Dan KallenJuly 30, 2021July 30, 2021Virtual Reality in Education: Should we use VR in the Classroom?Virtual Reality in Education is one of the most cutting edge uses of technology available today. Whether in a completely virtual environment where all actions are simulated, or in an augmented or mixed reality setting, the impact on the way that education is being delivered is tangible. According to Frontcore, “While the learning retention is only 5 percent for lectures and 10 percent for reading, we find VR among the top 2 with a learning retention of 75 percent. VR training is only beaten by learning that happens through educating others, where the learning retention is at 90 percent.”How Can VR Be Used In The Classroom?An already fast growing use for this technology is VR for business meetings. But now VR is showing up in the classroom as an enhancement to the traditional means of education. Virtual Reality headsets allow a student to be fully immersed in a subject. For instance, if you are learning about the moon a VR headset will allow a student an opportunity to virtually experience what it would be like to be on the moon. This type of immersive learning, especially in the age of video games and the internet, is crucial to the way that today’s kids learn and grow.What Age Groups Are Using Virtual Reality?It is recommended that children under the age of 12 do not use Virtual Reality headsets. So essentially, once a child reaches the 7th grade, the introduction of VR or AR as a supplemental teaching tool would become acceptable. The reason for this is that the long term effects of VR headsets on vision are unknown. However, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Virtual Reality headsets are likely safe for even young children.How Schools Are Implementing Virtual Reality?Businesses and universities are generally on the cutting edge of new technology. But as technology becomes more accepted it inevitably starts to expand its reach in to high schools and finally elementary schools. It is this expansion to the school level that should give planners an idea of how vital virtual reality is becoming to education and how prevalent this means of teaching will likely become in the future.Virtual Reality Workshops For SchoolsVirtual Reality workshops are one of the quickest ways to introduce this exciting technology to the next generation of users. Instead of having dedicated classes, VR is used as a selective enhancement to the teaching process. Workshops are an ideal way to start the hands on process of learning how to use this exciting technology.VR In Medical SchoolsVirtual Reality in medical schools (along with augmented reality) is literally at the cutting edge of new methods of education. VR allows interns to practice medical procedures without the need for cadavers or live bodies. It is completely changing the way that medicine is taught.VR In STEM SchoolsVR in STEM schools, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, makes complete sense. Visualized learning for these four cornerstone elements of education will take a child’s interests and curiosity to the next level. The interactive component that VR and AR bring to a classroom setting mean that students can go from theory to complete immersion in a specific topic. Expect to see dramatic breakthroughs as a result from the coming generations of scientists and researchers.Dedicated Virtual Reality ClassroomsIn order to make the visions of next level education come true, dedicated Virtual Reality classrooms are the next logic step in the educational process. The fact is that the more students who are exposed to the technology with the right content, the more dynamic the learning curve will become. The VR and AR technology will continue to improve and the course materials available will grow and expand.Virtual Reality CurriculumsVR can allow a student to dive with sharks, or fly to the moon or explore a national park or rainforest. The possibilities are only limited by the content that has been created and is available to educators. VR can also help students with developmental challenges improve their social interactions and engagement. In short, the available curriculums are only limited by considerations such as budget, tech support, subject matter and exposure. Once a school decides to implement a virtual reality component to its curriculums, the sky is literally the limit.Best Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Systems for SchoolsAs with most technology, there are many different solutions available. The best virtual reality and augmented reality systems for schools are ones that combine flexibility with durability and a robust catalogue of available and developing content. Another big concern is privacy for students. One of the most popular VR headsets is the Oculus Quest 2. While this is viable solution, it also requires a Facebook account, which for many brings in to question serious privacy issues.Other very good options include the HTC VIVE Focus 3, which is an all in one VR headset. In other words, the computer is built in to the headset and you do not need a high end laptop or desktop to run the device. Another very popular VR headset is the Pico Neo Eye 3. This very powerful headset is built to last for several years and may prove to be a very good choice for many schools.Finally, the most interesting augmented reality headset is the Microsoft HoloLens 2. This headset allows you to view the real world while simultaneously overlaying computer graphics. It is a breakthrough device when it comes to the medical, technical, mechanical and engineering fields.Test VR Out in The Classroom with Short Term VR RentalsSo how do you decide which VR headset is right for you and the needs of your institution? The best way to decide is to test various VR or AR solutions in your classroom and get real time, real life feedback from your most important user…the students. At Hartford Technology Rentals we offer many different VR solutions that are available to rent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Renting affords you the opportunity to test many different headsets to find the one that will be comfortable for your students to wear while maximizing their learning potential. When you are ready to take the next step and find out about VR rentals for classrooms, please call us at 888-520-5667 to speak with a technical sales rep. We are very excited to speak with you about this wonderful technology.