With the release of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, there is growing excitement around Virtual Reality and the possibilities it offers in education; some even think VR headsets might spark engagement in schools.
But it will be a long time coming. Most of today’s Headset VR products are impractical in the classroom.
First of all, you’ve got the safety considerations when students’ eyes and ears are covered.
Fire drills? -- forget it. Not only would students not be able to see or hear their teacher, but they would be physically tied down to a computer. Straps and wires connect their heads to equipment and would hinder students’ ability to move, let alone leave. Fire marshals are not going to be big fans.
Another concern is that headsets are designed for a single user. Sharing a headset is not an option (think of the germs, lice, and other hygiene issues that would become a nightmare), so kids will all need their own device. This makes learning collaborative skills close to impossible.
Lastly, these amazing near field of view displays are new and there is no data on the long-term repercussions to eye or brain development for growing kids. Until lasting effects have been proven safe, not even the bravest technology director is going to give headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive a seat in the classroom.
Great home entertainment devices? Yes.
Usable in schools? No.
Listen to Steve Kingsley-Jones, Director of Product Marketing at zSpace, for more information about headset VR in the classroom!