Covid-19 has changed the world as we know it, the way we work, socialise and how we learn. With more universities and colleges doing online lessons, could we see more virtual reality classrooms in the future.
With university labs empty of students, some universities are using Virtual labs, changing education as we know it. Providing a real experience in a virtual world, the virtual lab allows students to carry out experiments in a safe place. Creating a fun and interesting learning experience which allows students to do experiments which may not have been allowed at the university due to budgets and safety reasons. Testing different chemicals and reactions for research, developing new methods and insights with different technologies in a digital world.
Virtual Reality Education could change the way we learn for ever, allowing the learner to do more than ever before in any subject. Using it for history to view and experiencing a roman empire, being able to travel anywhere in the world for Geography, Understanding the effects of Climate Change with a time lapsed experience. Breaking the limits from simple learning in a classroom, Virtual Reality we allow us to learn in a fun and interactive way, understanding each effect and impact in a subject.
Virtual Reality while amazing, is not real. We will always be limited to what is programmed in the software itself, limiting what we can learn. While fun, it does make the learning experience into a game, which takes away that real experience of being somewhere. The virtual labs while simulates a lab, does give you the smell of the chemicals or the experience from seeing first-hand particles through a microscope. It is an artificial world, which may be more detailed in the future, but can never compare to the physical experience.
Virtual Reality Education could offer so much, it allows us to continue our learning experience and has many benefits, providing students with new ways of learning with resources they might not have. But this should not be an alternative to equipment used within university.