Virtual reality has been with us for years. It is the ultimate learning simulation. My first VR experience with in the Columbia University VR lab, where I was able to put on glasses like the one in this photo and “fix” a car engine. I’ve never been as excited by any learning technology since, but it seemed to stay in that “someday it will be mainstream” zone for a long time. There are a few apps on phones that take advantage of VR technology – apps that display where subway stations are through a smartphone lens, for example. But nothing has ever come close to the experience of “fixing” that engine, though I’m sure gamers who’ve used Oculus Rift have experienced the total immersion that occurs. What does that mean for learning? Donald Clark gives us his thoughts, and they are all spot on.
“….we have an avalanche of research and evidence from flight and military sims that show how powerful simulations can be. You’d be surprised, indeed you wouldn’t step on a plane, if your pilot hadn’t gone through many hours of flight sims. The learning effect with VR promises to be even better.”