On Monday 7th November, during the 3-day “Train the Trainers” workshop held in Arta, Greece, Nick Emery of SFC gave a presentation on the roles of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications in education and training.
All attendees were invited to contribute with their experience, knowledge and opinions of this topic which allowed for a highly collaborative sharing of knowledge and ideas.
AR and VR are considered useful tools for apprenticeship, so it is considered that in the future, projects such as INGENIOUS will also be able to devote space to developing skills for the teacher to design their own pathways by adopting some of these technologies.
As mentioned in the presentation, the real excitement of these advanced technologies lies in the theory behind the design of their use in education, it’s important not to be distracted by the headsets and the virtual worlds, which of course are very exciting in their own right. The framework outlined by Constructivist Learning Theory supports the rationale for using these tools, allowing for a more learner-centred approach with intensified learner attention, deeper engagement and faster learning. However, educators will need to prepare, apply, assess and evaluate VR educational applications to ensure successful alignment with existing pedagogical principles.
Various advantages and disadvantages of the use of AR and VR were discussed, giving consideration on one hand to the advancements that can be made in education and training, creating safer and more stimulating environments, with a less teacher-centric learner experience. On the other hand, the initial cost of these advanced technologies concerning the labs and equipment needed, the risk of student isolation, and a possible decrease in empathy due to increased consumption of digital media were also considered.