It seems like virtual reality is a recent topic. However, this concept has been live since the 90s. Thanks to the development of new technologies and the increasing interaction through digital media, educational systems began to venture into this concept as a tool for more universal and immersive education.
Although, how does this relationship between education and virtual reality occur? Let’s take a look.
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Defining virtual reality may be a bit complex due to the number of authors who have written on the subject for over 30 years. According to Levis (2006), virtual reality is “an interactive database capable of creating a simulation that involves all the senses. It is generated by a computer, explorable, visualizable, and operable in ‘real-time’ in the form of digital images and sounds that seem real in a computer environment.”
We can say that virtual reality is a relationship between human beings and digital systems, where the former can interact with objects in different virtual scenarios through various levels of immersion, seeking a balance between reality similarity while reducing the access breach to other situations that, given their nature, may be difficult to access in real life.
Virtual reality combines simulation, interaction, and perception (Ocete et al., 2003). Virtual reality enables people to navigate and immerse into a given space using multisensory channels. Thus, the virtual world exists in the computer by integrating objects that have a sense of spatial presence.
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Implementing Virtual Reality in Education
Over the last few years, the world has witnessed technological advances based on collaborative environments, providing different forms of interaction in virtual educational settings. These contexts offer dynamism and accessibility using various resources. They seek to simulate the real world or an approach to learning settings facilitating students and teachers to connect with the concepts they wish to learn.
Currently, teachers and students use various digital tools to streamline their daily activities, including online classes, sharing materials, and performing laboratory simulators.
On the other hand, some educational institutions have already begun to use virtual reality in classrooms, providing students with access to content and out-of-the-ordinary experiences.
Virtual reality through oculus or glasses headset is an innovative example of this. Such devices increase the feeling of immersion in 3D spaces by integrating technologies that allow moving through the virtual space by copying the movements executed in the real environment and interacting with virtual objects by receiving sensory responses.
Therefore, it is possible to create virtual environments that, in real life, could be very costly to build or involve some level of risk for the students. CloudLabs offers Cell Morphology, the Archimedes Principle, Simple Pendulum, Trajectory of an Asteroid – Straight line, Automatic cylinder stacking, and 5-axis arm—just to name some of CloudLab’s simulators.
CloudLab’s simulators integrate such tools as Grafcet method-programmable 5-axis robotic arms or a digital microscope ready with biological samples to learn microbiology. CloudLabs allow students to become the professionals in charge and learn by merging new technologies and active learning methodologies in a real immersive context that constantly challenge them. Furthermore, CloudLabs develop virtual and augmented reality solutions to adapt to market demands.