Are Virtual Lessons Coming To a School Near You?

Are Virtual Lessons Coming To a School Near You?

New training programmes being designed for virtual reality (VR) hardware, such as the Oculus Rift, are making inroads in education. Ongoing advances mean that there coulid one day be an immersive education for all.

Earlier this month, the new VR education app World of Comenius was tested out with schoolchildren at a school in the Czech Republic. Using Oculus Rift DK2 headsets and a Leap Motion Controller for gesture tracking, the pupils were able to interact using natural gestures inside a whole new world.

The team behind World of Comenius want to incentivise learning and make it more exciting for everyone. Their ideas could revolutionise the way we're taught. 

During the demo, pupils were
 transported to a virtual classroom where they found the model of a skeleton. But it's much more valuable than a standard classroom set of bones. Not only can users feel like they're touching the skeleton without the risk of damaging it, the model comes complete with layers of interactive components, such as bones and organs. By reaching into this world and manipulating it with normal hand movements, the learning process is thought to be a lot stronger and more memorable. It's powerful part of the experience that there are no real rules: one can't make mistakes or really do anything wrong. Plus using the program is quickly self-taught because it's so intuitive, especially for youngsters accustomed to using mobile touch tech such as smartphones and tablets.

Similar simulations and environments could 
help people understand other concepts, such as playing with atoms to understand chemical theory and quantum mechanics, swimming around a cell or meeting dead people from the past in an accurate historical context.

The World of Comenius team have exciting plans for further developing the project, which include giving schools the ability to construct their own lessons and spaces in which to collaborate on ideas and share knowledge, using basic building blocks. 

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