Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Recommended Read: As K-12 virtual reality use grows, researchers consider impact on children

In a day and age of technology, where education has inevitably crossed roads, schools are slowly implementing more and more types of gadgets. Virtual reality is a gadget that has risen in popularity over the last few years. It involves a user wearing a headset that covers both eyes completely. In this, an immersive experience is provided and the user may feel as though they are in a different world. In fact, there are even more advanced virtual reality systems that incorporate the entire body so that the experience can be even more involved, such as a game that simulates riding a roller coaster.

However, schools are now slowly incorporating the use of virtual reality devices in classrooms and many parents and researchers are concerned that this device can affect a child's development because it may be over-stimulating. One may ask why schools would take the risk on a child's development for such a device. The answer is that this device has brought many educational benefits to a child's learning. Instead of learning from a dry, boring textbook, kids are put in an environment where they can see what they are learning. In fact, students who are learning English benefit the most because they can see the words that they are learning and easily understand what it is. Another example is that a virtual reality set can bring students on a class trip to some extent. When the students strap on a headset, they can be taken to Antarctica and be given a visual understanding of a setting. Obviously, a real-life Antarctica trip with elementary school students is not plausible.

The benefits of virtual reality for students are rich, however, the number of possible consequences that it brings along for a child's development is also a serious matter. In this day and age, it is important for educators to not be shy from testing out new technologies, but also be observant and cautious of potential harmful signs.

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