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What Teachers are Saying About VR

Updated: Apr 26


Student visiting Europe in VR

The use of Virtual Reality in the classroom has been a trending topic in independent and private school communities. While its adoption can lead to competitive differentiation for some of our nation's leading education institutions, what does this mean for the teachers actually using this technology. How do they feel about it? 


A recent study by GfK reveals some insights into what teachers think about Virtual Reality. According to the survey, a significant majority of teachers (85%) believe VR would have a positive effect on their students. However, only 2% of surveyed educators are currently utilizing VR. This disconnect presents a tremendous opportunity to leverage the power of spatial computing and unlock its potential to transform education. 


GfK’s survey reached over 1,000 US K-12 educators, and it shows most teachers have a strong embrace of technology. Two-thirds of teachers see themselves as technology innovators, eager to integrate new tools that benefit their students. This willingness to experiment is crucial for fostering a dynamic and engaging learning environment. 


VR: A Pathway to Deeper Learning 

While VR adoption remains low, teacher enthusiasm for its potential is undeniable. 83% of educators believe VR might improve student learning outcomes. The anticipated benefits are impressive: 


  • Increased Motivation (84%): VR's immersive nature can make learning inherently more engaging, sparking curiosity and a desire to explore new topics. 

  • Enhanced Understanding (77%): VR experiences can bring complex concepts to life, allowing students to visualize and interact with the material in a way that traditional methods cannot. 

  • Greater Collaboration (71%): VR can create shared virtual environments where students can work together, fostering teamwork and communication skills. 

These potential gains align perfectly with educators' goals for VR application: 


  • Simulations (72%): VR excels at creating realistic simulations, allowing students to experience historical events, scientific phenomena, or even career scenarios firsthand. 

  • Virtual Field Trips (69%): Imagine transporting your class to the Great Wall of China or the depths of the ocean – VR makes it possible, eliminating geographical limitations. 

  • Exploring the Impossible (68%): From the inner workings of the human body to the far reaches of space, VR unlocks access to environments that would otherwise be impossible to visit. 

  • Understanding Complex Concepts (68%): VR can break down complex ideas into engaging experiences, making them easier for students to grasp. 

  • Tour College Campuses (42%): Allowing students to immerse themselves on college campuses can encourage students to pursue higher education and introduce them to various degree pathways.  

The survey also explores subject areas where VR can be particularly impactful. Science (82%) and History/Social Studies (81%) top the list, with Art (60%), English/Literature (54%), and Engineering (49%) following. 


Making VR a Reality in Your Classroom 

The gap between teacher enthusiasm and VR adoption can be bridged with increased accessibility and support. Here are some initial steps: 


  • Research VR resources: Explore educational VR applications and platforms designed specifically for the classroom. Different companies offer different levels of student engagement and collaboration. For the most immersive experience, consider a headset with 6 Degrees of Freedom and a platform that allows for a complete classroom of students.   

  • Seek professional development: Look for workshops or training programs to help you integrate VR into your lesson plans. 

  • Advocate for VR: Discuss the benefits of VR with your school administration and explore funding or grant opportunities. 

 

VR technology is no longer science fiction. In fact, 36% of surveyed teachers expect their school to adopt VR in less than five years. By embracing VR, educators can create dynamic, engaging learning experiences that prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.  


The future of education is immersive, and VR holds the key to unlocking its potential. 

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