Who doesn’t love phrases, such as, “The Future is Here”? How about “The Future is Near”? Those are two phrases that we read in regard to virtual and augmented reality (VR AR). So, let’s take a walk through the “Ancient Past” and see when harnessing the awesome power of VR and AR will transform education. We can do some carbon-dating of when the future is coming.
“The future is here, and it has come faster than anyone thought. In an age marked by the rapid integration of computers in schools, the ultimate technology looms on the horizon – the age of virtual reality in schools. Using virtual reality as an educational tool conjures up visions of a Jetsons-like futuristic scenario, students exploring their schoolwork immersed in virtual reality, gaining a deeper understanding of their subjects. A physics class experiment with a simulated virtual reality lab where they control the properties of objects and observe them from any angle. In another part of the school, a social studies class uses virtual reality to travel back in time into the Battle of 1812. Spanish class visits the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, and soon.
Harnessing the awesome power of virtual reality for educational uses will permanently change the nature and course of how children learn. No longer will children sit idly by in classrooms – the opportunity is here to provide them with an unprecedented chance to explore, engage, and visualize schoolwork like never before” (The Journal, 1999).