Top 5 Future Educational Uses for Extended Reality

by Anastasia Deripaska

For all of the great innovations we are already seeing in gaming and entertainment when it comes to the extended reality (XR) - the confluence of virtual reality and augmented reality - the best of the best might come with advancements and offerings in the education field.
There’s not a student alive who does not wish they could escape the confines of the classroom from time to time and visit the points in history being discussed, see the wild environments from their science classes, or step into a book with their favorite literary characters.
There are strong indications that XR can make all of that possible, and sooner rather than later.
In this week’s installment of the Top 5, we will take a closer look at five ways that XR will change the look of education.  

1. The immersive classroom

What sounds like a better way to involve children in history.
Reading Anne Frank’s biography aloud in class or putting on VR headsets and looking at the world from her point of view:
afraid, alone, and trapped in a tiny attic, hoping against hope that the Nazi soldiers conducting house-to-house searches wouldn’t decide today was the day to wrench open the attic door of the safe house and see what was squirrled away inside?
Science and history are the biggest winners, with math hot on its heels for showing school children the world in a whole new light through the power of XR.
For most children, watching a movie is a lot more memorable than reading a book.
Just imagine how much they’ll get out of it when they’re actually inside the movie.

2. Field trips without the bus ride

If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that we can explore the world without ever actually having to leave our seats. Children got used to Zoom, Facebook Live, and a host of other ways to travel virtually in 2020, and now it’s become part of the vernacular of most school teachers.
The opportunities will only be limited by the imaginations of the educators to show their charges what the other side of the city, the world, or the universe looks like.

3. Redefining hands-on learning

Dissecting a frog seems like a right of passage for every kid taking biology for the first time, and usually leads to a few cases of lunch coming back up the other way. With VR, the frog can go digital and so can the blood and guts, letting the more squeamish of students only have to check out virtual frog guts and organs. Plus, when something goes awry, you can just reboot the dissection program rather than having to dig another frog out of the formaldehyde. 

4. Better on-the-job training

When you start working as a checker at the local grocery store, it’s trial by fire. Every time you mess up, a customer gets angry and the line slows down that much longer.
With XR you can practice on a digital register with avatar-representative customers, going through the motions of creating transactions virtually again and again until your manager is ready to turn you loose.

5. Keep learning for a lifetime

Why should your education stop when you graduate from college? What’s the point of only loving learning when you’re in the education setting?
XR can keep the classroom open for business for people of all ages and let them keep expanding their brain power, broadening their horizons, and getting smarter year after year.