Behold! The world at the click of a button. Technology is rapidly advancing and recently, virtual reality has become a technique incorporated into classrooms for student learning. Initially created for gamers to have the ultimate experience, companies have quickly increased their consumer market by providing other uses.
Pictured above are Google Cardboard virtual reality goggles, easy to use and affordable for people of all ages. All you need is a mobile device, such as a smartphone and the application that works hand-in-hand with the goggles.
The goggles work by making a duplicate of the same image, one for each eye, and they come together to create a 360 degree appearance.
Foreign language departments are taking full advantage of this new gadget in order to enhance a student’s understanding of culture. Traveling can be quite pricey, so this solution can be utilized by many. The goggles allow students to put context to the information they are learning in the classroom, instead of theoretically imagining a place where the language is spoken they can witness it “first-hand.” Since the induction of the goggles in class, teachers have noticed a higher confidence level in students as they learn new languages and more willingness to speak in class.
The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad) have also capitalized on the opportunity to go virtual reality, offering virtual tours to specific places:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Dublin, Ireland
- London, England
- Nantes, France
- Paris, France
- Rome, Italy
“We already use Google Street View when planning to visit a location for the first time, since it enables us to get our bearings before we embark on the journey. The latest virtual reality headsets are now giving users the ability to sample a new experience via 360-degree immersive videos that transport the user to anywhere in the world. This technology offers an opportunity to walk around any destination and soak up the sights and sounds of the surrounding area, making it much easier to decide where you would like to visit…” said representatives from IES.
These goggles have the ability to change how people view the world and gather a better understanding other than looking at pictures in textbooks. Schools and study abroad organizations are taking the idea and running with it, constantly brainstorming new ideas.
“The idea is to try to make this experience more real, to bring experiential learning into a classroom that traditionally uses textbooks,” said Nitocris Perez, an emerging technology specialist for University Information Technology Services, who was interviewed in an article regarding virtual reality in classrooms.
Through virtual reality, students are more susceptible to wanting to discover the world, becoming more interested in foreign culture and studies.
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