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Author: Karl Murray Published: 22 September 2023 Read Time: ~3 minutes

How Virtual and Augmented reality are affecting education/training

As technology continues to advance, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) are becoming increasingly popular in the field of education and training. These cutting-edge technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way we teach and learn, providing immersive and interactive experiences that can engage and motivate students in ways that traditional methods may not.

With VR, students can fully immerse themselves in a virtual world and experience simulations and virtual environments that allow for a more hands-on and experiential way of learning. For example, medical students can use VR simulations to experience surgeries and other medical procedures in a safe and controlled environment. This allows them to gain hands-on experience and develop their skills without the need for live patients. Medical schools across the world, such as Duke University School of Medicine, are incorporating VR into their curriculum to supplement traditional medical education methods.

In the field of training, VR is also being used to provide employees with realistic simulations of various work environments. For example, employees at Boeing use VR to train for aircraft assembly and maintenance tasks. This allows them to practice and perfect their skills in a safe and controlled environment before they perform the tasks on real aircraft.

AR, on the other hand, provides students and trainees with contextual information in real-time. For example, AR can be used to overlay information on objects in a science lab, allowing students to learn more about the equipment they’re using and the processes they’re performing. In the field of training, AR can be used to provide workers with step-by-step instructions and information about the tasks they’re performing.

One of the most exciting aspects of VR and AR in education and training is the ability to personalise and customise the learning experience. These technologies can be used to create customised learning paths that are tailored to the individual needs and abilities of each student. This can be particularly useful for students who may have learning challenges or disabilities, as VR and AR can provide alternative ways of learning that may be more effective for them.

In addition to providing immersive and interactive learning environments, VR and AR technology also has the potential to improve collaboration and communication in education and training. VR technology can be used to create virtual classrooms and meeting spaces that allow students and teachers to connect and collaborate in real-time, regardless of their physical location. This can be particularly useful for distance learning or for bringing together students and teachers from different parts of the world. AR technology can also be used to facilitate collaboration and communication by allowing students to interact with and share digital information in real-time.

While VR and AR technology has the potential to revolutionise education and training, it’s important to keep in mind that these technologies are still in their infancy and there are a number of challenges and limitations to consider. One of the main challenges is the cost of implementing VR and AR technology, as these technologies can be expensive and may require specialised hardware and software. Another challenge is the lack of standardised content and curricula, as there is currently a limited selection of VR and AR educational materials available. Despite these challenges, the potential of VR and AR in education and training is undeniable, and as technology continues to improve, we can expect to see even more innovative ways of using these technologies in the classroom and beyond.