The past year has brought one of the biggest challenges ever in education. To protect those who are vulnerable and to reduce the pressure on healthcare, we have all shown our most flexible side. The beginning of 2021 is not much different. In this blog, we look ahead. What role can Virtual Reality play in education after this crisis? And how do we contribute to a sustainable implementation of this and other technologies?
Online education is a huge challenge, for teachers as well as students. Every lecture, I miss that I am not in the same room as my students. What’s more, our workshops & masterclasses for education professionals are much more enjoyable in-person.
Digital education still has too many limitations, even though I often argue that new digital technology like VR offers possibilities that go beyond education in person.
Unfortunately, the field is not quite there yet. VR headsets are not readily available for everyone and teachers and students often do not have enough experience with the technology to use it effectively for education. Especially not when you suddenly have to switch to online education.
Moreover, you also want to combine digital education and in-person education here. Blended. This way, you can choose the educational platform that fits the best for the material. However, this is precisely what is not possible in these times.
From experiment to implementation
At the same time, let’s commit ourselves to emerge stronger from this crisis.
Let’s work to develop rich, asynchronous digital education that students can follow independently regardless of time and place. Combined with synchronous meetings focused on interaction and knowledge processing. Preferably in-person, but digital if necessary.
At the same time, we continue to experiment with new technology like Virtual Reality to further enrich education.
As this field matures with affordable hardware and a wider range of software, we can work towards sustainable deployment. Grants create room for innovation, but ultimately, the business side must also make sense; your innovation must solve a problem.
In the lecture (in Dutch) I recently gave to all i-coaches of vocational schools, I distinguished these three phases:
We look forward to contributing to exciting educational projects in the Netherlands and to bringing them to the next stage!
We want to investigate how VR and other technologies can be responsibly and sustainably deployed in various domains. That is why we will be challenging the following questions in the coming period, together with our team, new interns, and students:
- Can the shortage of internships in educational programs such as nursing be solved with VR & other technology?
- Together with our intern Tess and educational organizations, we are investigating this urgent question for nursing programs.
- What can we learn from games?
- Together with our new intern Siem, we immerse ourselves in the creative world of game design and share our lessons.
- How do you design an ‘infospace’?
- How do you use a 3D environment to convey knowledge? How do you tell a story with it? Read the first blog post in this series here.
- How will Augmented Reality change the world?
- For a few years, I have been challenging the students of my Honors Class to think about how AR will become part of our world. With this, we explore many interesting opportunities and threats. We will further develop and share these findings through our blog!
We research the various applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality and other technologies and share the findings on this blog. Additionally, we put them into practice by designing our teaching materials based on our research and experiences. In this way, we are involved in all phases that must be completed to deploy VR sustainably.