“Educating the individual is this country’s most valuable investment. It represents the foundation for progress and development“. Education is a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability.

Although there has been great progress in the last decade, 250 million children cannot read or write although many have been to school. Providing all children with a quality education that teaches them skills for work is critical to end poverty by 2030. Jim Yong Kim. President World Bank

Skills, and skills development, are an essential component of all efforts in this challenging area. Too many workers are simply unprepared to meet the needs of firms, particularly in more competitive economic environments. Over the next few decades, demand in the top layer of the labour market may well centre on individuals with high abstract reasoning, creative, and interpersonal skills that are beyond most workers, including graduates.

Education is about to become more interactive, more fun, and more social. Specifically in the way that “new advanced technologies and methodologies” will improve learning and teaching processes with the aim of VR/AR. The success of a complex and innovative project like this one, demands the engagement of a team of reputable, seasoned and qualified professionals and methodologies guaranteeing the fulfillment of all targets of the project. The Teachers training program is a key success factor of the project, including workshops, seminars and community support.

Using Immersive VR/AR Environments we can place students in any real world or virtual situation with an active role in proceedings through various tasks they will need to complete. Situations and outcomes will dynamically change depending on the students input and this will keep the student active and engaged throughout the lessons. From now on, teachers can use these unparalleled learning experiences to build student mental models and understanding of STEM ideas with the equipment and connections already in the classroom.

Students of all ages typically retain between 10% and 30% of that they read and see. Traditional educational materials fail to inspire and engage further learning with most students as it forces them into a form of memory testing rather than retaining knowledge through practice and experience

Traditional lessons are also taught through ridged structures that don’t change if repeated. This causes fatigue and boredom with less student retention.

With virtual reality (VR) playing an increasing role in reshaping industries such as tourism, industry simulation, video-games, real estate and medicine, educators have begun to explore using VR in academic settings. Schools and Teachers can start this new immersive experience with SmartEducationLabs in the classroom.

As it is more actively adopted, VR will increasing be found in educational spaces. According most relevant Industry and Researches studies, VR will play a differential factor in the new educational scenario. In fact, about one-third of the tech-orientated attendees surveyed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 think that education is the area that is most likely to benefit from VR with virtual classrooms and VR-enabled textbooks.

As VR expands its reach into the educational sector, we must explore the tangible impacts that this technology will have on both students and educators in our classrooms. Here we demonstrate some of the definitive benefits of using VR in the classroom backed by research.

Adding value to the Smartphone at the Classroom: A recent study published in the Journal of Media Education reported that students spent a fifth of their time in class performing activities on their devices that have nothing to do with their school work. In fact, the study found that students check their digital devices an average of 12 times during class.

Putting those smartphones with VR/AR technology and using added value apps, could potentially eliminate this problem. Instead of spending idle time on their phones, students would instead be required to use them to engage with VR software for the lesson of the day.

Bridging the Attention Gap: Edger Dale’s Cone of Experience has shown that the average person only remembers 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see, but up to 90% of what they personally experience. As a result, VR/AR educational materials provide the scenario needed to build the attention gap, helping students to become more attentive during lessons. A meta-analysis done recently found that students actually do learn better when immersed in virtual worlds.

Eliminating Language Barriers: In today’s multicultural societies, bringing students together from all different backgrounds is still a challenge due to language differences. For students that wish to study in another country, traditional methods of teaching have always required that they achieve sufficient fluency in order to effectively learn in a classroom where lessons are taught in another language. With VR/AR, language translation can be implemented within the software, eliminating language as a significant barrier to a student’s educational goals.

Rewarding Students for their Achievements: Much of the traditional approach to education has made success neutral while punishing students for failures. With VR/AR apps, content producers can bring the gamification aspects of technology that have enhanced other consumer products to educational materials. Research has already shown that immediate rewards can boost student performance. In fact, delaying rewards actually eliminates all motivating power of the incentive. Implementing rewards systems into VR/AR educational software could potentially deliver significant results with regard to student achievements in previously low-performing academic environments.

Social Integration of Students: Helping students to connect with their peers is essential for creating a positive learning environment for students. VR/AR technology can foster social integration of learners within a classroom environment by bringing together students who have different learning styles and needs.

Generally speaking, we see big opportunities in the implementation of VR/AR in new smart educational ecosystems, but the paradigm must change. It is not the case of implementing new technologies and adapted to the education process, is the education process it self the object of changing.

Carlos J. Ochoa ©