What if….. VR in school education could be made accessible to every student independently from families income?

There is no doubt Virtual Reality got another big boost during lock down and in the current uncertain pandemic situation.

Schools and universities had to adapt quickly to remote learning activities. While remote teaching is mainly based upon video conferencing, streaming video and school community software – both commercial or governmental – the virtual reality aspects are still quietly unknown and unused

Beside, professional educational VR content and the necessary equipment is costly and therewith not  accessible to everyone.

Of course VR Gear in combination with a modern smartphone is the easiest way to get in touch with this new technology either by 360 videos or simple learning applications.

(Photo by stem.T4L on Unsplash)

Together with my test candidates – being 10 and 13 – we experienced a lot the past months from using Google Expedition for tours as well as VR learning apps suitable for smartphone devices up to content designed for the Oculus Quest. As low as the entry point is - given the affordable price of the smartphone VR gear – as fast the magic was dropping using those.

The first fascination was relatively soon replaced by a certain tiredness of static scenes and text with low interaction (guided tours weren’t rarely available in native language). Preferences very much went back to collective learning – even remote – using videos and usual learning platforms with interactive content.

And I certainly can relate. Nothing can replace a committed guide (teacher) and having your friends around if even virtually.

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

But in all tests done, I certainly believe and trust that VR technology in education will truly florish when: 

We find a way to give a hand to our teachers getting comfortable with the technology and all associated chances and challenges.

We find a way to finance professional content in conjunction with educational topics of the different grades.

We manage to include everyone in the class independently from financial income (as low as the price for a simple VR smartphone gear is – it still needs the smartphone & internet connection!)

We accelerate the development to true immersive systems using stand-alone VR gear still given the above bullet points.

I have a vision of a combined non-profit and purpose driven commercial setup under the participation of true experts in education, virtual reality content production, cloud computing & VR streaming and hardware development.

Let us connect industry, schools, artists and teachers to the benefit of the following generation.

Add-On: My test-candidates like to add their very favorite educational VR experience recommendations:

Smartphone VR:

Weltraum VR by Carlsen (Google Playstore Link)

Oculus Quest:

National Geographic Explore VR (Oculus Store Link)

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