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.