VR revenues are expected to reach $7.17 billion by the end of 2017 and nearly $75 billion by 2021, according to a report by Greenlight Insights. A rapidly expanding industry, VR is now being utilized in K-12 and higher education to provide students with an immersive and impactful experience.
VR headsets are now being offered by many emerging companies as well as tech giants like Microsoft and Google. From cardboard, fold out units to high-end molded plastic units with special features, including high-resolution images, fast refresh rates and hand controls to allow you to explore the VR space you’re viewing and feel like you’re there. The technology will continue to improve and therefore the experience will as well, allowing students to participate in very real experiences that will mimic life closely and give them a space to attempt solutions without the real life consequences. Headsets will also shrink in size and cost as the technology progresses.
Discover the concept of volume by visiting the pyramids, visit the National Museum of Natural History in Madrid, or explore the Great Barrier Reef without leaving the classroom. These are the types of virtual opportunities that students now have access to with Google Expeditions. Immersive VR Education is a company that creates educational virtual experiences such as exploring the wreck of the titanic or taking a trip to the moon with the Apollo 11 crew, and a car crash and ER experience for medical students. Altspacevr offers a multi-user, collaborative environment that allows the students and instructor to interact from remote or far away places, as if they were all in the same room. InstaVR gives instructors and students the ability to create their own VR app, translating a variety of experiences into virtual ones that can be shared among a class. There are many software options that have been designed with education in mind or who have demonstrated ways that they are adapting to the educational environment and with the progression of VR technology, this trend is expected to increase.
As technology enters the classroom more and more, the VR trend is no exception. With an immersive environment that not only grabs their attention, but also allows students to travel to places and collaborate with people from every corner of the world, it appears to be here to stay.