Article Source: EdTech Magazine – http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/11/how-virtual-reality-could-change-way-students-experience-education
Image Source: http://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality-military/
Virtual Reality (VR) continues to grow in popularity as finances start to hinder students’ abilities to travel and practice medicine in real world applications. The world has seen a rise of educational software that help elders retain memory, pilots fly planes, and hikers to virtually climb the most dangerous mountains. The real reason why Virtual reality is a booming industry is because of its classroom applications and the way it allows them to learn. Through hands on experience, students can avoid the risk of destroying expensive equipment or wasting time traveling hundreds of miles away to study their subject.
One such example of VR technology so far through the anthropology major has allowed students to travel as far as China to inspect the Great Wall of China. Students in other fields would also be able to explore the great reefs or watch evidence bleaching up close. These are some minor applications of VR that give students the ability to travel without spending large amounts of money or watching delicate procedures.
VR’s sole purpose isn’t meant to travel but also to teach. You might be able to explore other cultures from the comfort of your own classroom but institutions hope to teach students critical thinking through these devices. Metacognition, for example, would allow students to grasp a better understanding of their research and really reflect on the work they have just done. Needless to say, VR technology has only just begun to have an impact on the educational world and the options for furthering education are becoming limitless. Students may even experience what it’s like
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In a recent blog post by Trent Batson on The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning’s (AAEEBL) website, an interesting topic about centralization and democratization of education emerged from the use of information technology. Either side of the issue, whether to centralize and control technology or to allow students to have control over their own learning in higher education, was compared to identify both the profitability of centralizing control of technology and/or the efficiency of giving control over to students to enhance learning.
To assess either side of the issue, Batson talks about the use of badges in online learning scenarios as a way “challenge how grading is done”, while creating a system of “micro-credentialing”.
In a blog post written by Tracy Mitrano for Inside Higher Ed’s “Law, Policy — and IT?” blog, three suggestions for improving privacy in higher education were stated:
- Reform the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Mitrano suggests that FERPA, which was passed by Congress in 1974, should be reformed to meet the needs of higher education institutions and universities. Mitrano points out that FERPA does not have “specific technical security safeguards…” and its age suggests how outdated the law is in complying with practices and present-day issues with technology, privacy, and education.
Just recently, a group of academics, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs gathered at New York University’s Stern School of Business to discuss educational technologies and their effects on the future of higher education. A critical question was posed about the future of higher education as technology continues to play a crucial role in the accessibility and distribution of education: How will higher education and/or the notion of “college” change as platforms, such as MOOCs, become common for others to use as alternatives to the traditional classroom and campus environment?
Stepping in to learn more about what was discussed during the meeting, Issie Lapowsky, a writer for Inc.com, explains how, even though many posed opposing viewpoints on the topic of technology and higher education, all came to a consensus on the simple fact that higher education will have to be restructured and that the “status quo is not an option”, as stated by NYU’s President John Sexton.