go to school to attend class. There are various online virtual reality teaching classrooms where students can participate in lessons individually or in groups. This is possible with a panorama camera in the classroom, or pre-produced and interactive lesson modules that you can follow with a (cheap) headset.

Costs and benefits of VR teaching

A professional set with a headset and PC can easily cost several thousand euros and requires considerable technical knowledge. Schools that want to get acquainted with VR and AR often opt for a smartphone with holder. They are portable and work without cables. The total costs including smartphone are then hundreds of euros, if you do not count the smartphone you can get started for a few euros. A lot of software can be downloaded for free. 

Virtual Reality has become a mass product, you can buy headsets at the Action and save VR images at the Albert Heijn. More and more developers are designing educational learning materials with the help of VR and AR. After the schoolbook and the PC, VR is a new and effective teaching tool for education.

Employability of VR teaching in 2018

Let’s start with a brief look at 2017 with some statistics:

  • 97 percent of the students would like to take a VR lesson.
  • Education is in fourth place in VR investments by companies.
  • 69 percent of teachers are willing to organize virtual excursions.
  • 93 percent of the teachers indicate that their students would like to use Virtual Reality.
  • Although 80 percent of teachers have access to VR equipment, less than 7 percent use these resources.

The last point in particular is disappointing. The students are open to VR teaching, the equipment is within reach, but the teachers still make too little use of it. It is high time teachers start their own Virtual Reality lesson in a VR workshop. You are never too old to learn!

VR teaching in 2018
Here are some examples of innovative VR teaching for 2018, realizing that this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Spies train in VR
In Australia, aspiring spies are tested with Virtual Reality. They get to see a scenario in which they have to remember as much information as possible, such as the number of buttons in the elevator and which sounds can be heard in the background.

Virtual Reality scenarios can be repeated again and again, always in exactly the same way. That way you can give the same test to multiple students for a better comparison.

VR Distance teaching
Most teachers are not too wide-ranging, which can change with VR teaching in 2018. In Dubai, for example, a teacher from South Korea teaches in a virtual classroom. Because he specializes in a specific subject, he can earn a lot of money by teaching at a distance.

The decentralization of teaching will play an increasingly important role in 2018, which will not only be lucrative for teachers with specialist knowledge, but will also be effective in providing accessible teaching for target groups that are difficult to reach.

Google Expeditions
An old familiar but a good example for VR teaching for 2018 is and remains Google Expeditions. With simple Cardboard holders and smartphones you can teach in class in VR. The teacher controls a VR lesson centrally, which gives every student the same information at the same time, but they have the freedom to look around to stimulate the activity of the child.

More wireless VR options
The Oculus GO is a kind of Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard with built-in hardware that will be released in 2018. So no smartphone is required anymore, the system is completely wireless and the price will be around 200 euros.

There are now hundreds of apps for this system that, like the Gear VR, work on the basis of Oculus software. This product can play an important role teaching for VR in 2018.

Teaching VR for adults
You don’t have to have a career as an Australian spy on your wish list to experience the benefits of VR teaching. More and more companies are using Virtual Reality with good results as a result. From frying chicken to practicing customer service scenarios and medical for studies, VR teaching for adults will continue to grow in 2018.

The 5 best solutions for VR teaching in 2019

More and more virtual reality products are coming onto the market. From professional VR sets with all the trimmings, to simple games that you can play with a telephone. VR teaching is one of the most popular categories in the various app stores. What is the situation with regard to VR teaching in 2019, and what solutions will we see in the classroom in 2019?

History of VR for young people
After the introduction of the Google Cardboard in 2014, and then the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in 2016, the development of virtual reality went fast. Yet it started much earlier, Nintendo came in 1994 with the infamous Virtual Boy. These were VR headsets with primitive images that gave the youth more headache than pleasure.

Sega already announced in 1991 that they were working on a virtual reality expansion for the Sega Genesis / Megadrive, but it never got any further than an unconvincing product presentation in 1993. It would take until 2014 before low-threshold VR really became popular.

That success was partly due to the Google Cardboard, a cardboard smartphone holder. Although this system can still be used for various applications, in 2019 there are still a number of very interesting possibilities with VR for teaching. Here is our top 5 for 2019:

  1. Oculus Go

Not everyone saw the future of Oculus VR as bright as Facebook took over this startup. But with an average of new VR headsets every year, they are becoming the number one position in the virtual reality sector. Although a Facebook account offers benefits, it is not necessary to use the Oculus VR glasses. In VR education where minors use the applications, they will consider their privacy.  

The Oculus Go is the simplest product in the VR headsets line, and at the same time also the best entry-level VR headset for teaching. The student does not have to walk, turning is enough. It is a wireless system, an external PC is not required.

  1. Nintendo Labo VR

Nintendo has always said that they will not longer be interested in virtual reality, after the Virtual Boy’s failure in recent years.  In 2019 the roles are reversed and Nintendo still follow this trend.

The Nintendo Labo VR kit makes the Switch game console a formidable candidate for VR teaching. Labo is a set of cardboard building kits that you use to turn the game computer into mechanical objects.

The VR kit transforms the screen into VR headsets, the controller makes it possible to draw, shoot or take pictures of fish in the sea. The frog spring game is equipped with a “wind machine”, so that you feel the wind in your face with every jump. Because Lab VR must be held, it is suitable for a younger target group in VR teaching. 

  1. Sony PSVR

In addition to Nintendo, there is also a virtual reality solution called PSVR for the competitor PlayStation. A unique “pass and play” option makes it possible to play the same game with a group. In addition, one player will put on the VR headset, while other players watch on a television screen.

The VR player is opposed to the other players, so the team can “fight” against a monster on television. The VR player is itself the monster in a virtual environment.  These types of games with collaboration between multiple players makes the PSVR suitable for VR teaching. In addition, teaching VR apps with 360 video presentations can also be downloaded.

  1. TeachVR

This is a VR platform from the Netherlands that makes it possible to use and create teaching virtual reality programs yourself. It is a protected environment that is separate from the regular applications and games, which makes it very suitable in terms of VR for teaching.

Because teachers can design new content themselves, it is possible to create customized solutions for the students. These modules can then be shared with the entire network if desired. In contrast to the other solutions, this platform has been specifically developed for teaching.

  1. Google Expeditions

We have already mentioned the Google Cardboard before, that was the “hardware”. Google Expeditions is an application that makes it possible to make virtual journeys with a large group of students. Every student uses a simple smartphone holder, optionally supplied with the necessary VR hardware.

The teacher can act as a group leader and give the children a virtual tour through a museum, a park or even over the seabed. The app is free to use, Google optionally also provides the hardware to give group lessons.

VR for teaching will expand further in 2019, with user-friendly solutions suitable for younger users in teaching environment.

Playful learning with Virtual Reality

Playful learning with Virtual Reality

You sometimes hear that every skill can be learned with a thousand hours of practice. Learn to play a guitar, or perform surgery on the brain. In addition to time, many more factors also play a role in the learning process.

Every form of teaching depends on the right learning resources. A textbook with incorrect information is not a good learning tool, a good documentary can be very instructive.

In the past, “playful” learning has often been placed in a negative light, learning should not be fun. This idea is completely outdated, by stimulating people with interesting information, more knowledge will be included. Virtual Reality can herald the future of playful learning. Image, sound and experience work together to transfer knowledge and improve the quality of the learning process.

The differences between VR and AR for teaching purpose

Virtual Reality for teaching is a completely virtual environment that completely isolates the user from the outside world. You can look around you, often you can also move and manipulate objects with a controller.

As long as you are in the virtual world, reality no longer exists. At least until you walk into a coffee table, or stand on the cat’s tail. Augmented Reality works in a very different way, with a layer being placed over the image.

Google Glass was the first product that came into the spotlight as AR headsets. Due to criticism for infringement of privacy, this product was quickly disposed of by Google. In the industrial sector, this kind of “smart headsets” prove to be a success.

Companies such as ODG develop Augmented Reality headsets that serve as a tool such as interactive manuals. With AR glasses you can work hands-free and call up information on command.

In addition to Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality is on the rise. Hereby not only is an image projected about reality, it really seems to be part of reality. Depth, distance and scale are taken into account. The Hololens from Microsoft, the Meta headset and the technology from Magic Leap work on the basis of Mixed Reality or MR.

Making an teaching Virtual Reality App comes within reach of more and more organizations. The costs fall quickly, the quality of the Apps keeps getting better. With the right tools and knowledge, it is possible for more and more target groups to develop a VR app.

Different target groups for education and entertainment

There seems to be a differentiation between consumer and professional. Although VR technology is not exactly new for industrial applications, it has become much more accessible for both professional use and for private individuals. The need and use is different. For professionals, the most beautiful graphics are of secondary importance, the headsets must be robust and preferably modular for simple expansion and repairs.

HTC, the manufacturer of the popular consumer VR headset HTC Vive, will focus on two markets. With the Hololens, Microsoft seems to be moving more and more towards professional applications, just like the new Google Glass.

Medical VR applications

The new interest in Virtual Reality has proved enormously successful for the medical sector, with more and more medical institutions using VR for medical training.

Dissecting the time of a frog in the classroom seems a thing of the past, now a medical student can study detailed models of people, and view and manipulate organs from every angle. Although this method of education is not suitable for practicing motor skills, it does provide a great deal of insight into the human body.

In addition to the study of 3D models, several 360-degree videos have already been made of a surgeon with a camera on his head, or a 360-degree camera in the operating room. It is normal for a medical study that students can watch, this type of video clips offers a unique first-person perspective during an operation.

Motor skills
We have already indicated that VR applications in the medical sector are not suitable for practicing motor skills. In the technical industry they are already continuing with these developments.

A special VR simulator has been developed, which the trainee can virtually weld with real welding equipment. The hardware is linked to a VR headset, the student sees and feels every action through software. The advantage of this type of training is the possibility to repeat every situation under the exact same conditions, or to adjust it.


Driving a forklift truck behind the desk

A forklift truck is a very complicated machine, training with this type of equipment is costly and time-consuming. With a desktop simulation, every scenario can be executed in VR. This not only saves time and costs during the learning process, errors during construction work are prevented which can save huge costs.

You can learn how to apply

Many talented students and professionals struggle to get a job because they do not present themselves correctly during the interview. The University of Michigan has developed VR training for people with disabilities.

In this program various scenarios are offered so that the applicant can better prepare for a real application. This means that people with a distance to the labor market have a greater chance of finding a job.

Better spatial insight for referees

Supporters along the line often give unsalted comments on the actions of a referee. With Virtual Reality training this can be a thing of the past, VR appears to be an effective tool to give referees a better sense of depth perception.

VR headsets display a stereoscopic image with depth, in contrast to normal television screens. With VR headsets, specific game situations can be repeated time and again, giving referees a better view of the various scenarios.

Sex lessons in VR

When the sex industry embraces a new technology, you know it will be a success. If this theory is correct, VR becomes a huge success, because more and more porn production houses are making panorama sex films for use with a VR headset or smartphone with VR holder.

There is even a special rubber head that the talent can literally focus on. In addition, porn distributor Badoink has developed a Virtual Sexology lesson program that allows you to perform better in bed.

A museum visit becomes a treasure hunt

When you see a mummy lying in the museum, you would like to take a look under the windings. Lumin has developed a method based on Android in combination with a Lenovo Phab 2 Pro that makes this possible.

This “phablet” has support for Tango, the Mixed Reality system that records depth as well as movement. Lumin is also called “Pokémon GO for the museum”, in practice this technology is a lot more impressive and also very educational.

Sharing is Caring 

Whether your doctor Oz, the television doctor from the Oprah Winfrey stole, must blindly trust is debatable. He does see possibilities in Virtual Reality and therefore works together with Sharecare, a company that is engaged in healthcare based on Virtual Reality.

Another well-known charlatan specialist Deepak Chopra has already developed a VR program to meditate in Virtual Reality. In addition to these commercial projects, there are plenty of organizations that provide therapy through Virtual Reality.

Demented patients appear to benefit greatly from customized VR experiences, Virtual Reality helps with pain relief and with rehabilitation. Even in the case of phantom pain in patients who have undergone an amputation, VR therapy appears to achieve very good results.

Move yourself into another and feel that experience

Research has shown that VR therapy appeals to specific parts of the human brain. This information can be used to compile lesson programs. There are already projects where empathy is stimulated by placing people in the skin of someone else.

For example, a white person learns to experience the consequences of racism by moving into the skin of a dark person, there is a VR project in which a transgender per

Impact of VR teaching

Virtual Reality is not new, in the fifties of the last century there was already “Sensorama”, a system where all the senses were stimulated in a huge machine. Even further back there was the Panorama Mesdag, a 360-degree painting that virtually takes you to another world.

Due to developments in hardware and software, it is now possible to visit realistic worlds with the help of a Virtual Reality headset. You can look around and walk around in another world, even interaction with virtual objects and characters is possible.

Although the focus in the media is often on games with flashy graphics, it is the teaching applications that will transform the real world as we know it. VR is not the future, today this technology is already being used extensively in the classroom and beyond.

Learn a language and culture
You can learn a language in a classroom, the best way to quickly master a language is to immerse yourself in another culture where this language is spoken.

For most people it is not realistic to travel to China for a year, with VR teaching you bring China to your trusted environment. As soon as you place the headset on your head, it looks like you are in a different country, in a different place, with foreign speakers around you.

You hear sounds from all sides, you see signs on the street and you will pick up information faster. Video chat in VR is another way that you can quickly learn a language.

Take AltspaceVR for example, a Virtual Reality app that works on any VR system and is worldwide available for free. You create an Avatar, your digital form, and you make contact with people in a virtual environment.

They can be people you know or new contacts around the world. You can even visit concerts where you are in the audience with other people, where you can chat with directly. Because a lot of English is spoken online, VR chat is an ideal way to practice this language in practice.

Experiment with a safety net
There are static VR presentations and interactive VR experiences. When we take language knowledge as an example of interactive learning, for example, there is Mondly, a learning system in which you enter into conversations with virtual characters.

For example, you are sitting opposite a lady on the train, you choose the language you want to practice and you start a conversation with this digital character.

She asks you a question, you can choose from three answers. You should say this answer out loud, the software will then automatically analyze whether the pronunciation is correct. This way you can have a full conversation. If you do not choose the correct answer, or if the statement is incorrect, simply try again.

You can restart the complete scenario if you want. That is a big advantage of VR teaching, you can practice and repeat without consequences or fear of failure. These types of methods are certainly not limited to language skills; extensive use is already being made of this within the industrial sector.

Enter the virtual time machine

History is a lot closer with Virtual Reality lesson programs. You can watch the gladiatorial fights in the Colosseum live, as if you had been transferred to Professor Barabas’s time machine during that time.

With plain text and an image in a dusty textbook you can learn the information, but you won’t feel it. It is that stimulation of all the senses that help a student understand the situation. Work is currently underway on an app that recreates Anne Frank’s back room in detail. You hear German soldiers searching for Jews behind the wall. In this way the horrors of the war come very close.

Students meet each other online
Even with a package of subjects at school you are not always in class with students at the same level, or with the same interest. With virtual schools, it is possible to combine great people, even when they live far apart. Such a VR school has already been established in Australia.

On weekdays, pupils receive lessons at a normal school, so that they follow social lessons with other children in addition to taking regular lessons. During the weekend they take place in the virtual classroom, and receive lessons from the best specialists in the world. It is not a matter of replacement, but an addition.

Virtual Reality teaching is a new and effective learning tool that will increasingly become education. According to surveys, teachers are predominantly positive about this, and students also.

Learn more in virtual reality

Learn more in VR
VR or Virtual Reality is the hype of the moment. Choices must be made within teaching; do you stay with the old system that you know works or do you look for new methods to give students a better teaching? There are more and more opportunities to deploy VR teaching in the classroom and beyond.

Are they games that distract from serious education or is it a new learning tool that will improve the learning process? For teaching it is important to explore the possibilities of Virtual Reality without losing the core of teaching

What is Virtual Reality?

At VR you put on a headset or special glasses that completely isolate you from the environment. You can look around freely in a room that is displayed with computer images. Interaction with this virtual world is possible.

What is Augmented Reality?
With AR, a layer is projected over reality. You see a classroom but there seems to be a dinosaur on the floor. You can view that dinosaur from all sides with a headset or special glasses as if it were standing next to you.

What is Panorama Video or Photo?
This technology is often linked to VR. In fact, it is a video film or photo that is recorded as a cylinder so that you can look all around you. This makes it seem as if you are in the film or photo yourself. This type of media is basically not interactive.

The technique
There are various technologies that can be used for VR and AR. From cheap to expensive, from simple to complex. These are the two main methods:

Headset accessories for PC: The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are currently the most popular PC headsets. They are linked to a powerful PC with cables which can offer a display with very realistic images.

At the Rift you stand still, you can look around freely and operate the VR world with a game controller. This makes this system suitable for small spaces. With the Vive you can move freely, you need a few square meters of space and someone to keep an eye on the player.

Mobile smartphone holder. The Google Cardboard and the Gear VR from Samsung are the most popular mobile solutions. With a modern smartphone and a cardboard holder of a few euros you can already get acquainted with Virtual Reality.

Due to the relatively low costs and format, this solution is ideal for introducing VR teaching. Children can then complete “homework” assignments at home if they have access to a smartphone.

Virtual to the school desks

The teacher is usually one or two generations away from the student. New technology is picked up much faster by the students. Because Virtual Reality is still in the emerging phase, teaching is looking for the right way to use VR for educational purposes. There are basically two ways to use this technology:

Bring information to the classroom where visual elements bring great involvement. Subjects are literally getting closer. Children can explore the ocean without getting wet, go on a time journey and walk around on a distant planet. Everything takes place within the school under the guidance of the teacher.


Take students to school wherever they are. For example a child who has to stay at home or in the hospital due to illness. With a VR headset, this student can take a virtual seat in the school desk of their own trusted school and follow lessons. Sound goes both ways so the child can actively participate in the lessons.

It is also possible as a student in the World to take history lessons in the school desks of the University of California, then learn English at Oxford and go on an excursion in the afternoon at an excavation in Cairo. All without leaving the house.


Custom VR teaching
A number of companies are already developing teaching modules for teaching, particularly for the American market. Curiscope works with a T-shirt that enables the student to view the organs of a classmate virtually.

A smartphone serves as a virtual scanner. Unimersive and Nearpod offer complete lesson programs with age indication. Some teaching programs are purely software-based, while other providers also sell or rent the hardware.

Learning while playing
More and more teaching games are coming on the market that use VR technology. For example, a game in which you fly through the bloodstream of a human being and are overloaded with biological facts. The visual character of these games leads to a higher involvement and retention with the student.

Will VR teaching change?

Virtual Reality is more than a form of entertainment. Just as a documentary and a feature film both use the same medium, virtual and augmented reality can also be used for both entertainment and teaching. VR will not replace traditional teaching, but it does offer new opportunities for more effective