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VR opens ways to engage students for enhanced learning

The great thing about VR is that it isn’t restricted to one place, time or class topic.

Students are continuously advised to “use imagination” and “think outside the box” in lecture rooms. Now, pupils can go one step additional – their minds and eyes can witness all types of concepts and locations, thanks to virtual reality (VR).

The great thing about VR is that it isn’t restricted to one place, time or class topic. Some Dubai faculties have been taking their students in all places (nearly, in fact). There are not any geographic or time restrictions in VR, which means youngsters can go anyplace from Ancient Rome to taking a area journey to area and Mars – all relying on the design of that particular VR.

Schools are embracing VR inside lecture rooms and are utilizing it as a educating technique for virtually all topics – English, historical past, science, arithmetic, artwork, geography and significant considering.

“It gives students the ability to travel to and explore places without leaving the classroom and reinforces what has been explained in the class. Whether it is exploring the different terrains of Africa, exploring the African desert and getting up close to lions or even dinosaurs, exploring the human body to creating their own virtual environment and content for the world to explore. It helps the teacher to immerse, raise engagement and increases their knowledge retention of the students,” David Talbert, head of know-how innovation on the Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, advised Khaleej Times.

In order to use VR, there are particular headsets that faculties are required to buy. Most faculties purchase a selected variety of headsets so every class can use them. However, in some instances, students might have to deliver their very own smartphones and plug the headsets into them to entry the VR programme that’s out there on-line or is downloaded.

Using VR is among the explanation why, in some faculties, students are allowed to convey their smartphones to class. “VR presents some exciting opportunities for learning. There are certain hurdles to introducing VR at the primary level as it is optimised for smartphones which most primary school children do not have,” stated Martha McCleary, head of digital literacy at Foremarke School Dubai.

“We have been using VR to visit faraway places and go on virtual field trips. This heightens engagement in lessons as children get to experience new environments. Recently we have begun looking at creating our own VR experiences. The children are busy creating online galleries of their work. Beyond learning about VR, this engages the children in learning about design and user experience.”

The supervisor of digital learning at GEMS Modern Academy, Ritesh Dhanak, stated they’ve been utilizing VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Google Expeditions in lecture rooms for totally different topics. “VR isn’t just about experiencing, it’s also about creating. High-end headsets like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift permit you to use apps akin to Google Tilt and Blocks to create content material in ways students might by no means do it earlier than.

“VR opens up endless possibilities for teachers to engage students for an experience that could enhance the entire learning journey. We also have VR being used for teacher professional development where they could learn about various scenarios or classroom management etc. in an immersive way,” Dhanak stated.

AR helps research exterior objects; VR teleports students

Besides virtual reality, there’s one other know-how being utilized in lecture rooms to help in educating and learning – augmented reality (AR).

AR is the place students can use their cell phones to superimpose a computer-generated picture onto any floor in the actual world, which is seen solely on the display.

AR is usually the extra reasonably priced selection for faculties as it’s often freed from value, whereas, VR headsets can vary from Dh900 to Dh3,000 every. Educators in Dubai have additionally been utilizing AR as a learning software inside lecture rooms.

“Both AR and VR have existed for quite some time now and I think they both have their own merit and could be effective based on the content and topic that is being covered. AR is more suited to a situation where you want to bring external learning objects into your environment whereas VR is more about virtually teleporting students to another environment. AR currently has an advantage of being more financially viable than VR because of the costing of equipment and content, but this is changing at a rapid pace,” stated Ritesh Dhanak, supervisor of digital learning at GEMS Modern Academy.

“We use both these technologies in our classrooms – our early years use more of AR while upper primary to senior school use VR. While technology plays a big part in helping students learn, the use of them will always our pedagogy that defines what we use.”

David Talbert, head of know-how innovation on the Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, stated that each, AR and VR, may be efficient learning instruments. “Virtual reality immerses the students and can take them to places and inside the human body. Whereas, AR, you can have a heart in front of your desk and interact with it but you are limited to holding a device to experience it. The next step is the merger of the two, and that is where mixed reality comes in – where the real and virtual worlds are merged to create a new environment so that you can interact with in real time. This will be an effective learning tool,” he stated.

Contemporary classroom: Embrace disruption or be left behind

Sreejit Chakrabarty, Manager, Robotics Labs and Training TELLAL Robotics

Classrooms at this time will not be what they used to be! Flexible seating, collaborative groupings, private computing units and immediate entry to the web exists in any respect grade ranges. Each day one can stroll right into a second-grade classroom to discover students coding with robots, utilising speech to textual content providers on their iPad and exploring their pursuits effortlessly. Modern-day academics, I consider, should not solely embrace using know-how however ought to have a good suggestion of the how and why, whereas the students determine the what and the way a lot.

Students have their arms on gear that permits for innovation and aids in educating instructional content material. Students have game-based learning in kindergarten – they study to be coders that makes it attainable to later create software program, apps, and web sites. In reality, some faculties are educating coding as a overseas language. 

Young students start coding with robots and child-friendly programmes like Scratch introduce coding concepts and problem-solving behaviours. As students follow, they study to code utilizing extra complicated concepts and platforms. Schools in the present day additionally home new know-how similar to 3D printers which permit academics to higher train geometric shapes, quantity, mass, fractions, bodily maps, cross sections of buildings or inner organs and create new creatures to clarify animal variations. Virtual, Augmented and Mixed reality methods create a digital learning area for students to journey to landmarks and immerse themselves in historical past. Virtual subject journeys broaden the classroom past the state and even the nation during which the category resides. With creator apps like Google Tilt Brush, Students can now create their surroundings fairly than simply experiencing pre-made ones. Even drones might help students view onerous to see locations, train ratios and proportions, and create alternatives for artistic writing prompts. Also including a vital talent set which shall be in big demand by the point they graduate.  

When students cease contemplating their instructor as superior information and extra of a facilitator of their learning, they really feel safer to take dangers, play with know-how and even request to change the task to higher go well with their wants.

Allowing students to create VR experiences (for instance) on what they discovered, and considering of latest purposes of know-how will permit for an actual change in schooling. If that is regular for these students, think about their future workplaces? Imagine the applied sciences they may think about regular if that is what they grew up doing?

Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Humanoid Robotics, Big Data, Blockchain, and so forth. are exponential ideas which want to be built-in with the on a regular basis learning of a contemporary scholar. As educators, it’s crucial to equip ourselves with these shifts in conventional practices. The flipped classroom, student-led classes, personalised evaluation and maker strategy to learning, are just some of the various instruments that may have an enormous influence in shaping this Education Revolution which is happening now.

As educators, we should do what we will to put together and equip these trendy learners for the world that awaits them.


Integrated learning

Technology could make teachers fascinating and learning enjoyable and extra partaking. Schools within the UAE are rightly integrating new age means with learning. It’ll make youngsters of tomorrow extra snug with know-how, and permit them to grasp it with time.

How does know-how assist in lecture rooms?

Innovation in schooling know-how is stronger than earlier than, particularly due to virtual reality, cellular units, cloud know-how and the web of issues. Creativity and private engagement are the important thing to really improve the learning expertise. In my faculty, sensible boards are utilized in every class. With the sensible board, we will visualise and perceive the subject simply. While the Stem topics are coated and simply built-in with the brand new applied sciences, 2018 will lead academics within the Stem programmes to develop the inventive inclinations of the students by way of know-how. Adding artwork to the combination, the truth is, may help us to develop crucial considering and to have a extra artistic strategy to problem-solving.

Hritika Tripathi, Delhi Private School, Sharjah

Virtual reality can immerse the scholar in a totally digital and increasing panorama, the place they engage with academics in transformative experiences via a large spectrum of interactive assets. VR instruments can be utilized to collaboratively assemble architectural fashions, recreations of historic or pure websites and different spatial renderings. For instance, learning alternatives may be enriched by means of interplay with dimensional objects, animals and environments for topics like biology, anatomy, geology and astronomy.

Lamya Juzer Gandhi, Our Own English High School, Dubai

When students research, many questions come to their thoughts in current days. If any query comes to the students’ thoughts, they’ve to ask their instructor. Sometimes, if the instructor is absent, the issue stays unsolved for the scholar. In conditions like this, the virtual reality could be very useful, students can get their queries solved simply. The virtual reality can also be useful for students to full their parts; this can forestall the push that’s taken by the instructor within the final motion.

Adharv Pradip, Our Own English High School (Boys Branch), Sharjah


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