07 Mar, 2018
10 : 00
It seems like the classroom of the future — students wearing virtual reality headsets, exploring the vast reaches of our solar system. But at YCIS Shanghai’s Gubei Campus, it is already the reality.
Led by Mr Abe Lahmidi, teacher of ESL & Global Perspectives at the campus, the technology is being used for educational experiences instead of gaming — science, culture, history, and more.
Since beginning the programme, Mr Lahmidi has overseen the use of VR in the following ways:
Three students at the Gubei Campus have summed up their experiences with using VR in the classroom:
Josh: “When we were looking at the solar system with our VR devices, it felt like we were there among the stars and planets. We could count them, measure how far they are from each other, compare their sizes and we could look around to see them from different angles. It was more interesting than the textbook. I can remember more things without learning them by heart. An amazing experience!"
Jin: “It was much easier to follow because it looked real. It was easier to understand than the textbook. The commentaries that were made by experts were interesting. I was able to listen as many times as I wanted. I loved it!
Joonha: “I forgot that I was in the classroom. I was among the stars looking for information. It felt real.”
Recent research has shown that VR simulations are nowadays being embraced by many industries all over the world. Therefore, Mr Lahmidi and other teachers at the campus recognized the importance of preparing YCIS students for a world where VR is commonplace and put the VR programme into place.
Jaime Sánchez, a researcher who specialises in the use of VR, emphases the importance giving students the opportunity to explore the changing digital world via VR: “As technology continues to advance at an extraordinary rate, Virtual Reality (VR) is being used in many different industries for a variety of reasons. Today the technologies are used in healthcare, entertainment, the automotive sector and in education to varying degrees.”
Clearly, the future of Virtual Reality in education is full of potential, and YCIS Shanghai is already placing their students in an incredibly advantageous position, with all the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly high-tech, global future.